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Navigating the Wild Side: A Truck Driver’s Guide to Safe Driving in Wildlife Zones

Posted in Blog, News  
Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Life on the road as a truck driver is an adventure, especially when your route takes you through the scenic landscapes of the northern states. As you cruise through these regions, it’s important to be mindful of road conditions and share the road with the diverse wildlife that calls these areas home. Here are eight valuable tips and tricks to help you stay safe on the road, making your journey enjoyable and respectful of the natural inhabitants.

1. Stay Informed: Know the Local Wildlife
Before hitting the road, take some time to research the local wildlife in the areas you'll be passing through. Understanding the habits and habitats of animals can help you anticipate potential encounters and take preventive measures.

2. Adapt Your Driving Speed
In wildlife zones, it's crucial to adjust your driving speed accordingly. Slowing down gives you more reaction time, reducing the risk of colliding with animals that may unexpectedly cross the road. Pay attention to posted speed limits, especially in areas known for high wildlife activity.

3. Use High Beams Judiciously
While driving at night, use your high beams judiciously to illuminate the road ahead. However, be considerate and dim your lights when approaching or passing other vehicles to avoid startling wildlife. This also gives you a better chance to spot reflective eyes on the road, a common sign of animals.

4. Watch for Wildlife Signs
Wildlife warning signs are strategically placed in areas known for frequent animal crossings. Pay close attention to these signs and adjust your driving accordingly. These indicators are there to keep you and the wildlife safe.

5. Stay Centered in Your Lane
Maintain a centered position within your lane to create a buffer zone on either side. This extra space provides more time to react if an animal suddenly crosses the road. Avoid drifting toward the roadside to minimize the risk of collisions.

6. Use Your Horn Sparingly
If you spot wildlife near the road, consider using your horn sparingly to alert them of your presence. Loud and sudden noises can startle animals, prompting them to move away from the road.

7. Avoid Swerving Unnecessarily
If an animal suddenly appears in your path, resist the urge to swerve abruptly. Instead, brake as safely as possible and honk your horn to alert the animal. Swerving can lead to loss of control, increasing the risk of accidents.

8. Keep Your Rig Well-Maintained
A well-maintained truck is essential for safe driving in any conditions. Ensure that your headlights, brakes, and horns are in optimal working condition, providing you with the tools you need to navigate wildlife zones safely.

At NTB, we want our drivers to feel well-equipped to put safety first, navigating the roads and wildlife zones with confidence and respect for the creatures that share the road with you. For a driving career at a carrier committed to safety, success, and lifelong satisfaction, connect with us today.