BEST PRACTICES FOR TRAFFIC
CHANGES & DISRUPTIONS
WHY AM I EXPERIENCING AN INCREASE OF TRAFFIC? A career as a truck driver is fast paced and a driver must always be flexible to the changes of the road. As a trucker you must adapt to an array of things ranging from road closures, traffic, and even detours. Recently, an obstacle that has caused drastic changes to trucking routes has been the Freedom Convoy. The freedom convoy has been an ongoing protest in Canada since January 29th, the traffic in these areas has grown substantially more congested. The road conditions have worsened as more trucks and persons come to support the Freedom Convoy. Drivers must be flexible when these situations arise because they directly affect the bottom line for truck drivers. In this blog we want to offer solutions to drivers on how to best go about these traffic changes and how the mandates will affect the daily travels of many drivers.
On January 22, 2022 the United States implemented a revised vaccine travel alert. This travel restriction was created to limit the spread of the novel COVID-19 virus. The vaccine requirement states that any non-U.S. individual seeking to enter the country must be fully vaccinated against the virus and provide related proof of vaccination. For carriers there are exemptions available to travelers which can allow certain persons to avoid the requirement of vaccination status- these are limited in availability but additional information is located on the CDC website. Canada also took part in introducing a new vaccine restriction that was a little more restrictive and arguably sparked the Freedom Convoy. Canada’s restriction specifies that if a Canadian citizen was to leave they would not be permitted to re-enter Canada without proof of vaccination status. Many truck drivers operating within North America cross over the border; they are then forced to go in part with customs and border control, which then will prevent anyone with proper vaccination status from allowing unvaccinated persons into the country from either side.
The Freedom Convoy began in Canada in late January and since then hundreds of other protests have popped up all across the world and within the United States as well. With many cities bracing themselves for these events. Many of these protests are causing major travel disruptions for drivers as they are commonly placed in hotspots for truck drivers.
HOW TO REACT: If you are driving on your route and come across traffic caused by these protests remember to firstly be patient and see how the traffic is moving. If the traffic is gradually, yet continually moving make sure that you keep a level head and try to keep it moving as much as possible. As a truck driver you are continually challenged by other drivers, and it is important to exercise patience with them as they move their way through the traffic as well. Another important tactic to keep in mind is the importance of reaction time, being in a traffic situation is unpredictable and can be frustrating. Being stuck in a traffic jam increases someone’s “road rage” which correlates to more crashes on the road.
Other options you can take as a truck driver is to talk to your dispatch, they are here to help you. As a driver it is crucial to keep your dispatcher informed on whether or not you are remaining on schedule and especially if you encounter issues that will derail you from your schedule. While it is your responsibility to communicate with you dispatcher it is also their responsibility to provide you with helpful information to most help your situation. Your dispatcher is also responsible for relaying the information you have provided to the appropriate people as effectively and quickly as possible. Overall, as a truck driver it is important to be captain of your vehicle and make the appropriate decisions to allow you to complete your job efficiently. Happy Trucking!