Rush Hour Safety Tips for Truck Drivers
As a refrigerated transport company traveling countless large cities across the United States, the J.S. Helwig & Son team knows a thing or two about traffic. One of the worst times for a truck driver to be on the road is during rush hour. The lights are slow, roads are overly crowded and drivers just want to be off the road and at home. This combination of items often leads to reckless driving and accidents. Simply put – rush hour can be a nightmare. Drivers can alleviate some stress by following these simple rush hour safety tips.
Simple Safety Tips for Heavy Traffic
Rush hour in many major cities is the hour before and after “common” work hours, translating to 7-8AM and 5-6PM. If you are a truck driver, you know heavy traffic is not easy during these hours. Truckers have to deal with more cars on the road, as well as road work, road closures, wrecks and weather in an unfamiliar area.
If possible, it is best to avoid rush hour traffic altogether. Many truck drivers try to plan their daily routes around the busiest times so they are able to avoid the major cities. This often leads to drivers approaching a city well before or after commuters are on the road.
If truckers must drive in traffic, it is best done with rest beforehand. The stress of rush hour is usually lessened when a driver is alert and focused.
Truck drivers can also follow these tips when stuck in heavy traffic:
- Use the radio, internet or smartphone apps to find out about weather and traffic advisories before you approach a major city.
- Do what makes you feel safe. If you want to pull over to find a different route or to wait at a rest stop, you are encouraged to do so.
- In rush hour traffic, drive in a way that leaves time and space between you and other drivers.
- Follow the flow of traffic and minimize lane changes. Typically the best way to handle rush hour traffic is to stay in the middle or right lane.
- Always pay attention to blind spots and signal before changing lanes or turning.
- Apply brakes smoothly, never all of a sudden.
- Keep an eye on anything unusual. Never engage with aggressive drivers or get involved with a situation that seems unsafe.
- Be more alert if it is dark outside or if the weather is bad.
- Give yourself extra time to get where you need to be. If you feel you are running behind or late, it is easy to become frustrated and make poor driving decisions.
The entire team at J.S. Helwig & Son emphasizes safety. We want all drivers to feel safe and secure while on the road, especially during heavy traffic. We hope these rush hour safety tips serve as a good reminder for all truck drivers. Remember to always remain safe!