Pets are often considered family members and travel with us in our vehicles. As with children or anything else not safely strapped in, they too can be injured or cause injury to other passengers in the vehicle. There are a number of safety harnesses for pets that can be used in conjuction with the existing seatbelts in the vehicle.
Road Safety Tips to Share the Road With Trucks
- Trucks are not equipped with the same energy absorsing bumpers as cars. When a car is hit from behind by a truck the results are too often deadly.
- Stay out of the blind spots: Truck drivers have huge blind spots around the front, back and sides of the truck. Because of a truck's size, truck drivers must react faster than car drivers in emergency situations. If faced with a potential front-end collision, the truck driver may turn into your lane not knowing you are there.
- Avoid tailgating: Some large trucks are almost as wide as the lane in which you may be driving. If you are driving too close behind one you are prevented from reacting effectively to changing traffic conditions. If you are too close to the rear of a truck and traffic slows down on the highway, or debris in the road you won't notice it until there is a braking emergency. If there is a problem ahead, your first hint will be the truck's brake lights. But if you happen to be distracted or tired, you may not be able to react in time. If you hit the rear of a truck you'll soon learn that trucks are unforgiving. There are no impact-absorbing bumpers, and the metal bumpers they have may not align with yours. So be smart and give yourself plenty of room.
- Wear your seat belt: Buckling up your seat belt is the single most important thing you can do to save your life in a crash. A seat belt will keep you in your seat and help you to maintain control of your vehicle. The safest place for children is in the backseat, buckled up or preferably in a car or booster seat. Be safe and always buckle up!
- Beware of emergency lanes: A large number of people were killed or injured in emergency lane collisions last year. If you break down or pull over into the emergency lane, it is important to understand that you are in a very unsafe position both for yourself and your passengers. It is preferable to pull over as far as possible off the road. When a parked vehicle in an emergency lane is struck by a moving car, the damage suffered by both vehicles is severe. When the moving vehicle is a truck, weighing as much as 25 cars, the result more often than not is fatal. Avoid emergency lanes whenever possible. Try to exit from the highway, even if it costs you a tyre or rim. If you cannot exit, consider whether you are safer inside or away from the vehicle. Your decision could save your life.
- The Road Safety Foundation believes that professional truck drivers can play their part in reducing accidents or incidents. Many professional drivers have millions of kilometers of driving experience, which in one sense may be a positive factor in other areas it is negative as many drivers (including light motor vehicle drivers) have developed bad habits and these are hard to break.
- It is safe to say that many commercial motor vehicle crashes occur due to errors in judgment by car drivers operating around large trucks. Unfortunately, when these crashes occur they reflect poorly on the road freight industry, regardless of who caused the collision, says the Road Safety Foundation.
- Anger and road rage often results in accidents. It is of vital importance that professional drivers to be cognizant of their speed, blind spots and other factors that could cause anger amongst other road users. For example, a truck overtaking another truck on a rise when faster vehicles are approaching. This leads to a level of annoyance that brings about irrational and unsafe behaviour by those drivers who do not take kindly to being slowed down.
- Fasten your seatbelt: If you are in a crash, a seat belt will save your life. It will keep you in your seat and assist you to maintain control of your truck. Buckling up and using seat belts is still the single most effective thing we can do to save lives and reduce injuries on our roads.
- Always drive defensively: Avoid aggressive drivers and maintain a safe speed. Plan your journey in advance, identify accident hot spots and adapt your driving style to suit the weather conditions, traffic patterns and terrain. Two-thirds of all traffic fatalities may be caused by aggressive driving behaviour. Keep your distance and maintain a safe speed. The only thing excessive speed increases is your chance for a crash. According to the Road Safety Foundation, driver behaviour, courtesy and consideration remain the single most important factors in sharing the roads responsibly and saving lives. It is up to each one of us, as road users, to make sure that we are doing everything possible to minimise the risk of accidents.