States Are Opening, What Does That Mean for Drivers?

Many of our nation’s professional drivers have seen an extreme slowdown in freight, a shut down in some cases, as a result from the world-wide COVID-19 pandemic. Other drivers have been fortunate to maintain consistent loads and steady pay while making adjustments to their day to day operations.

For company drivers, such as J & M’s, these adjustments consist of daily self-certification forms, masks, daily sanitation, virtual safety meetings, social distancing and more. A silver lining for drivers during this pandemic has been the extreme decrease in traffic and other motorists during both interstate and intrastate travel.

Professional drivers and other essential personnel have had the roadways to themselves over the last few months, but as each state begins to lift Stay Home orders, more challenges are coming.

Everyone is adjusting to what the new normal will be including public outings, travel, shopping and recreational activities. Many states still require citizens to wear masks and maintain social distancing while in public, but what does this mean for the professional driver?

Drivers have an advantage on those who have been under the Stay Home order. That advantage being they have already adapted to new safety and health protocols put in place by local, state and national government agencies.

However, a disadvantage comes into place as drivers will need to adjust again to the increase of motorists throughout the nation. This adjustment also applies to non-professional drivers as well.

All motorists should be aware that they are not the only ones traveling, recognizing that some may not have driven or traveled for weeks. The time has come to remind yourself of some standard driving safety tips and laws, whether you are operating a commercial or personal vehicle.

Safety Reminders:

  • Wear your seatbelt – It’s the law!
  • Put down the mobile device – Many states and cities have made it against the law to use a mobile device while operating a vehicle of any kind.
  • Use extra caution on the roadway
    • Keep a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front of you
    • Use proper turn signals
    • Check you mirrors
    • Be prepared for rush hour and construction related traffic
    • Keep a level-head – Road rage only escalates a dangerous situation
  • Inspect your vehicle
    • Commercial drivers should maintain proper pre and post-trip inspections
    • All motorists should inspect their vehicle for potential problems that can arise from inconsistent or minimal use. Such as flat or expired tires, low tire pressure, low fluid levels, etc.
  • Be alert! Brush up on defensive driving techniques – it could be the difference between an accident or arriving safely.

Help do your part to lessen the amount of accidents as our nation begins to open up.

From our J & M family to yours, stay safe out there.