Driving in heavy traffic brings higher risks for the driver of any vehicle. For truckers, though, these risks are amplified even further. This is why it is best to avoid high traffic congestion if possible. Planning your trip ahead of time and taking into account traffic, weather, and other route conditions to steer clear of high-risk situations is ideal. However, if you do get caught in high volume traffic, it is important to take the right precautions. The greater the traffic volume, the greater the chance of an accident. Here are 6 tips for safely maneuvering the unique challenges of trucking in traffic.
- Slow down
Speed limits on highways—especially around curves and ramps—are better suited for cars, not semi-trucks. On congested roads, it is vital to reduce speeds around corners and ramps. While cars may be frustrated, your safety is the top priority. Avoid a rollover accident at all costs!
- Stay calm
It is also crucial to remain relaxed and keep a level head in stressful traffic situations. Take care of yourself and ensure that you are maintaining healthy sleeping and eating habits.
- Be aware of your surroundings
When operating a large vehicle in traffic, you must be aware of everything around you. Keep in mind your space cushion and stopping distance. How much space is in front you? How much space is behind you? Be sure to constantly monitor your blind spots and remember that cars are often not aware of these spots. Make sure to prevent distracted and fatigued driving so you can remain alert and aware.
- Try not to change lanes
Changing lanes is one of the more dangerous things a truck can do in high traffic. If possible, avoid changing lanes. However, if you must, be predictable and make sure the cars around you are aware of what you are doing.
- Expect the unexpected
By now, you have to expect cars acting in unexpected ways. Car drivers get frustrated on congested highways and can recklessly weave between lanes. You have to be ready to get unexpectedly cut off on the highway.
While it is best to avoid high volume traffic, take extra precautions and use these tips if you find yourself driving through it. For more information and tips, visit our blog, and check back monthly for more news and updates on the trucking industry.