What to Know About Prescription Meds and Trucking

Safety is an essential consideration for any driver, and even more so for those who drive professionally. The trucking industry takes safety seriously and truckers have to follow various regulations as part of this commitment. One such requirement is being drug-free. It should go without saying that driving under the influence of illicit drugs or alcohol is dangerous. In addition, some prescription medications can make driving unsafe, and thus are prohibited for truckers. It’s important for drivers to be aware of the regulations related to prescription meds and trucking.

Prohibited Prescription Meds for Truckers

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates the trucking industry, including outlining requirements for drug testing.

Per their regulations, a person is unqualified to drive commercially if they take:

  • A controlled substance or prescription medication without a valid prescription from a licensed medical practitioner
  • Using a drug identified in 21 CFR 1308.11 (391.42(b)(12)) (a list of Schedule I drugs), even with a prescription

The reason that even some legally prescribed drugs are prohibited for drivers is that these medications can interfere with a person’s ability to drive safely. Many of the medications on this list have warning labels stating that a person should use caution when driving, so it makes sense that a commercial driver should not use them.

Are There Any Exceptions?

Depending on the medication, it may be possible for truckers to get an exemption. In order to do this, the prescribing physician must certify in writing that taking this medication does not impact your ability to safely drive. It’s important to note that certain types of medication cannot be used under any circumstances while operating a commercial motor vehicle.

As a trucker, you have an important duty to keep yourself and others on the road safe. It’s essential to talk to your doctor and your trucking company’s safety team about any prescription medications before you get behind the wheel. If your doctor prescribes a new medication, be sure to let your company know right away.

Drug Testing and DOT Physicals

If you test positive for a controlled prescription medication on a Department of Transportation (DOT) drug testing panel, it will trigger a review of your medications. A Medical Review Officer (MRO) will give you specific instructions and will reach out to your doctor for more information. In order to protect your license, it’s important to cooperate with this process.

Keep in mind that if the medications are not cleared by your doctor, this will go on your record as a failed drug test and will have serious consequences for your career. Again, the best time to address prescription medications is prior to performing safety-sensitive duties, not once you have to take a drug test.

During your required Department of Transportation (DOT) physical, the physician will also conduct a review of any prescription drugs you are taking. If there are any controlled substances on the list, they will conduct a more thorough review before you can be cleared to drive.

Start Your Trucking Career

If you are a safe driver and are ready to hit the road, DSW is currently hiring for regional and over-the-road (OTR) routes. We are a safety-conscious employer and our management is made up of former drivers who understand the support you need as a trucker. We help you get miles, get paid, and get home regularly.

To learn more about our open positions, contact us today.

The Importance of a Safety-Conscious Trucking Company

Truck drivers have an essential job that keeps our nation’s economy moving forward. They also have a key responsibility to put safety first. As a driver, choosing to work with a safety-conscious trucking company makes it easier for you to ensure you have the tools and support you need to achieve this goal.

The Roles Drivers and Motor Carriers Play in Safety

Ultimately, you are responsible for your own driving. When you become a trucker, you are committed to prioritizing safety. This means not driving while impaired, taking rest when you need it, keeping your truck in good working order, and following all regulations from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Failing to do so can result in disciplinary action, loss of your commercial driver’s license (CDL), fines, and other consequences, not to mention the risk of an accident.

In addition to these day-to-day tasks that fall on the driver, each motor carrier must ensure the company as a whole is compliant. Companies face consequences from the FMCSA if they fail to follow the necessary regulations.

How Drivers Benefit From Working With a Safety-Conscious Company

While drivers are ultimately responsible for their own actions behind the wheel, having a supportive company can make this easier. For example, if you find a problem with your truck during a pre-trip inspection, a support company that cares about safety will help you address it right away. Although there are options if you notice a safety issue that you feel your motor carrier isn’t addressing, it makes your life easier if they are as focused on staying safe as you are.

