A trucker's guide to driving safely in heavy traffic

A trucker's guide to driving safely in heavy traffic

When driving a heavy haulage vehicle, one of the largest obstacles is navigating safely in dense and heavy traffic conditions. Traffic congestion is a source of anxiety for drivers of all vehicles, but the stakes are substantially higher if you are driving a large truck with an oversize load. It is important that when faced with heavy traffic conditions, you are extra vigilant and cautious to avoid any potential collisions.

Remove distractions

While other drivers should exercise caution around large vehicles, this isn't always the case in stressful driving conditions. If the flow of traffic is irregular or congested, drivers can become impatient and make dangerous or rash manoeuvres in an effort to overtake you. These manoeuvres can happen suddenly, without warning or indication, so it is essential that you aren't distracted.

In these conditions it is best to err on the side of caution by removing your mobile from sight, switching it to silent and muting or lowering the volume of your music. While it can be boring sitting in traffic, try not to become distracted by surrounding sights or other passengers.

Stay alert

Be on the lookout for any potential traffic hazards or dangerous drivers. You can do this by constantly scanning the traffic and road conditions ahead of you. Keep a close eye on drivers that are speeding, driving their vehicles erratically, drifting within their lane or merging across lanes without indication. If you find yourself becoming tired or agitated, try to pullover at a truck stop or make a pitstop to revitalise yourself.

Keep to a safe distance

When you are driving a larger vehicle, your stopping distance increases significantly. In a car, it is said that a three second distance between you the vehicle is sufficient. When driving a truck it is best to increase this to 5 seconds. You need to ensure that you adjust your speed accordingly to the movement of the traffic ahead to ensure that you keep a safe distance between you and those in front of you. The more distance between you and the preceding vehicle means more reaction time in the case of sudden braking or other emergencies.

If you require heavy haulage vehicles or transport, contact National Heavy Haulage today. We offer a range of reliable Kenworth haulage trucks which are designed in Australia to successfully navigate the diversity of Australian road conditions.

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