Intersections can pose a serious risk to professional truck drivers. Besides the movement of vehicle traffic in every direction, drivers must contend with the unpredictable, like jaywalkers, bike riders, and countless other hazards. For these reasons, drivers must be extra vigilant when approaching an intersection.
Speed and sight are a driver’s primary tools for preventing an intersection-related collision. By lowering speed, this allows more time to scan the area for hazards and increases reaction time. Drivers can assess the environment and ask themselves, “What if a certain hazard presented itself, like a jaywalker jumping out from behind a delivery truck?” Asking these kinds of questions keeps oneself focused on the task of driving and helps defend against preventable losses to personnel, equipment, net income, and property. This approach is what it means to drive protectively.
Another protective driving technique is to avoid trying to jump a green light. Do not begin moving forward in anticipation of the light changing. Intersection collisions frequently happen because cross traffic attempts to beat the red light or is simply not paying attention. To protect oneself, wait a few seconds after getting the green light signal to ensure the intersection is clear before pulling forward. A brief moment of patience can save a lot of time, lives, and money compared to the alternative.
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