Happy Holidays and a Safe and Prosperous New Year!

By this time we are all recovering from the Thanksgiving feast and, hopefully, you have had some great time with your family and friends. For most of us, as Willie Nelson so eloquently put it, it’s “on the road again,” packing up and delivering the holiday gifts, decorations and food that make this season so special. We need to remind ourselves and others that without you doing the driving, the holiday season would be pretty bleak and the economy would come to a screeching halt. The professional driver literally “drives” the economy and prosperity we enjoy in this great nation and there is not a better transportation system in the world. So, thanks to all the men and women who drive safely and professionally so that we can continue to enjoy another wonderful holiday season.

This is a joyous time of year, but also a dangerous time for those that make their living on the streets and highways. There is an old cowboy saying, “this ain’t my first rodeo,” and this isn’t our first holiday season, so remember the added hazards. Some drivers try to achieve too much trip in a short amount of time, causing them to drive while impaired by fatigue and to speed to arrive at their destination—neither of which is worth the accident that could occur. These drivers have vehicles loaded with presents, luggage, children and pets, sometimes with articles tied to the top of the vehicle or pulling a loaded trailer. You can expect these drivers to make unexpected moves on the road. Give them extra driving room and help them get to where they are going safely.

Be cautious of holiday decorations. Holiday colors tend to be red and green, the same as traffic signals. Holiday decorations can confuse even the most careful driver in urban areas. This is the season for festive parties, which sometimes involve the consumption of adult beverages. Be cautious of drivers that may be alcohol-or drug-impaired and report them to the authorities; they are a real threat to you and everyone else on the highway. Nonprofessional drivers are prone to drive while being distracted by cell phones, texting, computers and other media devices, and many are driving while being distracted by their GPS and seldom look at the road. Distracted drivers account for over 25% of traffic accidents.

During this time of year, take care of yourself. Sometimes delivery schedules are tight, but do not put yourself at risk just to make the schedule. Allow for extra time for the run and expect delays this time of year. Take breaks and time them to stay out of peak traffic times.

Be especially cautious around shopping malls and other areas where traffic is heavier. Keep yourself and your vehicle in safe operating condition and always keep a close watch on weather and road conditions.

Trucks driving on a snow covered road

Drive safely.
Drive responsibly.
Drive professionally.

Have a happy holiday season and thank you for what you do.

The information contained in this report was obtained from sources which, to the best of the writer’s knowledge, are authentic and reliable. Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. makes no guarantee of results and assumes no liability in connection with either the information herein contained, or the safety suggestions herein made. Moreover, it cannot be assumed that every acceptable safety procedure is contained herein, or that abnormal or unusual circumstances may not warrant or require further or additional procedures.