Tips for Truck Drivers on Unfamiliar Roads
Getting to explore new cities and towns as you drive across the country is one of the perks of being a long haul truck driver. But even trucking pros can get lost and that confusion can put you in a tight spot. A Large Truck Crash Causation Study said 22% of large-truck crashes happened when truck drivers were unfamiliar with their roads and highways. But here are some easy tips you can use to help you prevent a crash when you’re driving on unfamiliar roads.
Plan Before You Hit the Road
Plan your route before you get behind the wheel. This will help you stick to your schedule, so you can deliver your load on time. You’ll also prevent distractions like trying to read a map or looking down at your GPS. If you have to check your directions, pull safely to the side of the road or stop and take a break.
If you’re hauling hazardous materials, remember to carry a written copy of your route plan. Most states might also have route restrictions or designated routes you need to follow, so make sure to do your research and plan ahead. If you’re hauling Division 1.1, 1.2 or 1.3 explosives, you’re required to follow your planned route.
If you miss a turn or an exit, don’t try to exit suddenly. Pass the turn and find a safe way to get back on your route. If you try to suddenly correct a missed turn or exit, you could confuse other drivers around you and put yourself in an unsafe situation.
Use Your Turn Signal
Turn signals help you communicate with other drivers around you. If you’re trying to make a turn or change lanes, first, use your turn signal to show you want to make a lane change, then look for any nearby traffic or road hazards. Once you’re sure the road is clear and it’s safe, you can change lanes. Giving those around you plenty of notice puts you in a safer position.
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