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7 ways truckers can deal with traffic during the holidays

11/25/2020

7 ways truckers can deal with traffic during the holidays

Every experienced trucker knows what a pain it can be to do their jobs during the holiday season. Not only is there more demand for shipping at this time of year than any other, but there are also more drivers choking the nation's highways and byways, and the weather is getting less hospitable by the day. Things might be a bit different this year, given that the pandemic should keep at least some people home. Nonetheless, truckers can expect plenty of traffic snarls.

Here are a few tips to deal with those issues throughout the holidays and beyond:

1) Know the forecast

Winter weather has a big impact on traffic in many states, but the good news is weather forecasts are highly accurate these days, according to Factor Finders. For that reason, you can easily examine your entire route and roughly estimate what the weather in any given spot will be when you roll through. If things are looking dicey, you may be able to plan a different route.

2) Rely on GPS — but not too much

Today, GPS machines often not only recommend a route, but give you live updates on traffic, Factor Finders added. If you're far enough out, you might find an alternate route to avoid a big snarl.

3) Plan as much as you can

It should go without saying that truckers who plan their routes as closely as they can tend to run more efficiently once they get on the road, according to Swerve Driving School. For that reason, it's a good idea to not only look at weather and traffic projections, but also identify potential alternate routes well in advance so you're not just guessing once you're out there.

4) Don't be overly deferential

Of course, all the planning in the world won't help you avoid every traffic jam, and when the time comes that you have to sit behind a sea of brake lights, it's important that you be assertive, Swerve Driving School said. You're big, and other vehicles are much smaller, so you should be proactive about making your moves when you need to.

5) Remember the rules of the road

However, that doesn't mean cutting people off or otherwise driving aggressively, Swerve Driving School further advised. You want to assert yourself, but you also don't want to cause an accident. Be courteous to other drivers, just as you would want them to do for you.

6) Keep your head on a swivel

Especially with more nighttime hours, bad weather and other issues accompanying the holiday season, you just can't let your guard down, according to All Truck Jobs. This is the time of year to be extra-vigilant and make sure you can keep yourself and other motorists as safe as possible.

7) Have something that will keep you calm

Because traffic is sometimes unavoidable and you may be stressing out because you're facing a deadline, it's important to bring your frustration down and avoid road rage, All Truck Jobs warned. As such, having a surefire way to refocus your attention and calm down — such as playing your favorite album, calling loved ones or listening to a podcast — will go a long way.

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