How To Find a Trucking Company

When you’re considering which trucking company to work for, ask potential employers about their safety policies and how they support drivers. This also helps demonstrate that you are serious about safety, which can make you a more attractive applicant.

In addition to asking the company directly, talk to other drivers. It’s worth noting that you should take these opinions with a grain of salt, as everyone has a unique experience. However, you may notice a pattern of specific positive or negative feedback. If you have concerns about certain safety issues you hear about from multiple sources, it may be worth bringing up to your recruiter.

DSW Supports Our Drivers

At DSW, we understand the importance of safety. Our management is made up of former truckers and we work hard to support our drivers in reaching their goals. This includes a strong focus on safety, as well as competitive pay, benefits, and home time policies. We know our drivers by name, not by truck number.

If you’re interested in working for a safety-conscious trucking company, contact us today.

Getting Better Sleep as a Team Trucker

Sleep is essential to your health, and getting enough rest is also an important safety consideration for truckers. There are some unique challenges that make it harder to get good-quality sleep in a semi-truck, but luckily, there are also tips that can make this easier. We’ve already shared some general trucker sleep advice in our blog “Tips for Sleeping in a Semi-Truck.” However, many of these recommendations are more suited to solo drivers. Team truckers can also take steps to improve their sleep, but since the truck is generally moving while they rest, there are additional factors to keep in mind.

Here are some tips team truckers can use to get more and better sleep:

1. Minimize Movement

One of the factors that can make sleeping as a team trucker more difficult is the movement of the truck. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to help minimize the effects of abrupt movements. The top bunk in a sleeper berth will usually move around more while the truck is in motion. When possible, sleep on the lower bunk instead to minimize movement and help improve your sleep. You can also use a long body pillow to help stabilize your position in the bed, even as the truck moves. Additionally, getting a foam memory mattress can reduce movement compared to a mattress with springs.

2. Find Ways to Block Light and Noise

Exposure to light and loud noises makes it more difficult to sleep. Of course, it’s not typically possible to eliminate light and noise in a moving semi-truck. However, there are options to improve your experience. A sleep mask can help you block light, even if you’re sleeping during the day. For noise, try noise-canceling headphones with either white noise or music, or a pair of earplugs.

3. Drive With Someone You Trust

This tip may not be possible for everyone. However, if you do know another commercial driver’s license (CDL) holder, driving with them may be easier than driving with someone you don’t know. You can choose someone you already trust and get along with. This has a positive effect on sleep because with team driving, you will typically sleep while your partner drives. If you know that the truck is in good hands, it’s easier to rest than if you’re worried about getting miles effectively, or worse, if you’re worried about your safety.

If you’re driving with someone you didn’t know before, you can still build trust to make it easier to sleep while they’re driving. Make sure that they respect your need for rest by keeping the noise down while they drive, and extend the same courtesy to them. If you have any concerns, try to communicate them openly. Neither you nor your driving partner has complete control over the amount of movement and noise on the road, but there are still steps you both can take to make things a bit easier.

Drive With A Partner or Solo at DSW

Whether you have a team driving partner in mind, want to be matched with someone, or prefer trucking solo, DSW has open positions for you. We are a family-owned trucking company and know our drivers by name, not by truck number.

Contact us today to find out how we can help you get miles, get paid, and get home regularly.

Signs You Should Become a Driver Mentor

Trucking gives you the opportunity to have a rewarding career in an essential industry. As you gain more experience as a driver, you may have the chance to pursue advancement and continue to shape your career to your preferences. One such opportunity is becoming a driver mentor, which may also be called a driver trainer depending on the company. This allows you to use your skills to help new drivers who are just getting started in trucking, while also increasing your pay in many cases.

