After spending nine months in hibernation, we Minnesotans are ecstatic to finally emerge and celebrate our three-month break from living in a frozen tundra. By the time it hits 50 degrees, we’ll be meandering about in t-shirts, shorts and flip flops.
During these three glorious months of summer, driving hazards take on a whole new persona. From traffic jams to construction detours, it is important to be prepared for the unique circumstances that truck drivers experience while driving through summertime Minnesota. We at Bay & Bay Transportation would like to provide you with some tips for how to stay safe on the roads this summer.
Be cautious and be prepared when it comes to construction zones. There is nothing more frustrating than a surprise detour when you are on a time crunch. Take the time to plan and know your route before you get on the road. Utilize resources such as the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s website to inform you of road and weather conditions before you travel.
When you see orange cones or flashing lights, you know you need to be on the lookout for extra hazards. Construction projects and detours can come with lots of lane changes, narrow lanes, cars or trucks that cross over into opposing lanes, cars stopping suddenly, construction workers that step outside of cones, etc. Stay on your game and make sure you always have an exit route in mind. It’s best to aim for the path of least resistance or least amount of obstacles and potential injury.
And then there’s what’s known as “cabin congestion.” On the weekends, Minnesotans like to do a little something called, “goin’ up north to the cabin.” The funny thing about it is that everyone else also has that same idea. With increased weekend traffic from cabin-goers, it’s especially important to gear up with your defensive driving habits.
Practice being ultra-aware of your blind spots. Make sure you are scanning your mirrors to be aware of cars around you. Shadows can be helpful indicators of a 4-wheeler’s location in the event that it sneaks into your blind spot.
With more cars on the road, speeding becomes an even more dangerous risk. Be vigilant and prepared to slow down. Allow for an approximate 7-10 seconds of following distance to come to a safe and complete stop. Control what you can, and prepare for what you can’t.
Lastly, exercise patience. Drivers may cut you off, suddenly slow down or stop, and can generally be unpredictable. Keep your cool. Take a deep breath, and don’t let another person’s driving get to you. If you find yourself agitated to the point that it is distracting from your driving, pull over. You cannot control the other person’s driving, but you can control how you deal with it.
Minnesota is a central hub for several major U.S., State, and Interstate Highways, making Bay & Bay Transportation’s headquarters an ideal location for truck driving jobs. If you are an experienced CDL driver, contact us today about truck driving job opportunities.