A record number of travelers are expected to travel the holidays this year, buoyed by higher wages and additional disposable income. According to AAA, more than 54 million Americans traveled farther than 50 miles from home during the Thanksgiving holiday, with more expected during the Christmas break. Maintaining safety on the roads is a shared responsibility of all drivers. Since 1927, safety has been the guiding principle for all Volvo Trucks innovations, like the three-point safety belt, and standard features like the driver-side airbag, effective LED lighting, full roll stability and collision mitigation technologies.
“Safety is in Volvo Trucks’ DNA and has been a top priority from Day One,” said Magnus Koeck, vice president of marketing and brand management for Volvo Trucks North America. “We are committed to helping keep the nation’s roads safe, which starts by equipping our trucks with comprehensive lineup of passive and active safety features. These features translate to enhanced protection for the professional driver at the wheel and extended to surrounding vehicles, which is particularly important at high-traffic times during the holidays.”
In addition to offering innovative technologies to help improve roadway safety, Volvo Trucks is offering some recommendations to help motorists remain safe during the holiday travel season.
- Consider planning your route ahead of time. Construction and general traffic congestion are inevitable. Take a look at your route before hitting the road to see if an alternate route may be effective to avoid extended delays. Drivers should also research when roads are expected to be especially busy – AAA provides such details for large cities. Late afternoons are typically expected to have an influx of traffic with people leaving work a little early to get a head start for their trip.
- Avoid driving while fatigued. Driving tired is just as dangerous for short trips as it is for extended drive times. Make sure to take breaks every two hours to get up and move around. If needed, pull over to rest and make sure you get a good night’s sleep before hitting the road.
- Carefully manage stress. The holiday season is notorious for causing stress and can negatively impact driving habits. Try to avoid mental distractions while driving, stay calm and do not rush, even in traffic jams.
- Be aware of the presence of deer during the holiday season. Numerous studies have shown October to December sees more than double the amount of accidents caused by deer. Dusk to dawn are the most dangerous times for drivers. With many drivers headed out on trips late in the afternoon, it is crucial to be extra cautious and know how to safely handle a deer encounter. For instance, it is important to avoid swerving – brake as definitively as possible.
While the trucking industry is undergoing numerous transformations, including electronic logging device (ELD) mandates and hours-of-service regulations, Volvo Trucks is a consistent, driving force focused on the safety and well-being of all motorists. That impact is demonstrated by the company’s Zero Accident Vision and new technologies such as Volvo Active Driver Assist.
Now standard on all VNR and VNL models, Volvo Active Driver Assist is always operating while the vehicle is in motion. Delivering warnings up to 3.5 seconds before a potential impact with a vehicle, the technology helps drivers effectively adjust and react to ever-changing traffic conditions. Drivers receive visual and audible alerts for situations like lane departure, as well as a red warning light reflection on the windshield if a forward collision is possible. It specifically disengages cruise if needed, engages the engine brake, downshifts and reduces the throttle. The safety feature couples camera and radar technology, so if an object is not picked up on the radar, the windshield’s mounted camera has a 42 degree viewing angle that detects lane position and crucial characteristics of an object nearby.