Holiday travel presents special risks for truck drivers. The increased traffic means more road congestion, impatient drivers, and increased impaired drivers. We make our living navigating the roads and we need to be prepared for the challenges that this time of year presents. With Canada Day on Saturday and Independence Day on Tuesday, drivers on both sides of the border are going to have some extra headaches to deal with.

Allow More Time To Reach Your Destination and Plan Your Trip

There’s more traffic on the roads on long weekends. This means that you’re going to be stuck in traffic more than usual and you need to account for this extra time. Part of proper trip planning is ensuring you leave on time and can arrive safely and on time. We need to take into account situational considerations such as heavy traffic flow. The increased traffic will also create heavier backups in construction zones. Drivers must also be prepared for unusual traffic patterns, which will change quickly. We can be traveling on the wide-open freeway and, in the next moment, be stuck in traffic.

Watch for More Bad Ideas by Drivers

People want to get to wherever they’re spending the long weekend. Expect impatient drivers to do unexpected and dangerous things to try and save a few minutes. Keep in mind many of them aren’t used to longer trips and often don’t understand planning their trip like professional drivers. Impatience and sometimes road rage can compel drivers to do things that put them, and others, at risk. Stay calm and drive defensively. Remember we are the professionals; exacerbating an unpleasant experience with an unfriendly hand gesture is far from helpful.

Watch for Increased Impaired Drivers

There’s always an increase of impaired drivers during national holidays. Be diligent when watching the traffic around you, particularly, in the evening when people start getting their groove on. Keep clear of vehicles driving erratically and be extra careful passing other vehicles. When possible, try to shut down early. Reducing your drive time when there is increased risk of drunk drivers on the roadways, is one of the easiest ways to stay clear of an accident.