With kids heading back to school truckers need to pay attention to the inherent challenges of driving large vehicles in urban and suburban environments. Following are some back-to-school tips truckers can employ in light of schools resuming classes:
- Slow Down in School Zones
Truck routes pass by elementary, middle, and high schools in many communities across America. School zones are often tagged on either end by reduced speeds and electronic monitoring devices capable of telling a trucker how fast he/she is going. Truck drivers must slow down in these school zones. A driver should never exceed the school zone speed limits under any circumstances, and he or she should pay close attention to all electronic monitoring devices.
- Be Aware of School Buses
The start of school means scores of school buses on the road. Drivers should be mindful that school bus drivers are held to a different standard than most others; everything from speed to making right turns on red is tightly regulated for bus drivers.
Truckers should also remember that most states have strict laws regarding passing a stopped school bus. Know the law in any state a trucker drives and obey those laws! Attempting to pass a stopped school bus in violation of state law risks not only your livelihood, but the safety of schoolchildren.
- Adjust Driving Hours
Although federal regulations are strict regarding driver hours, truckers should do their best to adjust their schedules to accommodate the start of school. Getting on the road as early as possible can help reduce interaction with school buses and pedestrians in school zones. Driving on the weekends in exchange for taking weekdays off allows truckers to move freely without having to worry about kids going to and from school.
- Be Aware of Traffic Congestion
The start of school also means the beginning of a new semester at America’s colleges and universities. Local expressway traffic in university towns tends to swell during active school sessions; it is especially troublesome at the start of the fall semester when so many new students are in town for the first time. Truck drivers should expect congestion on local expressways with access to colleges or universities.