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Safety Tips for Driving Unfamiliar Roadways (Trucking Edition)

Road safety is a major concern, considering accidents can occur anywhere and with anyone. The Large Truck Crash Causation Study reveals that around 22% of trucking accidents occur on unfamiliar roadways.

Therefore, one of the easiest ways to avoid an unpleasant scenario is to plan your route well. We know it’s difficult for most truck drivers to do this considering they have to travel all over the country.

However, there are a few tips that can help ensure your safety while you’re navigating unfamiliar roads.

Safety Tips for Driving Unfamiliar Roadways

The following are some tips you should follow if you’re a truck driver traveling on an unfamiliar route.

Review Your Route and Plan Ahead

A safe trip on an unknown route begins before you even start. Meaning you need to prepare for it. The easiest thing to do is check your map and prepare for the trip accordingly. This is much easier considering we have navigation systems with satellite maps, real-time updates, and traffic density indications. With the help of technology, you can plan where you’ll stop for gas, food, and breaks along your route.

If your route needs to be altered, pull over or get off the exit so you can adjust your navigation system. Attempting to do so while driving can cause an accident.

Avoid Improper Lane Changes and Turns

There’s always a chance you’ll miss your exit or make a wrong turn, mistakes happen. However, it’s best to stay calm and not take any shortcuts to get back on your route. Instead, you should find a safe way to turn around.

The problem with attempting to correct a missed turn is you can put yourself and other drivers in danger.

Use Your Turn Signals

Another common cause of trucking accidents is making a quick lane change without using your blinker. It’s best to signal to other drivers around you if you want to change lanes or get off the exit.

Doing so in advance allows you to communicate with other drivers, and execute your required moves without endangering yourself or others around you.

Follow the Posted Speed Limit

Speeding is one of the main causes of vehicle collisions. This is because you have less reaction time and control over your vehicle. For example, if the car in front of you were to slam on its brakes you may not have enough time to come to a complete stop. Also, if you’re unfamiliar with a road and take a curve too fast you could put yourself in a dangerous situation. Therefore, it’s best to prevent these situations by following the posted speed limit.

Most routes have speed and road signs posted along the side of the road, so ensure you keep an eye out along the way.

Bottom Line

Driving on unfamiliar roads may seem like an adventure but you still need to be careful and take every precaution. Therefore, planning your trip ahead of time, following the speed limit, using your turn signal, and avoiding sudden route changes are the best way to ensure safety while driving on unfamiliar roadways.



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