Safe Driving Tips for the Fourth of July

The 4th of July is right around the corner, and that means many things -- delicious cookouts with family and friends, fireworks, possibly a day off work, and of course, lots of traffic. The week of Independence Day is a popular travel week for Americans, causing bumper to bumper traffic and highway delays. With so many people out on the road, it's important to remember some safe driving tips for sharing the road with trucks. Whether you're a truck driver or a car driver, these tips can benefit everyone and help keep the roadways safe on this popular travel day.

Avoid Truck Blind Spots

One thing many cars don't consider when they're sharing the highway with big trucks is that semis have larger blind spots. Passenger vehicles need to make a conscious effort to ensure they're not driving along in one of trucks' four blind spots. These blind spots are located in front of the engine, behind the trailer, and along both sides of the trailer. If you're driving in one of these areas, you could get rear-ended, sideswiped, or experience an underride -- all very dangerous accidents that are entirely preventable as long as you're aware of a truck's blind spots.

Don't Cut Off Trucks

Many passenger cars are unaware just how long it takes a semi to stop and will cut in front of trucks for any number of reasons:  they don't want to get stuck behind a slow moving vehicle, they don't consider how long it takes a truck to stop...This is a really bad idea as it takes 18-wheelers twice the distance to stop as cars. If you zip in front of a truck without much room, guess where that truck is probably going to go? Yep -- into your bumper. A good rule of thumb is to wait until you can see the entire truck in your rearview mirror before getting in front of it.

Avoid Distactions

In 2010, distraction contributed to 9/10 fatal crashes. With so much traffic on the road, it's safe to say you'll see distracted drivers (possibly even intoxicated drivers, in which case, report them!). Do your best to drive defensively and react accordingly if you see people texting or engaging in other distracted driving. Furthermore, don't engage in any distracted driving yourself! There will already be enough distraction just by dealing with all the people on the road -- don't make the highways more dangerous by texting friends while driving.  It can wait.

View all 10 Tips for Sharing the Road here.


Those trucks you see out on the road when you're coming home from your family pool party/barbecue? These truckers are out there on a holiday so that others can have burgers and dogs at their cookouts. These truck drivers are away from their own friends and family to provide the very goods purchased for cookouts accorss the country. Remember to show them a little respect on the road. Keep these 10 safe driving tips in mind, and you'll sure make their job a whole lot easier!

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(Image credit: Tim Hamilton, Flickr)

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