Here are some signs that you should consider becoming a driver mentor:

1. You’re An Experienced Trucker

Since driver mentors are responsible for supporting and training rookies, it’s important that you have the experience and skills necessary to handle this job. Different companies have different requirements for the specific length of time behind the wheel before you can become a trainer. In addition to looking at the length of your time in trucking, it’s also important to be honest with yourself about your relative experience. If you aren’t confident in your trucking ability, it’s worth taking some more time before considering a mentorship opportunity.

Some qualities experienced drivers should have include:

  • You can drive safely in all conditions. Consider whether you are confident that you can handle city streets, busy traffic, rain, snow, high winds, night driving, mountainous terrain, and other less-than-ideal driving circumstances. In addition, experienced drivers are aware of their limits and know when conditions are too extreme for safe travel.
  • You fully understand hours of service (HOS) regulations and are able to manage your time without violations.
  • You have experience with trip planning and are able to make your deliveries on time. If unexpected circumstances arise, you have a plan for how to handle them and/or can think on your feet to find a solution.
  • Even if things are difficult, you are able to stay calm. This doesn’t mean you have to be a robot with no reactions, but you are able to manage your stress and drive safely even if you are frustrated.
  • You no longer feel stressed about backing into loading docks or parking spots. The skills that felt daunting in trucking school or when you were a rookie are no longer as intimidating.
  • You understand the social side of trucking and are able to communicate effectively with dispatchers, supervisors, loading dock staff, and others you may encounter.

2. You Don’t Mind Sharing Your Truck

As a driver mentor, you’ll go out on the road with a new driver. During part of the training, you’ll be actively supervising their driving and after a certain point, you’ll be trucking as a team. If the idea of sharing your space is uncomfortable, mentorship may not be the best path for you. On the other hand, if you don’t mind the idea of having someone else on your truck and, eventually, driving while you sleep, then training a new driver could work for you.

3. You Enjoy the Idea of Mentoring

It should be fairly self-explanatory that a driver mentor job involves mentoring a new driver. Even if you have a lot of experience and don’t mind team driving, you won’t likely be successful in this role if you don’t like the thought of training someone. Your trainee will expect you to help them and treat them with respect. They are likely going to make mistakes and struggle as they learn, and the best mentors are able to address any issues calmly while still giving trainees valuable information and feedback.

What If Mentorship Isn’t For You?

If you are an experienced trucker but don’t want to be a trainer, there are still opportunities for advancement and higher pay. It’s important to make sure you are truly interested in a training role before pursuing mentorship. The good news is that there are multiple opportunities for growth in trucking and you can find one that matches your unique skills and preferences.

Become a Driver Mentor at DSW

At DSW, we are currently hiring experienced drivers and have a mentorship program you can participate in if you are interested. We also hire new truckers. At every stage of your career, DSW works as hard for you as you work for us.

Contact us today to learn more about our available truck driving jobs.

What Happens If You Get a Speeding Ticket in a Semi-Truck

Receiving a traffic ticket of any kind is not a fun experience. However, getting a speeding ticket in a semi-truck differs from the average violation. Drivers with a commercial driver’s license (CDL) face more serious consequences to their career and the status of their driving privileges. If you are a CDL holder, it is critical to know the basics of speeding violations for commercial drivers.

CDL Speeding Violations vs Personal Vehicle

Speeding Ticket in a Commercial Motor Vehicle

Receiving a speeding ticket in a semi-truck is more serious than a speeding ticket for a regular driver. Each state imposes specific penalties for speeding violations. In Arizona, you can be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor. Commercial drivers also face fines of up to $2,500, six months of jail time, and points against their CDL if they are convicted of a traffic infraction. 

Speeding Ticket in a Personal Vehicle

Speeding in a personal vehicle is less serious, but it can still affect your CDL. Any traffic violation that results in the revocation of personal driving privileges will revoke commercial driving privileges as well. 

Consequences of Getting a Speeding Ticket as a Trucker

Accumulating points on your CDL from traffic violations and speeding tickets can have serious consequences, including points on your CDL, revocation of your license, and possible employment termination.

