For casual drivers, rush hour traffic is just an annoying part of life. For professional drivers it can be a detrimental reason why a load doesn’t get to its destination on time. In order to be more successful and reduce stress, it’s important for truck drivers to plan their loads around traffic. Although sometimes it’s just unavoidable. Here are some rush hour traffic tips for truckers.
1. Plan your schedule around it
Rush hour traffic is fairly predictable. It’s usually most pronounced between 6-10am and 3-7pm. These vary from each city, region, and even seasons. Get to know the area and schedule accordingly. Start in the early morning and take breaks during the rushes if possible.
2. Use CB or smartphone apps to find out travel advisories
Keep in contact with the truckers on the CB radio. Pay attention if they report an accident or unexpected traffic. This will give you the chance to either avoid it or mentally prepare for it. There are also plenty of apps that give you live details of traffic, accidents, and other things on the road. We have another blog that goes over the best apps for truck drivers. You should check it out after you read this one!
3. Give yourself extra time
If you feel you are running behind or late, it becomes easy to get frustrated and make poor driving decisions. Check those apps beforehand and plan your trip. Leave early if you know you will be on the road during rush hours or driving through a generally busy area. You want to be mentally prepared and not put yourself in a situation that would increase your stress.
4. Be aware of the drivers around you
Just because it’s called rush hour doesn’t mean you should be rushing. Keep your eye out for aggressive drivers. If you see a driver doing dangerous and quick merges stay in your lane. There is a good chance they’re already pre-planning their merges so changing lanes to get out of their way could cause an accident.
Don’t match the aggressiveness of the other drivers. Take your time, keep an ample amount of distance between you and the car in front of you. Don’t forget to be extra careful of your blind spots and turn your blinker on a good few seconds before you start to merge so the drivers around you are aware.
6. Do what makes you feel safe
If you are stuck in rush hour traffic and do not feel safe driving in it, pull over to a rest stop and wait it out if possible. Use the apps and keep up with CB radio calls so you are aware and ready for what the day has in store for you. Know your own limits and drive carefully. Try not to speed even if the drivers around you are. Do what makes you feel safe!
7. Find ways to keep your mind occupied
It’s easy to space out when you’re sitting for hours in traffic or let frustration take over your thoughts. Keep your mind occupied and stimulated. Put on a new podcast, your favorite music, or even an audiobook. Make sure it’s not too distracting so you can keep your main focus on the road.
I hope these tips can help make your next drive in rush hour traffic safer and less stressful. Drive safe and thank you for supplying America.