Sharing the road is just one of the many things to keep in mind while driving. There are other cars and trucks, buses, trains, and pedestrians that you will have to watch out for while making your deliveries. Knowing what to do for every type of encounter you’ll have can be difficult to remember, but we have you covered.
One thing every driver should already know is that pedestrians get the right of way. That doesn’t always mean that all pedestrians know the right thing to do when crossing streets or walking nearby roads. It’s always safest to make sure you, as the driver, are driving safely and know your surroundings. Driving slowly in neighborhoods, by parks, and by schools also helps because kids don’t always follow the rules of the road. The most important things to remember is to look for pedestrians before driving over a crosswalk, be more cautious at night, and look before backing up. It’s important to make sure you and people around you are safe.
Bikes often ride alongside cars, making it more important to make sure you’re staying on the safe side. There are many safety guides from state websites. The standards are to always look when turning for people biking on the side of the road, always keep three feet or more between your car and the bike when passing bikes, and look for bikes when opening your door in parallel parking situations. In cities, there are more bikes on the road with cars, so be careful in those crowded areas.
In a lot of driving courses, one of the first things you’ll learn is to always stop for school buses. That still holds true! Whenever a bus is stopped with their flashing lights on, the cars behind always need to stop. The only time the cars in front don’t need to stop is when there is a median in between the directional lanes. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be careful. Whenever you’re around a school zone, neighborhood, or behind a school bus, be sure to drive slowly and watch for kids.
The saying, “look both ways before you cross the street” is a common saying for pedestrians, but it can also apply to driving past train tracks. One common rule is to look for trains before going up to the train tracks. Bus drivers will often stop before train tracks for this reason. Trains will always have the right of way, and they don’t slow down very fast. If the lights are flashing, you’ll want to stop fifteen feet away from the arms of the gate when they lower and the lights are flashing. To make sure you are driving safely, there are a couple of things that you should never do. Never try to beat the gate arms because the train might be going faster than you think. Never stop on the train tracks. Lastly, never assume there is only one train.
One of the biggest monsters on the road is the semi truck. The drivers are specially trained to drive them, but it is important to make sure that you are also driving safely around them. In this situation, driving safely means staying within sight of the semi truck driver. This is usually twenty to thirty feet around the front and back of the truck. That way, the driver will be able to see you behind them and have enough time to stop if you’re in front of them. The general rule of thumb when driving around a semi truck is to always make sure the driver can see you. For a tip if you drive at night, be sure to adjust your headlights to not blind the drivers.
As you drive, it’s always important to remember the basics along with these special circumstances. Check out our Driver’s Safety Tips blog to make sure you are covering the basics. As a valuable part of our team, stay alert and drive safe!