The severity of the consequences depend on the severity of the speeding incident and any other circumstances. However, it’s important to keep in mind that, considering the large size of semi-trucks, any speeding has the potential to cause a serious accident. Trucking companies take safety seriously and as a driver, you should too. 

Revocation

Earning multiple tickets as a truck driver compounds the consequences. Receiving two or more serious violations within three years leads to revocation for 60 days, and a subsequent violation within that same period will earn you a 120-day revocation.

Possible Employment Termination

A conviction for a speeding ticket directly affects your employment status. Your employer has the right to take action against you after any traffic violations regardless of how many points it adds to your driving record. When you get a license disqualification, you can be put on probation or terminated. It is also likely that you will not make it past the recruitment phase with other companies once they receive a copy of your driving record. 

Drive Your Future Forward With DSW

Whether you’ve just passed your CDL skills and written exams or you already have truck driving experience, DSW is the best choice for your career growth. We are committed to providing our drivers with quality equipment, strong miles, competitive pay, and a stable career.

Contact us today for more information about our openings for over-the-road drivers.

 

Trucking Navigation Tips for New Drivers

As a commercial truck driver, a large portion of your work day is spent on the open road, transporting your cargo to its destination on time. Navigation is a key skill for truckers, taking time and practice to learn the basics. This skill will improve with experience on the road, but for new drivers, there are several steps you can take to help enhance your navigation abilities.

Follow these four trucking navigation tips for new drivers:

1. Make Sure Your Navigation Device is Truck-Specific

A good, truck-specific GPS is a necessity in the trucking industry. This type of GPS does everything a regular device does and more. These navigation systems allow you to input your truck height and weight to reference against bridge restrictions on your route, ensuring that you avoid any issues. It also makes rest areas and truck parking information readily available. This technology optimizes navigation to give you shorter routes, fewer accidents, and improved compliance. 

2. Download Truck Routing Apps

Truck routing apps are another reliable method of navigation. These apps are made specifically for truck drivers and work like a GPS with added features. They provide up-to-date information on road closures and construction, truck stops, fuel prices, repair shops, hotels, vehicle washes, and weigh stations, as well as customized trip planning and searches that work without cell service. Some apps also include voice-guided directions with street name pronunciation. There are a variety of truck routing apps available, each with unique features, so do some research to find one that best suits your preferences.

3. Use a Road Map or Atlas as a Backup

While a GPS and routing app are excellent tools, they also come with the possibility of malfunctions. If you solely rely on them to get you to your destination, you may get lost if they stop working while you’re on the road. Knowing how to read a map is another navigational tool that is essential during times when you can’t depend on digital navigation systems. As a new trucker, invest in a quality road atlas. An atlas supplies you with road directories, state access policies, weight and size limits, on-the-road directories, and much more.

4. Learn to Stay Alert

As a new truck driver, your body will get tired from the long hours you spend on the road. Even with a GPS, app, and road map, you will not effectively navigate your routes if you do not stay alert. Lack of sleep can affect your coordination, judgment, and reaction time while driving, leading to navigation mistakes or even causing you to get into an accident. To keep yourself awake and alert, stick to a consistent sleep schedule, stay hydrated, and consume caffeine sparingly. It is also crucial to listen to your body and take a break when needed.

Navigate Life as a Trucker

If you have passed your commercial driver’s license (CDL) exams and are ready to start navigating life as a trucker, drive with DSW, Tucson’s largest family-owned trucking company. We emphasize the importance of home time, allow you to bring a companion on the road, and offer competitive pay and healthcare benefits

Start your truck driving career by applying to DSW today.

Should You Bring a Cat or a Dog OTR?

