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Truckers offer safety tips for Labor Day driving

While Hurricane Hermine might make the start of Labor Day weekend kind of soggy for some travelers through the state, the Virginia Trucking Association wants to make sure that motorists avoid accidents this holiday.

Below are some safety tips for drivers to employ:

-- Don't set out without conducting a pre-trip inspection of fluid levels, tire pressure and making sure that routine maintenance tasks have been carried out.

-- Check the weather reports for the areas where you will be traveling through as well as your final destination. If the storm in Florida tracks east and brings wet weather to Virginia, be on the alert for detours and closed roads.

-- Have a plan in mind. Plot your course ahead of time and be aware of the exits. Indecision behind the wheel can lead to wrecks.

-- Never ride in trucks' blind spots -- when you can't see the trucker in the truck's mirrors, realize he also cannot see you.

-- Ditch distracted driving. Focus on driving and the road ahead of you. Let passengers deal with cellphones and radio stations.

-- Don't cut in front of 18-wheelers, as their weight and size requires far greater distance for them to stop. When fully loaded, a tractor trailer takes as far as the whole length of a football field along with the end zones to stop at highway speeds.

-- Allow room for safety by looking a quarter of a mile ahead for hazards and obstructions in the road. Mentally search for escape routes in emergencies.

-- Don't speed; your crash risk triples at higher speeds.

-- Don't move the car until all passengers are securely belted in their seats, including children in their car seats.

-- Never drink and drive or ride with those who do.

While following the rules of the road will keep you safer, there is never a guarantee an accident won't occur. If you get injured due to a negligent or intoxicated driver, don't take the law into your own hands. Utilize the Virginia civil court system to bring them to justice.

Source: Augusta Free Press, LLC, "Professional drivers offer safe driving tips for Labor Day travel," accessed Sep. 02, 2016

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