Both short and long-haul truckers are especially busy this time of year, as a result of increased holiday demand for goods. Long-haul truckers who travel across the United States not only face more demands on their time but also face adverse weather conditions, including snow and ice when traveling to colder parts of the country.
Aside from all these risks, truck drivers also face the prospect of many more people on the roads, and face a greater chance of encountering impaired drivers on high-risk days like the days surrounding Christmas and New Years.
Truck drivers need to be aware of the added dangers of Holiday driving and must ensure they are taking appropriate precautions so they can keep themselves and other motorists safe and so they do not become a cause of Texas truck crashes around the festive season.
Safe Holiday Driving Trips for Truckers
Trucking.org provides some basic safe holiday driving trips for truck drivers who wish to reduce the chances they will become the cause of a holiday season collision. Drivers should:
- Prepare the vehicle for long days of travel. Truck drivers often have to work maximum allowable hours over the holiday season to meet demands for on-time delivery of goods before big events like Christmas and New Years. Make sure the truck is in compliance with all maintenance requirements and has been checked before the busy season so you aren't out-of-commission or forced to drive an unsafe truck during one of the busiest times of the year.
- Follow hours-on-duty rules carefully. During the holiday season, trucking companies may exhibit tremendous pressure on drivers to get everything delivered on time. Trucking companies and drivers, however, need to remember there are strict limits for hours driven in a day and in a week. If a driver has reached the limits, he must take required rest breaks, regardless of the importance of getting holiday deliveries made on time. A fatigued trucker is an accident waiting to happen.
- Try to avoid roads during prime time on the busiest travel days. Many motorists drive during the holiday season to visit friends and families. The weekends surrounding Christmas and New Years see both elevated numbers of travelers and more impaired motorists on the road. Truckers should stay sober themselves and, when possible to, should try to plan their trips to avoid being on the roads during the busiest times.
- Leave ample time to make essential deliveries. Truck drivers may encounter much more traffic on the roads during holiday times. Drivers should never speed to try to get deliveries made on time. Instead, truckers should leave ample time to reduce the chances they'll feel under pressure to go fast to deliver on time.
Every truck driver and trucking company has basic responsibilities to ensure safe operation of commercial vehicles and to ensure compliance with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. Truck drivers should follow best practices for avoiding crashes and keeping others safe during the busy holiday driving season.