Life as an over-the-road (OTR) trucker is exciting, but it can also get lonely. You spend long periods of time out on the open road and away from home. One perk is that this is one of the few careers where you can bring a pet along with you every day on the job. Many truckers find that having a furry friend in the cab to keep them company is great for their mental wellbeing. If you don’t already have a pet but are considering getting one to bring OTR, you may be debating whether a cat or a dog is better suited to a trucking lifestyle. At the end of the day, the decision of which is better comes down to personal preference, but this article includes some of the pros and cons that can help you make your decision.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Any OTR Pet

No matter what type of pet you bring with you on the road, the biggest benefit is, of course, the affection and companionship pets provide. If you’ve had pets before at any point in your life, you know how wonderful it can be to spend time with them. Having one in your semi-truck during OTR routes can make you feel more at home.

The biggest thing to consider is that any type of pet requires work, and this work increases when you are dealing with the logistics of traveling with it in a semi-truck. You’ll need to talk to your vet, make a plan for any emergencies, and find space for pet supplies in your cab.

Trucking Dogs

Pro – Can Guard Your Truck

Having a dog on your truck can be a great way to deter thieves. Although you should be mindful of the available space and choose a medium or small breed, even a small dog can bark and alert you to someone who is getting too close to your vehicle.

Pro/Con – Need to Do Their Business Outside of the Truck

This is both a pro and a con depending on how you look at it. When you take a dog OTR, you’ll need to plan to stop regularly to let your dog out for exercise and to relieve itself. The negative part of this is that it adds another step to your trip planning and takes extra time. However, it also means you’ll be more active, and this is one of the reasons why truckers with dogs are often healthier.

Another positive part of this is that aside from any accidents, your dog will be doing their business outside of the truck. This means that you generally don’t have to deal with the waste being in your living space. Still, be sure you have cleaning supplies on hand just so you’re ready if any accidents do occur.

Con – Some Breeds Require More Activity/Space

Depending on the breed you choose, and on the individual personality of the dog, it may require more space than you can provide in a semi-truck. If you’re getting a dog specifically to take it OTR, you should have a backup plan in case they don’t like the trucking lifestyle and prefer to have more space to run around.

Trucking Cats

Pro – Often Require Less Activity/Space

You’ll need to dedicate some space in your truck for toys and scratchers for your cat, plus its litter box. That being said, the overall space a cat will take up is often less than a dog, even considering these items. Cats also don’t typically require the same amount of activity as dogs as long as they have toys to keep themselves entertained. However, this will depend on the cat, so make sure you know the personality of your pet. A cat that is content to relax and lounge will probably adapt better to the trucking life than one who loves to chase toys all day.

Pro/Con – Don’t Typically Leave the Truck

While you can theoretically leash train a cat, most don’t go out on a leash, and so the safest option is to keep your pet in the truck. Even if the cat does go out on a leash, you can’t typically rely on it to do its business outside of the truck regularly. This means that if you take a cat OTR, you’ll need to make sure you clean its litter box regularly to keep the smell under control. A positive side of this is that you won’t need to plan your stops around the cat’s need to relieve itself.

Con – Not Usually As Trainable As Dogs

We can’t say for sure that no one has ever trained a cat, but they don’t typically respond as well to training as dogs. You may be able to do a bit of training (such as getting your cat to use a leash) but a cat will, for the most part, do what it wants when it wants. When you’re on the road, this can be a safety concern if your cat gets out of the truck since you may have a hard time teaching it to come when called. This means that you should have a plan and keep a collar on your cat just in case. If you do want to let them out of the truck to explore, having a leash they’re willing to wear is a safer way to do this.

A Pet-Friendly Trucking Company

DSW is a pet-friendly trucking company and we would love to have you and your furry friend join our team. We are currently hiring for OTR and regional drivers.

To learn more about becoming a DSW trucker, contact us today.

Budgeting Tips for Truckers

Sticking to a monthly budget is a worthwhile goal for anyone. For truckers, there are some unique considerations to keep in mind. Living on the road introduces some challenges, especially when it comes to meal planning. However, with a bit of effort, it’s definitely possible to create and stick to a budget and save money as a truck driver.

