The work of long-haul drivers is not easy - preparing for a long journey and all of the unforeseen events that it might bring is rather difficult. Bad weather or traffic jams can often make a smooth journey extremely stressful and cause additional difficulties. That is why in this article we provide tips from professional drivers and experts to help you prepare for a smooth and safe trip.
Use weather apps and choose at least three rest areas
Before leaving for each trip, it is important to check the forecasted weather conditions and rest areas available along the route. Once you have chosen a truck park to go to, it is important to make sure that in the case of bad weather conditions, you will be able to get there quickly and safely. Therefore, experts recommend that drivers choose several rest areas before starting the trip so that they would have alternative options to stop at in case it becomes dangerous to drive. Weather forecast apps will also ensure that you are equipped with the right clothes and other necessary supplies.
Stock up on essential supplies
Before starting the journey, it is important not only to ensure that your vehicle is in a good shape but also to make sure that you have enough food, water, suitable footwear and clothing, torchlights, and other necessary equipment that could ensure your safety and wellbeing in case of an unfortunate event. During the winter season, when the weather conditions are unpredictable and can make driving more difficult, even the most skilled drivers can find themselves in dangerous situations, being forced to end their journey early for safety reasons. In winter experts recommend bringing cat litter with you. Cat litter helps absorb additional moisture and improves the grip of the wheels with the ground, making it easier to drive out of a parking space when the surface is covered with ice or snow.
Plan in advance where you will be stopping for gas
Drivers are advised to plan in advance at which gas stations they will be stopping during the journey. This helps to avoid possible issues and allows to prepare for unplanned obstacles, such as road closures or traffic jams. If you have to refuel at night, choose well-lit fuel stations and lock your vehicle before refueling to ensure your safety.
Avoid traffic jams
It is important for truck drivers to avoid traffic jams as this not only allows to save time but also helps to avoid dangerous situations. Some GPS apps, such as Waze or Google Maps, automatically tell you in which parts of the route you can expect more traffic. If traffic jams cannot be avoided, try to drive more slowly on busy roads and keep a greater distance from other vehicles to ensure the safety of yourself and other passengers.
Get a real map
While GPS apps are very useful, it is recommended that drivers purchase physical maps to bring with them on the trips. GPS apps can sometimes make mistakes, especially when it comes to correctly identifying and mapping newly made roads. Following road signs and a physical map will ensure that you are on the right path and will reach your destination on time.
Get a good night's sleep
Adults are recommended to sleep 7-9 hours every night but statistics show that truck drivers sleep only 5 hours on average. A low amount of sleep harms your health and increases the risk of dangerous traffic situations - 40% of all truck accidents happen precisely because of drivers being tired and feeling fatigued. If you feel very tired while driving the truck, find the nearest parking lot and stop there. Until you get to the place where you can safely stop, try turning up the music and opening the window to help keep you awake.
Share your journey details with loved ones
It is recommended that every driver shares their journey details and plans with relatives or friends. Knowing your departure and arrival times at different locations will help ensure your safety in the case of an emergency. Some social networking apps such as Messenger or WhatsApp allow you to share your live location with people helping them know where you are at the current moment.
Keywords: work for drivers, work for long-haul drivers, tips for drivers, safe driving