As things start to return to normal while states begin to open back up, there is a noticeable amount of additional traffic on the roads again. Drivers in the transportation industry will need to re-adjust to increased traffic, but also to the influx of drivers who haven’t been on the road for a while so their driving skills may not be as sharp. Defensive driving techniques are more important than ever and below are some quick reminders for drivers to safeguard themselves and their deliveries.
Keep Your Eyes Always Scanning
- Always be watching at least one block ahead while in the city, and up the next mile if in the country.
- Take extra attention to watch for pedestrians, motorcycles, bicyclists, especially if driving your truck in the city.
- Check your mirrors and blindspots frequently and scan conditions 20 to 30 seconds ahead of you.
- Never let a distraction take our eyes off the road, especially texting or use of a mobile device while driving.
Recognize Potential Hazards Ahead of Time
- Watch for brake lights and be aware of cars unexpectedly slowing.
- Recognize vehicles approaching at high speeds or parked vehicles that could be hazards.
- Do not depend on other drivers and be considerate of others but look out for yourself. Do not assume another driver is going to move out of the way or allow you to merge.
- If a vehicle is showing signs of aggressive driving, slow down or pull over to avoid it. If the driver is driving so dangerously that you’re worried, try to get off the roadway by turning right or taking the next exit if it’s safe to do so.
Maintain an Adequate Speed and Space Cushion
- Keep your speed down and follow posted speed limits. To maintain control of your vehicle, you must control your speed.
- Follow the 3- to 4-second rule; at least 3 seconds between you and the car ahead, 4 seconds if you’re driving over 40 mph. If driving a larger truck, raise that to 5 or 6 seconds.
- Add 1 additional second for adverse weather conditions
- Give yourself the time and space to make the decision and action to avoid an accident.
Communicate Your Every Move
- When turning or changing lanes, use turn signals to let drivers know your intentions.
- If you see a red light, use your brakes to communicate that you’re coming to a stop.
- Don’t drive erratically and keep your movements smooth and predictable.
- Think safety first by avoiding aggressive and inattentive driving tendencies. Broadcast clearly to other drivers to what your next driving maneuver will be.
Following these simple defensive driving techniques will ensure that every precaution is taken when driving on these newly crowded roads.