The assumption of defensive driving is that other drivers can make mistakes on the road; further, adverse driving conditions like poor lighting, unfavourable weather, the poor state of the vehicle, and heavy traffic can lead to potential accidents. Therefore, defensive driving prepares a driver to navigate such situations without causing an accident or incident that might lead to deaths, injuries or damage to property. Drivers of heavy-duty vehicles must be adept at defensive driving because the massive size of such vehicles coupled with enormous cargo loads can lead to accidents. This article examines some useful information for beginners regarding defensive driving.
Negotiate Roadway Curves -- When negotiating corners, small vehicles can lose traction and slip off the road at high speed. However, heavy commercial vehicles have a tendency to roll over because of the enormous weight. Therefore, during medium rigid truck training or heavy combination truck training, drivers must take reasonable precaution to avoid accidents. Furthermore, drivers must know the conditions that are likely to cause a rollover while negotiating a corner at such as high speed with an unsecured heavy load and high centre of gravity of cargo. In most jurisdictions, the speeds posted on roadway curves are for conventional vehicles and not for heavy-duty vehicles.
Prevent Rollovers -- Defensive drivers should ensure that all loads they carry are secured to avoid destabilizing the vehicle when driving at high speed. Drivers should also drive at speeds lower than those indicated at roadway corners. It is recommended that drivers limit the speed when approaching a curve. Note that a trailer will start to roll over before the truck, and thus, drivers must slow down early before reaching corners. Also, when driving around curves, drivers must keep off the shoulder, which is the sharpest bend of a curve. The reason is that chances of a rollover are maximized because the vehicle's wheels can tilt towards such curves, thereby forcing the vehicle to topple over.
Driving Under Adverse Conditions -- Sometimes, weather conditions can cause a road to be slippery or drivers to encounter reduced visibility. Other adverse weather conditions include flooding, hailstorms, snow, strong winds and fog/mist. Such conditions present unique challenges to novice drivers in the form of reduced traction, limited vehicle handling ability, and increased space and time required to bring the heavy-duty vehicle to a complete stop. Therefore, drivers must conduct a visual inspection of the vehicle, including checking lights, tyres and wiper blades to ensure the components are in great shape before starting a journey. Defensive drivers should always prepare and anticipate that road conditions might change unexpectedly. Also, if the conditions hinder your ability to drive, it is always a great idea to find a safe parking area and wait until such conditions improve.