Because Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) drivers often travel to new cities and towns, they may be unfamiliar with the roadway and feel compelled to read a map or directions while driving. Below are some tips that will help you maintain your route and prevent a crash while driving an unfamiliar route.
Be sure to plan your driving route before getting behind the wheel so you can keep your schedule and prevent distractions that may occur while trying to read a map or directions. You may use electronic devices, such as a navigation system, to aid you when you are unfamiliar with the roadway. However, remember to use technology appropriately (pull safely to the side of the roadway or stop and take a break), otherwise it can be a source of distraction.
When transporting hazardous materials, remember that most states and localities have route restrictions and/or designated routes. You must carry a written copy of your route plan, and you must follow that play if you are carrying Division 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 explosives.
If you miss a turn or an exit, pass the turn and find a safe way to change direction. Do not take shortcuts. Trying to suddenly correct a missed turn or exit may result in you performing an illegal or unsafe maneuver, which may threaten your safety and the safety of the vehicles around you.
From 2004 to 2007, almost 50,000 violations were classified as an improper turn or an improper lane change.
Use turn signals first to indicate your intent to change lanes, next visually scan for adjacent traffic and road hazards, and then execute a safe lane change. By signaling your intentions well in advance, you will be in a safer position to communicate with the surrounding drivers and be able to safely execute the desired driving maneuver.
A recent study reported that there are approximately 630,000 lane-change crashes annually (including both large trucks and passenger vehicles