There’s no question that everyday drivers don’t always treat truckers with respect on the road. While it’s easy to get frustrated, it’s very important for truck drivers to keep their cool. After all, if a 40,000+ pound truck crashes into a 3000–pound car, terrible things can happen.
Safety should always be the top priority of a truck driver.
Ultimately, as the bigger vehicle, you also have to be the bigger person. Many drivers are simply ignorant to how tractor trailers operate. They don’t know how long it takes you to slow down or how difficult it can be for you to simply change lanes.
One of the simplest things you can do is to follow the Golden Rule and treat other drivers as you want them to treat you. Here are some ways you can do that.
Always Signal Early
Signaling is something any driver on the road should be doing. Unfortunately, many cars fail to do so on a daily basis. As truck driver, however, there is no excuse to not signal. In fact, you should be extra early. This will provide time for surrounding drivers to notice and act accordingly. A big part of this is always being aware of when your next turn is coming long before you have to make it. Try to position yourself in the appropriate lane sooner rather than later.
This can be a little tricky in situations where you need to turn from the far lane in order to make a sharp corner.
Let Others In
It’s natural to be protective of your spot in traffic, especially in the midst of construction, lane closures, and general congestion. But when lanes are merging, someone needs to let drivers from the other lane in. As a truck driver, be courteous and make space. The truth is, you don’t often have much of a choice in stop and go traffic. Be especially mindful of other truck drivers who are trying to merge.
Anticipate Driving Mistakes from Others
Even as you’re trying your best to be courteous and follow the rules, you should assume that many others won’t. This is a key of driving defensively as a truck driver. As we said before, other drivers often don’t signal. They won’t get in a turn lane until the last moment. They’ll try to cut into an overly small space. They won’t slow down until the last minute.
The list goes on.
However, if you pay attention to the situations around you, you can start to see what other drivers will likely do even if they fail to signal you. Reckless drivers tend to be easy to spot. As soon as they come onto your radar, be on guard. Drive as if they might suddenly cut in front of you.
Tell Others How They Can Help Truck Drivers
Chance are, you know at least a few people who aren’t truck drivers. When talking to them, it’s not a bad idea to casually mention things they can do on the road to help out truck drivers. As we said before, other drivers don’t always know or don’t think about how to help out truckers. So help them help you.
You don’t want to be preachy, but there’s nothing wrong with being direct.
Find a Trucking Company That Treats You Right
As a truck driver, it’s much more difficult to respect other drivers when you’re not being respected by your own employer. If you’re looking for a trucking company that treats you as a person rather than a number on an employee sheet, consider joining the Woodruff team.
At Woodruff Enterprises, we do things a little differently. The large majority of our drivers maintain regular routes from week to week. Not only does this ensure you receive consistent mileage, but it allows you better adapt to your environment and know what your schedule will be in advance. Our drivers mostly operate within a 500-mile radius, which means you’re only gone one night at a time.
Woodruff drivers can expect quality at home time, paid vacation, performance incentives, and more. With truck driving jobs currently available in Springfield, Ohio and other select cities, now is a great time to join the team. Click here to learn more.