When asked where people's favorite places to drive, most would say somewhere with open roads with a view. It is extremely unlikely that anyone would say rush hour traffic in the middle of a crowded city. This is true for all drivers but especially commercial vehicle drivers because the larger the vehicle the more difficult to maneuver. Unfortunately, rush hour traffic in the city is unavoidable for truck drivers.
Outside of the tight roads, oneways, and thousands of people, driving in the city is no different than driving on any other road. It is best to plan ahead and know your route so that when unexpected issues arise you are prepared. Here are a few tips to help you when driving in the city.
This is easier said than done, but try to leave early to allow yourself some cushion in the event of delays in the city. Having extra time gives you time to see the location you'll be at and more time to maneuver your vehicle.
Use Your Mirrors
Using your mirrors isn’t just a tip for city driving, it’s important to use your mirrors every time you're operating any vehicle to ensure you know what is happening around you. That being said, mirrors are very useful in a crowded city. You can use them to check for pedestrians, merging vehicles, or cyclists that you might not be able to see otherwise.
Keep Extra Distance if You Can
Due to the amount of vehicles on the road, stop lights, construction and many other factors there tends to be a lot of stop and go traffic in the city. If you’re not giving proper distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you, taking your eyes off the road for a split second could be enough time for you to rear end somebody.
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Be Aware of Your Surroundings
There is a lot going on in the city that doesn't necessarily happen on other roads. There are more cars, more pedestrians, tighter roads, construction, one ways and more that makes city driving more difficult. Put your safety and the safety of those around you first by looking around and knowing what is happening around you.
Know Your Route
Don't rely on Google or Apple maps to give you directions if you are unsure of where you're going. While these apps are usually fine to give you a good route, the customer will likely be able to give you the best route into their facility and even give you the best parking location.
Driving in the city can create stress for both new and seasoned truck drivers, but as long as you’re cautious and aware of your surroundings, you’ll be out of those congested city streets in no time.
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