Here are some budgeting tips for truckers:

1. Track Your Income and Expenses

The first step in saving money is to know how much you are taking in each month and how much you are spending. From there, you can create budgets for different categories. You do this by estimating your average income and expenses, or you can track for a few months to get a more specific idea of your monthly spending. Categorize what you are spending money on, and use these numbers to create budget limits for these categories. Once you have this data available, it’s easier to see where you may be overspending.

2. Focus on Food

Food is one of the biggest expenses for anyone, and for truckers in particular, expenses can add up quickly. It’s easy to grab meals at restaurants or truck stops on the road, and truckers may have a harder time planning meals and preparing them ahead of time compared to individuals who are home every day to cook. However, this doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

Consider meal prepping during your home time and making meals you can easily heat up on your truck. To start, you can focus on one or two meals you would like to eat in your truck. Having a plan in place makes it easier to stick to your goals, and you may be surprised at how much you can save. Even if you still have some meals out, you can save thousands of dollars each year by preparing food in your truck as much as possible.

Trip planning is also beneficial for saving on meals, as it allows you to plan out more cost-effective places to stop for food and groceries when you’re on the road.

3. Take Advantage of Discounts and Perks

Many companies offer discounts for commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders. Ask around to see which of these you might be interested in. Although the savings may seem small, they can add up quickly and if you’re already purchasing these goods and services anyway, there’s no reason not to take advantage of any discounts.

As a driver with DSW, you can also take advantage of driver-friendly fuel purchasing. This allows you to control your fuel locations within the network and earn points for amenities like showers. Over time, this can help you save money.

4. Drive Safely to Avoid Tickets

Speeding tickets and fines for other traffic violations are unexpected expenses and can also put your CDL and your job at risk. While it may be tempting to speed up to try to get more miles in, you’re actually saving money in the long run and keeping yourself safe by following traffic laws and avoiding tickets.

Drive With a Company That Rewards Your Hard Work

Of course, one of the major items that affects your budget is your income. By becoming a DSW driver, you can take advantage of our competitive pay and benefits. We appreciate the hard work our drivers do for us, and our pay rates reflect this appreciation. Both new and experienced drivers can earn excellent pay.

To learn more about driving with DSW, contact us today.

 

Simple Tips to Stay Active as a Trucker

Staying active is a difficult task for anyone who has a sedentary job. However, there are additional hurdles for truckers compared to those with an office job. Despite these challenges, regular physical activity is important for your health and is a worthwhile pursuit. It also may be easier than you think. You don’t have to spend hours in the gym every day to stay active as a trucker.

Here are some simple tips for getting your body moving every day on the road:

1. Walk or Run During Stops

You don’t need any special equipment to go for a short walk or a run. This makes it a great way for truckers to exercise since you won’t need to take up space in your truck to store any gear. All you need is a good pair of shoes.

If you have the time for a longer run, this is a great way to get your heart rate up. Otherwise, start with making a commitment to go for a five-to-ten-minute walk around the truck stop whenever you stop for fuel or a break. You’d be surprised how quickly these small walks add up.

Remember to keep your personal safety in mind and pay attention to your surroundings. Stay in well-lit areas, avoid using headphones, and make sure your truck is locked any time you step away from it.

2. Incorporate Strength/Resistance Training

In addition to daily walks/runs, it’s helpful to incorporate some strength training. This can seem daunting since you can’t keep a full set of weights in your truck, but the good news is you don’t need to. There are many gravity/bodyweight exercises, like push-ups and sit-ups, that you can do without any equipment at all.

If you have room for a small amount of equipment, resistance bands are a great investment, or a pair of small weights if you prefer. These open up many possibilities for exercises you can do without even leaving your cab. As a result, it’s easier to incorporate some exercise before you go to sleep or right when you wake up in the morning. Again, you don’t have to commit a long stretch of time to working out. Take whatever time you have. Even five minutes makes a difference over time.

