Even during the best of times, being a truck driver is stressful. Other drivers on the road aren’t under your control, and at least some are going to drive in a way that’s frustrating or dangerous. Couple that with the amplified stress created by COVID-19, tensions may be exceptionally high and could make road rage more likely.
As a professional truck driver, acting safely is a core responsibility of your role. That’s why finding ways to avoid road rage is essential. If you want to make sure you drive safely this holiday season – and every day after that – here’s what you need to know.
Embrace Defensive Driving
By using defensive driving techniques, you decrease the odds of an incident. It’s all about being proactive, working to improve safety instead of purely reacting to a situation as it unfolds.
Make sure you look down the road as you drive, allowing you to spot potential hazards. Check your rearview often, and listen for sounds that could indicate an aggressive driver is coming up. Work to always maintain an out, ensuring you can move away from problems quickly.
Finally, make sure that you’re seen, and your actions can be anticipated. Use your lights to enhance visibility, and always use turn signals before shifting lanes or taking turns.
Don’t Take It Personally
At times, the actions of another driver feel personal. You may think that they cut you off intentionally or are specifically trying to keep you from being on time.
In reality, most drivers aren’t trying to slight you personally. At times, they may even be utterly oblivious to the fact that their choices are making things more difficult for others on the road.
Don’t internalize the actions of other drivers. Instead, assume that they didn’t mean any harm or, if they were intentionally aggressive, it isn’t specifically about you. With that approach, your perspective on what happened may shift, making it easier to stay calm and safe.
Be Courteous Whenever Possible
Whenever it’s safe to do so, be courteous to other drivers. For example, if a car has its turn signal on and is trying to enter your lane in front of you, slow a bit to allow them in. If you’re in the right-hand lane and approaching a busy on-ramp, move one lane to the left to give entering vehicles room.
Being courteous decreases the odds that other drivers around you will feel desperate when they need to complete an action. As a result, they may move more safely. Plus, your politeness could prevent the other driver from experiencing road rage, something that is good for everyone.
Remember Why You Need to be Safe
Sometimes, one of the easiest ways to keep your mood calm is to remember why driving safely matters. Think about the people in your lives and how important it is to return home to them. Remember that those around you on the road are people and that they deserve to make it to their destination safely, just as you do.
Ultimately, road rage is harmful. By using the tips above, you can make sure that safety is always a priority.
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If you’d like to learn more about joining the PTS team, contact us or apply to one of our online job listings