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Safe Driving Tips For Labor Day Weekend

The Connecticut DMV has these do's and don'ts if you are on the road over the long weekend.

A press release from the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles:

With the start of the Labor Day weekend Friday motorists need to be extra careful and pay more close attention to the increased hazards on roadways with more vehicles on the road. 

Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Melody A. Currey urged operators of all motor vehicles to observe three basic safe-driving precautions: follow some common sense rules; don't hang in the No-Zone around large commercial trucks and limit stress so that any tendencies toward aggressive driving do not erupt.

"As we begin this last summer weekend of heavy travel, drivers need to operate their vehicles much more defensively than usual because more vehicles on the roadways will increase the potential for accidents," Commissioner Currey said.

Some Common Sense Rules

"It’s always a good idea to prepare for your trip, check the vehicle that you will be driving and follow some pretty basic rules," Commissioner Currey said.

• Prepare for your trip before going.  Check the basic functions of your vehicle to ensure they are working properly.

• Get a good night's rest before leaving. Avoid driving when you are tired, stressed or worried. Take a break from driving every few hours.

• Buckle your seat belt.

• Allow for delays during peak travel times or inclement weather.

• Avoid traveling too close to large vehicles and be especially careful during rainy periods to keep far enough away from the constant spray of water from their tires.

• Do not attempt to travel on the shoulder of the roadway.

• If your vehicle becomes disabled, turn on your hazard flasher lights and either call the state police or await for their routine patrol to arrive. Note the location of the vehicle, using the green and white mile marker signs on the right shoulder, when giving directions to find you.

Don't Hang in the No-Zone

Commissioner Currey also pointed to some other guidelines to follow for passenger vehicles traveling alongside large commercial trucks. The size and weight of large trucks requires these trucks to have more time to stop and more room to maneuver.

Never drive directly behind or on the right side of a truck as you are not visible to the driver. When driving on the left side, remember - if you cannot see the driver's head in his or her side view mirror, then you are in a blind spot, otherwise known as the truck’s “No-Zone.”

Aggressive Driving

In addition to some truck safety precautions, the Commissioner also warned that motorists should be aware of aggressive driving or "road rage.

There are solutions to the problem, but most of them come from within each of us.  Here are some helpful tips to remember:

• Leave punishment to the police and call authorities to report any instances of aggressive driving when you arrive at your destination.

• Don't compete on the road, but let others who want to get ahead pass you.

• If another driver does something to anger you, talk to your passengers about it rather than use your vehicle as a weapon to retaliate.

• If you get angry easily and really don't want to be taking a trip somewhere, postpone the trip until you feel better about driving to your destination.

• Give the offender the benefit of the doubt - most likely he or she make a mistake from fatigue or failing to pay attention, but did not intentionally set out to cause a problem for you.

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