3. Fit in Longer Workouts When You Can

If you find that you are enjoying staying active and want to work out more often or for longer stretches of time, it’s possible to find ways to do this even as an over-the-road (OTR) trucker. To start, you can extend the length of some of your runs or resistance work-outs. Start with taking thirty minutes once a week, and once this is a routine, you can increase the number of days a week that you do.

Should You Get a Gym Membership As a Trucker?

Many gyms have locations across the country, so getting a membership is an option if it interests you. Keep in mind that you’ll need to make sure any location you stop at has parking that can accommodate a semi-truck. You may need to get creative to work longer gym workouts into your trip plan, but it’s far from impossible, and many truckers do so. If you’re passionate about fitness, this is something to consider, but it’s not a requirement to stay active.

Additionally, many truck stops are starting to add fitness centers. These are easier for truckers to use since you know their parking can accommodate you, and you’ll be stopping at these locations for breaks and fuel anyway.

Work For A Trucking Company That Cares

If you’re a truck driver and are looking for a motor carrier where the management will know you by name, not by truck number, DSW is hiring. We have OTR and regional routes available.

To learn more about driving for DSW, contact us today.

The Dangers of Aggressive Driving

Drivers have a responsibility to others on the road. When you’re operating a semi-truck, this responsibility is even more pronounced. Commercial drivers are held to a higher standard than other motorists because of the greater risks of accidents involving such large vehicles. If you’re a trucker, it’s important to avoid dangerous behaviors, including aggressive driving.

What is Aggressive Driving?

The broadest definition of aggressive driving is that it is any unsafe driving behavior that a person does due to getting frustrated on the road. Various states have laws that define this more specifically. Behaviors that fall under the umbrella of aggressive driving include speeding, following too closely (tailgating), cutting another vehicle off, or failing to yield the right-of-way.

Aggressive driving can escalate into road rage, which includes more serious behaviors like intentionally hitting another vehicle, running a vehicle off the road, or threatening another driver. Road rage also includes yelling, cursing, or making obscene gestures at other drivers.

Why is Aggressive Driving Dangerous?

Aggressive driving is technically a form of distracted driving since it takes your mind off the road. When you’re distracted due to a heightened emotional state, you aren’t making the best driving decisions possible. You may take longer to react to changes in road conditions, which can have devastating effects.

Additionally, many of the behaviors associated with aggressive driving reduce the amount of time you have to stop if you need to. Speeding and tailgating are two major examples of this. Keep in mind that in a semi-truck, the safe stopping distance is already significantly higher than it is for a standard passenger vehicle.

If aggressive driving escalates into road rage, it increases the level of danger. Drivers have been killed in the past due to confrontations arising from road rage.

Avoiding Aggressive Driving

It’s important to keep your cool behind the wheel and be a defensive driver rather than an aggressive one.

Here are some tips for avoiding aggressive driving:

  • Take a few deep breaths if you notice that you’re starting to get frustrated.
  • Remind yourself that your safety is a top priority. It’s easy to focus on getting in the most miles possible as a trucker, but at the end of the day, it’s better to go slowly and get to your destination safely than to rush and put yourself and others at risk.
  • Try not to take mistakes that other drivers make personally.
  • Avoid confrontation. Do not make eye contact with drivers that are being aggressive toward you, and do your best to get out of those situations as quickly as possible.
  • If you have a tendency to get frustrated easily, consider listening to calming music while you drive. This can reduce aggressive driving behaviors compared to other types of music.
  • Make a trip plan. This may not seem related to aggressive driving, but one of the major reasons drivers behave aggressively is due to stress about getting to their destination on time. With an effective trip plan, you can better plan for delays and unexpected circumstances, and this can help you feel more in control even if you are stuck behind a slow driver.

Drive With DSW

If you are a safe commercial driver, we’d love to welcome you to our fleet. We have openings for regional and over-the-road truckers.

Contact us today to learn more about becoming a trucker with us.