Over 13,000 cases of road rage are reported every year.
Driver Story Magazine points out that this number is likely higher in real life, considering all the unreported cases. Truck drivers, who work to deliver freight safely and securely everyday, bear the brunt of this problem due to the challenges and complexities of driving large vehicles. As a result, most – if not all – of the 3.5 million professional truck drivers in the US are aware of the manifestations of road rage, from obscene gestures and cursing to more dangerous acts of tailgating and even violence.
If you’re a trucker experiencing this problem everyday across America’s freeways, this article explores the different ways you can avoid road rage in 2018.
The golden rule
The first step to avoiding road rage is knowing yourself and avoiding being the cause of it. Take the time to analyze your driving style and see whether you’re susceptible to tailgating, changing lanes too quickly, or skipping turn signals. By doing this, you can take steps to change bad driving habits you didn’t know you had and that tend to spark aggression in other drivers. Always keep safety and your truck’s limitations in mind when adjusting your behavior.
Highway Transport driver Tom Frain advises, “Let ’em go around. As a tank truck driver, you need your space.”
10-4 Magazine shares that it’s also important to check yourself for signs of road rage and Intermittent Explosive Disorder, both of which can quickly escalate road tensions. Keep in mind that most of those who share the road with you are probably driving on a regular basis as well, albeit not always having the same physical and mental strain from long trucking routes.
Avoid yelling or making gestures to other drivers and try to maintain a large distance in front of you. This also serves as added precaution just in case the other drivers are carrying a deadly weapon.
Keeping your cool
At times, trucking can be quite stressful. Interstates can be chaotic. You will face bad weather, aggressive drivers, and road construction, among many challenges. The key is to remain above them.
Try to stay optimistic by looking forward to a relaxing (healthy) meal, family time, or a soft bed to keep yourself calm and focused on the task at hand.
Truckers’ Logic recommends breathing exercises and going the extra mile by ensuring your truck is well maintained to avoid unnecessarily stressful hiccups. Make sure you have enough rest to have enough energy and avoid getting cranky.
Embracing technology and regulations
Last but not least, know that you’re not alone in tackling this issue in trucking. Company management teams and government agencies of different levels have already begun to respond to the problem of road rage. In fact, 14 states currently have laws against aggressive driving, not to mention the nationwide mandates in effect. For instance, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration now requires commercial fleets to be equipped with Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) to monitor driver hours and prevent exhaustion.
Fleetmatics explains that the devices can be easily monitored through an app, and the data that they collate may be used to analyze the driving behavior of field workers. The information can then serve as basis to address issues like erratic driving.
On the side of civilian firms,
Forbes reports that new truck safety technology is being developed to help save lives and losses caused by aggressive driving and road rage. More transport companies are adopting video-based onboard safety monitoring systems, which help monitor driver behavior and performance for feedback purposes.
Trucks are also being equipped with automatic braking systems that sense when the truck is in danger of striking the vehicle in front of it, as well as air disk brakes that provide better performance and less maintenance needs than traditional drum brakes. Get in touch with management if you think these technologies can help you and your fleet.
Question: What’s more important than keeping Highway rolling?
As older model trucks rotate out of inventory, most Highway Transport trucks will now have air disc brakes. 2017 – 2018 models are equipped with Bendix® Wingman® which provides shorter stopping distances and improved safety. Longer service intervals and faster maintenance helps lower costs and downtime.
At the end of the day,
trucking involves a myriad of things the driver cannot control, such as road conditions and other peoples’ behavior. What you can do is to mind your attitude toward road rage and learn how to effectively deal with stress on the road. Remember that you are being paid by the mile, and it’s not entirely a bad idea to simply kick back and enjoy the ride.
Exclusively written for Highway Transport
Tanker drivers are an elite class of drivers with a superior skill set. This calls for a unique approach to recruiting. Drivers are selected based on their stable demeanor and specialized certifications, such as HazMat, TWIC…etc. Highway Transport seeks out top driving talent…drivers who are mindful of safety and possess the unique skill set required to operate a 65-foot tanker loaded with specialty chemicals. Are you a truck driver who is calm and patient?
Consider a career hauling specialty chemicals for Highway Transport. Highway’s chemical customers enjoy the added assurance that our drivers are specifically trained to remain calm and avoid road rage situations.