It’s the most wonderful time of the year; you can almost hear the holiday carols chiming in your ears. But, is it really the most wonderful time of the year? If you’re a truck driver, there are a lot of ups and downs during these months.
"Everyone is busy this holiday season running last-minute errands for our family celebrations or driving to faraway states to visit family and friends, but the trucking industry wants all motorists to make safety their No. 1 priority," said Jane Vineyard, President of the West Virginia Trucking Association, in a news release.
More than 103 million Americans are expected to travel this holiday season, according to AAA. A higher volume of vehicles traveling side by side on roads in December and early January creates an increased need for adherence to safe-driving habits, especially when coupled with adverse driving conditions.
In addition to the universal rules - do not speed, do not text and do not drink and drive - we've assembled some additional tips to hopefully make holiday driving more enjoyable and safe, and to reduce those stress levels:
- The first step is to make sure your vehicle is operating properly.
- Plan your route in advance and check traffic.
- Follow speed limits and drive defensively.
- Allow yourself extra time.
- Be on the lookout for distracted drivers. Stay alert.
- Avoid the busy hours for driving and distractions
- Be cautious on roads that have black ice, especially when crossing bridges.
- Idle in sub-zero temps: When you’re stopped, idle between 900 and 1,000 rpms to keep your engine at an operating temperature. A lower idle can cool the engine and cause the fuel filter to freeze.
- Keep your gas tank more than halfway full to avoid freezing.
- Buckle that belt.
- Finally, relax.
Happy Holidays and Happy New Year.