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10 Ways to Stay Safe & Save Fuel this Summer

July 5, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

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As RVers and other motorists prepare for summer vacation travel, a team of million mile accident-free truck drivers are helping to make our roads safer. AAA estimates that over 39 million Americans will drive 50 miles or more this coming weekend. America’s Road Team Captains, elite professional truck drivers chosen by the American Trucking Associations, are offering advice on how to safely navigate through highway traffic and congestion this summer and, at the same time, save costly fuel.

Drive carefully and arrive safely at your destination. Pictured above is Oak Creek Canyon Scenic Byway, Arizona. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

“Traffic increases during the summer months as families head out for vacations,” said America’s Road Team Captain Danny Fuller. “Even with gas prices what they are, I’m seeing many additional cars on the road. This means safe driving habits become all the more important and everyone should slow down and follow the rules of the road.”

America’s Road Team Captains agree that the first step toward a safe trip begins in the driveway before you leave home, the American Trucking Associations report in a recent news release.

1. Prepare your vehicle for long distance travel

Check your wipers and fluids. Have your radiator and cooling system serviced. Simple maintenance before you leave home can prevent many of the problems that strand motorists on the side of the road.

2. Properly inflate your tires

Properly inflated tires can save you up to four percent in fuel mileage, while under and over inflation can lead to tire failure. Ensure that you routinely check your tire pressure.

3. Drive the speed limit

Lower speeds not only save money at the pump, they also make you safer on the road. By maintaining a constant moderate speed, drivers can save up to 30 percent on fuel and are better able to react to road conditions and other drivers—so slow down!

4. Large Trucks Have Blind Spots

Be aware that tractor-trailers have large areas around their trucks where other vehicles are not visible. If you can’t see the truck driver in his or her mirrors, then the truck driver is unable to see you. Keep in mind that this applies also to large recreational vehicles, especially Class A motorhomes.

5. Keep extra water in your vehicle

A summer road trip is still the best way to see America, see its natural wonders, national parks and monuments, historic sites, and big-name tourist attractions. Pictured above is Ocmulee National Monument, near Macon, Georgia. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Just as you keep a winter driving kit on board, it is important to be prepared when driving during the summer months. Keep plenty of extra water, sunscreen, and non-perishable snacks in your vehicle in case you’re stranded.

6. Wait until parked to use cell phones

Driver distraction is a major cause of traffic accidents. Even just two seconds of distraction time doubles the chances of an accident.

7. Do not cut in front of large trucks and RVs

Since trucks and recreational vehicles are heavier than cars and take longer to come to a complete stop, avoid cutting quickly in front of them.

8. Honor the Right of Way

Keep in mind that highway traffic has the right of way On entrance ramps; maintain proper speed, using smooth merging techniques, and don’t slow down in front of a large rig.

9. Road side emergency

Understand that big trucks cannot always stop to assist you, but most will use their radios to contact the police or highway patrol if they see you are in trouble.

10. Save fuel

To save fuel, take direct routes, minimize side trips, and maintain a steady speed. Also, a well-tuned engine, properly inflated tires, and reduced speed will result in noticeable fuel savings.

The America’s Road Team would like to remind the motoring public that from driveway to highway, safety requires patience and dedication.

Details

Remember that safety is no accident! © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The America’s Road Team, sponsored by Volvo Trucks North America, is a national public outreach program led by a small group of professional truck drivers who share superior driving skills, remarkable safety records, and a strong desire to spread the word about safety on the highway.

The American Trucking Associations is the largest national trade association for the trucking industry. Through a federation of other trucking groups, industry-related conferences, and its 50 affiliated state trucking associations, ATA represents more than 37,000 members covering every type of motor carrier in the United States.

Worth Pondering…
Take time to see the special in the ordinary this weekend. Every sunset is a gift.

Speed was high

Weather was hot

Tires were thin

X marks the spot

BURMA SHAVE

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If you enjoy these articles and want to read more on RV travels and lifestyle, visit my website: Vogel Talks RVing.

Comments

2 Responses to “10 Ways to Stay Safe & Save Fuel this Summer”
  1. butterbean carpenter says:

    Howdy RV,

    Thatz a lot of good advice there, boy. How slow should you go?? I only go 50-55 now !! everybody honks at me now.. If I slow down more I’ll be backing up traffic clear to Hoboken !!!! My tires are flat
    My motors bad, If I go any slower, Someone will climb in my back seat…

    Smooth roads, clear skies & balmy breezes !!!!!!!!!

  2. Joe Herbig says:

    Butterbean, I wish more drivers think and act like you. My rig shifts into high gear at 56 MPH, so 60 MPH is a good speed for my DP.

    Rex, been there, done this. 15 years OTR Owner/Operator, 1 mil accident free mile experience. Thanks for the many good point in your article.

    Be save n’ get there…

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