Road Hazards That Endanger the Commercial or Owner Operator Truck Driver

One of the worst situations commercial or owner operator truck drivers can find themselves in is making desperate last second maneuvers to avoid an accident. A good strategy for avoiding this nightmare is increasing your following distance. Another is recognizing various traffic and road hazards in advance and adjusting your driving accordingly. While this skill develops naturally with experience, it’s best to learn through the experience of others rather than through your own close calls and accidents.

Here are three road hazards to watch for:

Big Trucks

Many operators of small vehicles such as passenger cars, instinctively regard large semi trucks as hazards on two lane highways. The reasons are obvious. Semi trucks take up more space and are massive. As a truck driver, there is even less clearance between your rig and an oncoming semi. Stay in your lane as far to the right as possible while staying clear of the shoulder. This is especially important when rounding corners. Unlike a motorcycle or small car, an oncoming semi has no extra space to give you.

Fast-Moving Dense Traffic

While most people don’t like stop-and-go traffic congestion, a worse situation from a safety point of view is dense and fast-moving traffic. This kind of situation is perfect for accordion effect traffic. One little disturbance such as a car braking because of a speed trap or a squirrel in the road will cause the traffic behind to immediately apply their brakes. The effect propagates backward with increasing braking force. You can find yourself driving 65 mph and suddenly come up on hard braking traffic.

Work Zones

Work zones involve lane closures, impatient motorists, narrow lanes with no shoulders that jog back and forth, and the general chaos of road workers, police cars, and construction machinery. Be alert to work zone signs. You can spot them well before you can read them by their orange color. Look for the lane closure sign and move your commercial or owner operator truck out of the closed lane as soon as possible. Allow plenty of following space and remain alert to aggressive motorists pulling in front of you at the last second or changing lanes within the construction area.

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