Working as a truck driver during the holiday season can be more challenging than the rest of the year. There’s an increased demand for products, the highways are often busier with travelers, and the weather can be unpredictable and harsher. While the pandemic may reduce the number of cars on the road, there will still be plenty of traffic this year. Here’s how to stay safe as a trucker.
A Trucker’s Guide to Traffic During the Holiday Season
1. Plan Ahead
Traffic conditions can be unpredictable during the holidays, so it’s important to prepare. Stock up on food and drinks, get fuel in case you end up in standstill traffic, and map out the rest stops so you know where to use the bathroom.
Additionally, create a playlist with your favorite songs before heading out. This will make the drive more pleasant if you hit traffic. Finally, try to plan your routes so you’re out from 2 P.M. to 5 P.M., as this is when the roads are usually emptiest.
2. Follow the Law & Trucking Regulations
While there’s added stress for every truck driver during the holiday season, it’s still crucial to obey the law. Wear a seatbelt at all times, never consume alcohol before getting in the truck, don’t drive faster than the speed limit, and avoid texting while operating your vehicle. Also, follow regulations around how long you can drive for. Take regular breaks and don’t stay behind the wheel for more than 14 consecutive hours without taking off at least 11 hours of off-duty time.
3. Stay Alert
Distracted car and truck drivers, intoxicated individuals, and people who are in a rush to get places can make the roads dangerous. As a result, it’s crucial to be alert. Get at least seven to eight hours of sleep at night so you can be awake enough to stay vigilant and pay attention to the road. If you’re feeling fatigued, stop at a rest stop and nap for 20 to 40 minutes.
Also, limit caffeine intake. This stimulant is a short-term fix, and relying on it for a long-distance drive can be dangerous. Drink plenty of water and check any medications you take to ensure they don’t have adverse effects, such as fatigue.
If you’re looking to join the trucking industry, contact Hamrick School. Serving Medina County, OH, they have over 30 years of experience helping students enter the field. They provide hands-on training, small class sizes, job placement assistance, and financial aid for those who need it. Call (330) 239-2229 to speak to a member of the admissions team, or head to their website to learn more about their services.
- OH Reg. #2057
- ODPS License #1439-2369