For new truck drivers, navigating the uncertainty of the road may feel a little intimidating, especially when you face road construction on your route. Uneven or unmarked lanes, unexpected lane changes, and workers near the road can make the driving experience stressful, but you’ll keep yourself and others safe if you remember a few principles. Use the following advice when driving through road work.
4 Tips for Driving Safely in Road Work Zones
1. Slow Down
When you see a road work sign, you know that you’ll need to slow down soon. Slow to the posted speed by the time you enter the road work zone and stay at that speed until you’ve cleared the area. Not only will this help you react to any changes in the road, but you’ll also save yourself a hefty fine for speeding in a construction zone.
2. Read All Signs
The condition of roads through a construction zone will vary based on the work being done. Read all the signs so that you know what to expect, whether it’s an uneven road surface, bumps, steel plates, or unmarked lanes.
3. Signal Other Drivers
Road work will usually require you to merge with other lanes, and an unexpected, jerky lane change could throw other drivers off, especially if you’re a truck driver with a large load. Instead, use your turn signal to indicate which lane you’ll be merging into, and leave it on for several seconds so drivers behind you know your intentions. Then smoothly merge into the lane without slowly dramatically. You can also use your radio to let other truck drivers know about the construction.
4. Watch for Workers
Sometimes you won’t see road workers on-site—that doesn’t mean you should disobey the speed limit, though. When workers are present, watch for their high-vis vests and be mindful of where they are. On two-lane roads, a flagger will often be present with a sign to tell you when to stop or go. Obey the flagger fully and keep a slow speed to be mindful of the workers.
If you’re ready to take the next step in your career, Hamrick School can give the tools you need to succeed as a truck driver. Based in Medina, OH, they’ve seen more than 10,000 people graduate their classes in the 30 years they’ve been operating. To learn more about their training and classes, visit their website and call (330) 239-2229 to inquire about enrollment.
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