Professional drivers spend the majority of their waking hours behind the wheel. Going from state to state gets physically taxing due to the long hours and strict delivery deadlines.
Over-the-road (OTR) truckers experience varying weather conditions, different types of terrain and changes in traffic laws. Focus and constant situational awareness help dictate appropriate responses to varying dangerous situations. So, what insight might truckers have to offer Coloradans?
Mountain driving presents additional risk
Reaching a destination safely is always more important than getting there quickly. Since truck drivers earn money for the miles they cover within a limited amount of time, they understand the desire to drive over the speed limit.
While speeding is a safety risk on any stretch of road, mountains can further increase the dangers associated with driving too fast. Yet, speed isn’t the only potential threat when driving in the mountains.
Other safety considerations include:
- The weather forecast can help prepare you for your trip. Depending on the time of year, unpredictable climate changes could quickly become life-threatening, especially if a crash or mechanical problem leaves you stranded.
- Riding the brakes on your way down a steep grade could cause them to overheat or fail. Instead, brake on occasion to maintain a reasonable speed, or shift into a lower gear to prevent you from losing control as you descend.
- Give yourself additional space to slow down or make adjustments as necessary. Following another vehicle too closely on a mountain pass can restrict your view of upcoming switchbacks, animals or road hazards – the safe response to which requires time.
Catastrophic or fatal traffic accidents can occur anywhere, yet the mountains add additional risk.
Rather than taking your chances, think about how your driving could potentially lead to a crash. Then, proceed accordingly to minimize safety risks – both to you and those around you.