Over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house we go ….
Whatever your version of this song is, very few people are taking a horse and sleigh “over the river” anymore, and many would be taxing their horses’ abilities because they live so far away from family! Today’s reality is that with more than 93 million people traveling, which approaches a 2006 record, folks will have to be patient with each other. “AAA expects 84.4 million people to travel by car more than 50 miles from home at the height of the season,” which officially started last Saturday and lasts through Jan. 1, 2013, according to the USA Today article.
Nebraska and Iowa still have snow on the ground while recovering from last week’s blizzard. So the roads will be even more treacherous to drive in the next few days because of weather conditions. It always bears repeating that especially during the holidays, folks should take extra time, drive defensively, and watch out for the other driver. This blog post written by firm owner Rod Rehm last year includes tips on How to Stay Safe on Snowy Roads, which will definitely be useful for the current conditions.
But there is another group of dedicated people who I think holiday drivers take for granted and don’t always respect for the professionals they are: truckers. These two groups on Facebook, Land Line Magazine – The Official Publication of OOIDA, and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration both recently shared the following blog post from the United States Department of Transportation: It’s not a holiday for everyone; America’s freight never stops moving. A quote from Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator Anne Ferro from the blog post said it very well, I thought, and was exactly the concern on which I wanted to focus when I started writing today’s blog post.
“Let’s give these drivers back a gift we can all live with. When driving near a large truck, please keep out of their ‘no- zones,’ the areas alongside or behind a truck where the driver can’t see your car. Letting them see your vehicle will help all of us stay a little safer this holiday, and every day,” Ferro said.
And I would add that in addition to being a safer way to travel, it also is a way to be respectful of the good job that the vast majority of truckers do day in and day out to deliver their loads to us for our convenience and consumption. This is often at risk to themselves and their work also keeps them away from their families for weeks or months at a time.
So because we all want to get home safely to family, please be careful and take care traveling wherever you’re headed. And a special thank you to all, truckers, nurses, first responders and folks in other occupations who can’t be with their families because they are serving the public and keeping us safe. Have a great holiday season and safe 2013!