Tips for Commercial or Owner Operator Truckers on Reading the Intentions of Traffic

The one thing that commercial or owner operator truckers dread the most is getting into an accident. Given the weight and size of a semi-rig compared to the average car, an accident can be very serious if not catastrophic. To make matters worse, even the most careful truck drivers aren’t guaranteed that they won’t have an accident at some point in their careers. The reason is that any one of the motor vehicles on the road can do something unexpected that leaves the truck driver with no way out.

However, one defense against this is learning how to read the intentions of other drivers. This gives you a heads up on the possible dangerous maneuvers of the traffic around you. Here are three tips on how to do this:

Watch the Wheels and Positioning of Cars at Intersections

How can you tell when a car intends to dart in front of you when you have the right of way at an intersection? If the car’s wheels are rolling slightly at a stop or yield sign, the driver doesn’t intend to stay there long. She is either going to pull in front of you (because few people want to get stuck behind a big truck) or will pull into a traffic opening right behind you.

When stopped at an intersection, how can you tell if the car in the opposing lane wants to turn left in front of you? Assuming the driver isn’t using his turn signal, then his wheels will likely be turned in that direction. The car’s positioning will also favor his intended turn.

Watch the Driver’s Head in Multilane Traffic

Assuming your height and distance from the car in front allows you to see the driver’s head, watch for the driver checking her blind spot on the left (or right) side. This signals an intent to change lanes. Of course a turn signal is also an indicator but you can’t rely on people to do this.

Beware of Fast Moving Densely Packed Traffic

When the traffic is packed on the interstate and everyone is moving at a high speed, there’s a good chance that the traffic ahead will start braking very hard. Why? Because it’s the perfect setup for accordion-effect traffic. It only takes one driver ahead of you to ride his brakes a bit too long to trigger this. The driver behind will instantly slow down with his brakes, and the driver behind him will immediately do the same. The cars further back will have to brake yet harder to avoid rear ending the cars in front of them, and so forth.

Looking for commercial or owner operator truck insurance in Florida? Contact us at J.E.B. Insurance Services for information about insurance covering trucks of any size.