Career truck drivers are professionals. Many of us have driven hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of very safe miles while on the job. We are safe because we are trained and experienced, after all, driving is what we do every day.
Now that summer is on its way, truck drivers will be sharing the roadways with a lot more traffic. With this comes additional risks and stress. As professionals, we must be diligent with our safety, remain in control of the situations around us and be prepared to proactively act quickly to avoid serious incidents.
The increased volume of traffic over the summer months is going to make our job more difficult; there is no getting around it. Stressing over situations that we have no control over, ie. slow-moving traffic, is only going to create additional problems.
Extra planning, understanding, and patience will help keep you calm when you run into traffic congestion, slow drivers, and the beloved R.V. Convoys.
Extra Planning will Reduce Stress
Knowing that your trip is going to take slightly longer will allow you to plan ahead and give yourself more time to arrive at your final destination. Experienced drivers plan their trips with an average speed of 55 MPH instead of the more utilized 62 MPH. Worst case scenario, you run into congested traffic and still have time to make it to your appointment because you allowed yourself the extra time. Best case scenario, everything runs smoothly and you arrive at your destination ahead of schedule. In either case, you have planned to avoid one of the most common stressors we face on the road.
Understanding Not Everyone is as Experienced as You
As professionals, it is fair to say that we have a much better understanding of traffic flow, traffic rules, and safety on the roadways. We recognize risk factors and act proactively to keep them from becoming serious accidents. We are prepared for and understand the hazards that we encounter on the roads every day. What we need to understand is that not everyone has this knowledge, training and experience.
We drive significantly more than the average citizen. Our safe driving habits have stemmed from years of daily driving and what we do and see on the roads, simply by being on them every day, may not be known by all. When we are faced with slow drivers, poor merging, vehicles lurking in our blind spots and more, we often jump to the conclusion that the drivers are rude and reckless. While this may be the case, often times it is due to inexperience. It is important to understand that while it does happen, more time than not, others on the road are not trying to cause you grief, they simply just don’t know any better. We are not condoning these bad driving habits; they are dangerous and lead to accidents. What are saying is that we, the professionals, have to understand and recognize problems before they occur so that we can avoid incidents.
Patience is a Virtue
Being professionals means that we need to take extra precautions on the roadways. We need to act responsibly and be aware of what is happening around us. We need to have patience.
Frustrated, stressed, or angry drivers are more likely to be involved in an accident because these emotions, and the physical symptoms that stem from them can lead to bad decisions. When you come across poor drivers, remain patient, don’t add to the situation. Aggressive driving, or even the appearance of being aggressive, can add fuel to the fire and make the already flustered four-wheeler more nervous behind the wheel. Have patience, stay calm and carry on.