It’s no secret that being on the road can be dangerous, especially for a multi-ton semi-truck. When it comes to heavy hauling, one small mistake could land you in some danger, and you never know what could be coming just around the corner. That being said, there are a lot of road hazards that you can avoid if you know what to look for. The two main skills that a trucker needs to improve is their ability to recognize a dangerous situation, and the ability to react to that situation accordingly. Here are a few driving hazards to watch out for on the road, and how to respond to them:

Driving Hazards

For the most part, road hazards for truck drivers and civilian drivers are the same, but trucks are bigger and take more time to slow down and to turn, so you must be able to recognize these hazards as soon as you can. Below are a few of the common hazards that truckers need to be able to recognize and react to.

  • Blind spots: Vehicles that are in a position that they are not easily visible, usually to the back-right of the driver. Always check blind spots before merging.
  • Traffic congestion: Traffic congestion comes up rapidly, so it is important to start breaking as soon as you notice traffic has slowed down.
  • Construction zones: Construction zones are high hazard areas, as oftentimes a lane or two will be closed, and traffic will build up.
  • Intersections: Big rigs need a lot of space to turn, and intersections are typically high-traffic areas, so always use extra caution at an intersection.
  • Poor visibility: Between poor weather, and winding roads, there will be a lot of areas you encounter where it will be difficult to see traffic.
  • Distracted driving: Cell phones and food are the two of the leading causes of distracted driving, and civilian drivers aren’t the only ones that are guilty of this. As truck drivers, it is essential that your driving is as unhindered as possible, so remember to avoid distractions on the road.
  • Slippery conditions: Wet roads and icy roads can be difficult to navigate in a regular vehicle, and those difficulties only increase with size. Heavy loads take a longer time to stop and are more likely to slip if the conditions are right.
  • Driving sick or tired: Driving long distances can take a toll, whether it be exhaustion or even catching a cold.

Recognizing a hazard is only the first step in avoiding a road incident.

Below are a few tips that could help you avoid a hazard, should you encounter one.

  • Pick a lane and stay in it: Changing lanes can be dangerous, especially in hazardous conditions so it’s best to choose one lane and ride it out for as long as you can.
  • Maintain the proper speed: Follow the 3mph slower rule. Going a little slower than the traffic around you can make a big difference in a tight situation.
  • Look ahead: Don’t get too nearsighted. Always look ahead to check for slowing traffic or changes in traffic patterns.
  • Maintain proper following distance: Most drivers abide by the two-second rule, but as a trucker, a distance of six seconds should always stand between you and the vehicle in front of you. Defensive driving is key to avoiding trouble on the road.

Large Truck Service Dallas, TX

Should you ever find yourself on the side of the road due to one of these hazards, don’t fret. Here at Massey Towing and Truck Service, we provide heavy-duty towing for vehicles like trucks, buses, and RVs. Our team is equipped with decades of knowledge and the cutting-edge gear needed to get you back on the road. If you are ever in need of a lift, give us a call at 214-393-6849.