Traffic congestion is one of the biggest challenges the trucking industry is facing nowadays. A large number of shipments face unforeseen delays due to traffic bottlenecks across the country. According to the reports submitted by the American Transportation Research Institute, there’re at least 100 congestion sites in the country that involve trucks. Although driving in congested traffic brings difficulty and risk for almost every driver, truckers are at a more significant risk as they spend most of their time on the road. In this situation, truckers must know how to deal with traffic bottlenecks effectively.
This article serves as a guide for truckers to mitigate the risk associated with traffic bottlenecks. However, it’s important to know about the worst traffic bottlenecks in the USA.
Worst traffic bottlenecks in the USA
Following are the 10 worst traffic bottlenecks in the country that are the trucking’s biggest banes:
- Fort Lee, NJ: I-95 at SR 4
- San Bernardino, CA: I-10 at I-15
- Cincinnati, OH: I-71 at I-75
- Rye, NY: I-95 at I-287
- Atlanta, GA: I-285 at I-85 (North)
- Atlanta, GA: I-20 at I-285 (West)
- St. Louis, MO: I-64/I-55 at I-44
- Chattanooga, TN: I-75 at I-24
- Chicago, IL: I-290 at I-90/I-94
- Houston, TX: I-45 at I-69/US 59
How to Deal with Traffic Bottlenecks
Traffic congestion brings a lot of risks for you and your truck; that’s why you must try as much as you can to avoid it. Effective trip planning and route optimization ahead of hitting the road can help you steer clear of traffic bottlenecks. However, if you do get caught in a traffic bottleneck, you should follow these useful tips:
Keep Your Truck’s speed low in congested traffic
In a traffic bottleneck, maintain a slow speed, especially around curves and ramps. These sections of roads are suitable for small-sized vehicles such as cars or pickup trucks, while trucks or semi-trucks are prone to rollovers there. So, it’s the best strategy to slow down around corners and ramps to avoid rollover accidents. Slowing down can also reduce the risk of collision of your truck with other vehicles around you. You may feel that car drivers around you are getting frustrated, but safety should be your top priority, and it is only possible when you slow down.
Stay Calm and Relax.
Most rollover or collision accidents that happen in congested traffic are caused by drivers who try to cross the traffic bottleneck in a hurry. While doing so, they could hit other vehicles or face a rollover accident. Therefore, it’s crucial for you to remain calm and relaxed while passing through congested traffic. No matter how stressful conditions are you should keep a level head. Take care of yourself, and don’t do anything that can jeopardize the safety of drivers around you.
Keep an eye on your surroundings.
While operating a full-sized truck (especially when it is loaded) in congested traffic, you must be aware of everything happening around you. Keep in mind where you’re driving and what should be the optimum stopping distance of your truck. You can reduce the risk of accidents by 90% by just keeping an eye on the space in front and behind you. Be sure that you’re fully aware of your blind spots and remember that cars are often not aware of these spots. Remain alert and aware unless you pass out from congested traffic.
Avoid Changing lanes
Lane changing is one of the root causes of accidents in congested traffic. It can become more dangerous when a truck changes its lane in high traffic. Therefore, avoid changing lanes as much as you can. However, if changing lanes is necessary, make sure the traffic around you is completely aware of what you’re doing. Be predictable to drivers around you while changing lanes to avoid any danger of collision accidents.
Be prepared for Unexpected
Before hitting the road, prepare yourself for any unexpected delays. Keep emergency items, food, and other essential supplies, so you don’t run out of everything if stuck in a traffic bottleneck.
Relay on GPS technology
GPS technology allows you to take a look at the concentration of traffic on your potential route before hitting the road. Therefore, it’s better to check your route for any possible traffic bottlenecks before starting your trip.
This article was distributed by Datla Logistics. Datla logistics is a freight dispatching company providing dispatching services to owner operators and fleet carrier who have a dry van, reefer unit, box truck or power only.