The American Trucking Associations (ATA) and the professional drivers that make up its Share the Road highway safety program urged motorists this week to be cautious around potholes.
“The trucking industry knows our network of highways continues to show signs of age and wear and tear every day, so when poor winter weather magnifies problems with our roads and bridges, safety has to be our biggest priority,” said ATA President and CEO Bill Graves.
“Professional truck drivers know the hazards associated with potholes because they see it in their daily work — cars sitting on the side of the road, blown tires creating unsafe conditions and traffic congestion slowing the movement of freight.”
A recent study released by AAA estimates that potholes cost drivers more than $3 billion annually. The costs come in the form of bent wheels, blown tires and suspension damage and, over the past five years, have impacted more than 16 million drivers.
“Potholes can cause extensive damage to your vehicle and create unsafe conditions for everyone on the road,” said Share the Road Professional Truck Driver Byron Bramwell (YRC Freight). “This time of year, it’s important that all drivers maintain safe following distances and go over potholes slowly so that the holes don’t get worse.”
ATA continues to call on lawmakers at every level of government — federal, state and local — to fully fund infrastructure repairs, and urges all drivers to stay safe by remaining alert and paying attention to potholes in their communities.
Share the Road Professional Truck Drivers are elite drivers with millions of accident-free miles. The drivers offered these tips in order to keep your family safe and avoid unnecessary car maintenance costs when faced with potholes:
Slow Down: If unable to fully avoid a pothole, it’s best to go over it slowly. Do not veer into other driving lanes to avoid potholes. Reducing your speed can prevent damage to your car and keep the pothole from expanding.
Report Potholes: Many cities and states have pothole reporting hotlines. One phone call could help create safer conditions for fellow motorists.
Buckle up: Safety belts reduce the risk of fatal injury by 45 percebt and are a simple way to increase your safety on the road. If traveling with any children, make sure they too are properly secured.
Properly secure every item in your vehicle: Try to suitably secure all objects and do not place anything on your lap or near the driver’s side floor. A pothole can cause improperly secured items to slide under the brake pedal and prevent you from stopping.
Be aware of the vehicle in front of you: Leave extra room between you and the vehicle in front to avoid asphalt from potholes that might kick up into your windshield.
Be aware of truck blind spots: When sharing the road with large trucks, be aware of their blind spots. If you can’t see the truck driver in his or her mirrors, then the truck driver can’t see you. Keep in mind that trucks will do their best at safely avoiding potholes.
Keep your eyes on the road: Distracted driving is a major cause of traffic accidents, and can keep you from avoiding potholes in your path. Two seconds of distracted driving creates unsafe conditions. Use your cell phone when stopped and never text while driving.