While driving for a living is often quite mundane and predictable, there are days where that’s not true at all. Dealing with the unexpected and staying safe while driving for a living isn’t easy. It requires a certain type of person to avoid potential accidents that might befall other truck drivers. Here are four unexpected things seen on the roads and how to stay safe as a commercial driver.
Cargo Emptying onto the Road
Cargo gets secured down inside a semi-truck. Then it’s hoped that it’ll stay that way. If it’s fixed to pallets that are to be lifted out by a forklift truck, then they’re usually pretty well secured with straps. However, when the cargo is secured more casually before setting off or the route includes some poorly maintained roads, it could have been a bumpy ride.
Also, when the rear door is not properly latched, it could become loose, and the doors fling open. While this does happen occasionally, if the cargo has also come loose, it will eventually begin spilling all over the road creating potentially deadly flying obstacles. If this has happened and caused an accident already, then an unsecured cargo truck accident lawyer is required to pursue the matter legally.
Animals Taking a Leisurely Stroll
While truckers typically avoid roads that might have animals walking across them, it’s not unusual in some parts of the country to come across a stray deer that’s gotten a bit lost. Also, you’ll most likely not be made aware when livestock has gotten free and wandered off. Even a household pet like a cat or dog can cause havoc on the roads too.
Any animal that gets in front of a truck driver will be a surprising obstacle. While most animals are fast enough on their feet to avoid the vehicle, some do sustain hind leg injuries as they try to get out of the path of an oncoming vehicle. Slow down as best you can to avoid them. Honking the horn usually encourages them to move on.
Sheets of Water or Ice
If you come across a sheet of water or an extended patch of ice, it can lead to something called hydroplaning. It can cause a truck to slide along without the ability to slow down by braking. At that point, the truck is virtually floating for a few feet until the patch of ice or water is behind the truck. The best thing to do is stop accelerating and wait until you have control of the truck. Then slow down when you can to confirm that you’ve regained command once again. Watch out for other drivers near your truck with vehicles that are moving erratically due to the same problem.
It’s always best to prepare for the unexpected by staying vigilant at all times. Don’t get distracted because you won’t spot these surprises and that can lead to an unfortunate truck accident when that happens.