Spring is Motorcycle Season!

Written by: on March 17th, 2015

What a winter this has been for most of the country. Record snow falls and arctic temperatures that seemed to last forever have us all dreaming about replacing our snow suits with shorts and t-shirts and escaping outside to enjoy our favorite spring activities.

A sure sign of spring is the appearance of large numbers of motorcyclists on the road. There are over eight million registered motorcycles in the U.S. and when the snow melts, these riders ride! Between the months of April and October, the spike in cyclists on our nation’s highways and secondary roads is staggering. Concurrently, the number of motorcycle-related accidents rises proportionately. Federal studies reveal that the number of fatalities on motorcycles was over 30 times the number reported in cars. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the Highway Loss Data Institute report that in 2013, the most recent year from which statistics are available, 4,381 motorcyclists lost their lives in crashes.

Roughly three-fourths of all motorcycle accidents involve collisions with another vehicle and the most common reason given by motorists is their failure to see and recognize motorcycles in traffic. It has also been statistically recorded that in two-thirds of these accidents, the vehicle driver violated the motorcyclist’s right-of-way. The most frequent locations of these collisions are intersections.

Because of a motorcycle’s narrow profile, it can easily be hidden in a vehicle’s blind spot, or masked by objects or backgrounds outside the vehicle, such as bushes, fences, trees or bridges. Additionally, a motorcycle’s small size may make it look farther away than it really is and it’s often difficult to judge a motorcycle’s speed.

 

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Motorists and motorcyclists share the responsibility for safety on the road. Whether you’re driving a truck, car, motorcycle or even a bicycle, remember to keep an eye out for one another. As a truck driver, you know the importance of the basics; keep your eyes high and keep your eyes moving. Maintain your focus and pay attention to proper spacing. At intersections, make eye contact with other drivers before proceeding and always use turn signals. If you roll off the throttle, tap your brakes or ride them enough to engage the brake lights.

Remember: “Look twice and save a life.” When driving, look, signal, and then look again before making a lane change. Check your mirrors and give the other guy time to clear your blind spot if they’re in it. Change lanes gradually. And always keep in mind, that an object as small as a pencil in your line of vision can prevent you from seeing a motorcycle.

Finally, if you yourself enjoy the pleasure of taking to the open road on a motorcycle and you live in a state that doesn’t require you to wear a helmet, consider wearing one anyway. Data indicates that in almost 69 percent of all cases, a helmet prevented or reduced head injury sustained by the rider.

 

Let’s all take a little extra care so that everyone is able to get out and enjoy all the activities that spring has to offer!  

 

What is your favorite spring hobby? Do you ride a motorcycle? Share your stories with us at www.facebook.com/ConwayTruckload.

 

 

 

 

Spring Safety Review

Written by: on March 16th, 2015

Good bye winter and hello spring! While we are happy to see the winter season come to an end, spring brings its own set of challenges. Safety on the road extends beyond the wheel, being aware of the weather around you is also a key component in being a safe driver.  With March being the start of tornado season for most of the country it’s important to review some safety tips to practice in dangerous weather conditions.

Mar. Scott Powell

Be Prepared

Investing in a NOAA Weather Radio will help keep you informed on changing weather conditions 24 hours, 7 days a week. Each state and county has different storm siren policies, by investing in a NOAA radio you will have the most current information available to you. The National Weather Service broadcasts weather warnings, watches, forecasts and other hazard information. They also work in conjunction with the Federal, State and Local Emergency Managers and other public officials to broadcast environmental emergencies as well, such as chemical releases or oil spills. NOAA radios can be purchased at most electronic stores and cost anywhere from $10-$60.

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Noaa all hazards“. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikipedia.

Be Alert

Being alert is your best defense on the road. During the spring and summer month’s small thunderstorms can change to a supercell thunderstorm in an instant. Like most thunderstorms, they form when warm, wet air rises and meets the cold and dry air above it. The warmer the rising air, the stronger the storm it creates. While common thunderstorm cells can be several miles wide and extend around seven miles into the sky, a supercell thunderstorm can raise up to 11 miles into the atmosphere. Knowing this, it’s important to have a plan while on the road. Ideally, a truck stop would be the best place to go for shelter, but that’s not always an option. Get out, get down and cover up. Hail, wind and heavy rain will be the biggest threat. Choose a place that offers protection and if possible, a low lying area like a ditch or culvert. Highway overpasses are not shelters. The most common time for bad weather to strike is in the evening around 5:35 p.m.

 

Be Cautious

While on the road driving in bad weather is sometimes unavoidable, but being mindful of the situation around you is one thing you can control. Be cautious and know the difference between a watch and warning. A watch means that the conditions are favorable for a tornado, a warning means that a tornado has been spotted on the ground. Knowing the difference could save your life and possibly those around you. If you have to drive 20mph because it’s raining too hard, you might consider pulling over. Storms typically move between 35-50 mph, so chances are pulling over and waiting it out is the safest option. After the obvious danger passes, the biggest concern then is flash flooding. It takes about six inches of running water to knock you off your feet and about three feet to knock over a semi-truck. The safest practice is to turn around or if you are already in the middle of water, abandon ship. There is no such thing as being too cautious. Trust your instinct and take it seriously.

True2Blue $7 Challenge Winners

Written by: on March 9th, 2015

Eating healthy can be challenging in itself, but eating healthy on the road presents a whole different set of challenges. When tempted by the convenience of fast food or truck stops it almost seems impossible to maintain a healthy lifestyle when you’re always on the go.

For the month of February we decided to give our drivers a challenge. The True2Blue $7 Challenge challenged our drivers not only to eat healthy, but eat healthy for $7 or less. Drivers could upload a picture of their meal and receipt on Facebook or upload a picture via Instagram using the hashtag #True2Blue7. Yesterday was the final day to enter and we want to thank you everyone who participated! From pizza to soup, you guys were nothing short of creative. Don’t let the end of the contest be the end of your healthy habits. Now that you know it can be done, there should be nothing stopping you.

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Now to the fun part – announcing the winners!

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Congratulations to April Rankin, Joe Fulton, Lori Gibbons, Mariana Storm, Randy Newman, Shelley Johnson and Victor Martinez.

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