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3 Trucking Tips for Spring Break Safety

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Spring break is coming…along with the increased risk of traffic incidents. Whether you’re hauling interstate or intrastate, here are 3 important tips for staying safe on the road. 

Why the Increased Risk?

  • More People 

During spring break, there are simply more drivers on the road.  Especially this year.  After being pummeled by this harsh winter, many folks from the northern states are anxious to load up and bolt south for some southern sun.  This means that many routes will be extra crowded, both in the destination cities themselves and on the roads to-and-from.  

  • More Alcohol 

According to the CDC, alcohol-related vehicle accidents tend to skyrocket during spring break.  In fact, compared to other times of the year, the death toll due to alcohol consumption increases by 23%

  • More Distractions

And of course, spring break travelers usually aren’t alone.  Even if they’re not impaired by alcohol or other substances, drivers may face distractions from other passengers, music, phones, food, etc.  Families traveling with small children also tend to be distracted, tired, and generally impatient.  

Check out the CDC’s website for additional Spring Break Safety tips and stats.

How to Stay Safe During Spring Break

To safely navigate the spring break season, it’s important to be diligent with your safety standards.

  • 1. Maintain Your Rig

Ensure all mirrors, lights, horn, and signals are in proper working order. Inspect and maintain brakes and brakes systems. Make sure your pre-trip inspection is complete and any issues of repair are addressed and remedied.  No matter how many times you’ve done it, don’t let this important process become routine.

  • 2. Mind the Gap

Did you know that 5% of truck crashes occur when the commercial vehicle follows a lead vehicle too closely? This spring break, review the guidelines for maintaining a safe following distance at all times. The FMSCA recommends keeping 4 seconds between your rig and the vehicle in front of you while traveling at or below 40mph. Over 40mph, add 1 additional second.  And in bad weather of any kind, you must double your following distance so you can stop safely if needed. More space allows for more reaction time - adding seconds can save lives.

  • 3. Report Unsafe Driving

Keep your eyes peeled - if you see dangerous driving, report it. The FMCSA offers a reporting tool for unsafe CDL drivers.  But when it comes to reporting dangerous non-commercial drivers on the road, it’s best to call 911.  So, yeah, that car overflowing with students with the music blaring, weaving in and out of traffic at 80 mph? It needs to be reported. If you can, safely get the plate number or a general description of the car, and call 911 to report the incident.

And finally, remember that even the safest and most experienced drivers can have accidents. If you or your company is facing a legal claim due to a trucking accident, Murphy Legal is ready to defend you. To learn more about our passion for the trucking industry, please reach out by calling us at (979) 690-0800 or contact us.

If you need assistance in an emergency, call our 24-Hour Emergency Hotline at 979-209-2173. We’re here to help.

Be sure to check our Refuel blog series for additional resources and information about rig and driver safety.  Click here to sign up for our newsletter covering a wide variety of topics to help protect owner-operators and trucking companies from liability in the event of an accident.