According to officials, the new corridor is suitable for cars and heavy trucks but is "more direct" and "safer" for heavy vehicles.
"They are not dealing with the day-to-day traffic as much. It is also safer for local travelers. They do not have to deal with the large trucks and all that could bring," said Natalie Garrett, a spokeswoman for INDOT.
This highly anticipated road began back in 2019, and it has cost more than 14 million dollars so far.
The mayor of Jeffersonville, Mike Moore, said back in the day that the purpose of this "heavy road" would be to pull "most semi-trucks" off of Highway 62 and make the roundabout in the area safer. The Heavy Haul Transportation Corridor is fully open now.
Buy vs Lease Truck is one important decision future owner-operators must take. Both options offer benefits as well as drawbacks. There are many different situations that apply to different people. Always keep in mind that a truck is a tool for work first, and a vehicle second. Potential business owners should consider the job at hand to make the best choice.
Lease a Truck
If you are starting your trucking career, leasing a truck makes sense or you if lack good credit. It does not require a significant down payment, and the monthly or weekly amount is generally smaller than that of a loan. The driver will own the truck, as the lease agreement ends. There is a type of lease where a downpayment is required. Monthly payments are generally low because the balloon payment at the end of the contract matches the value of the truck at the time. For example a 10 percent down payment on a $130,000 vehicle with $2000 per month for 60 months and a balloon payment of $24,000 at the end. This is a sweet deal for a new truck if you plan to keep and use it for longer than five years.
The most common lease is directly through a trucking company. Weekly payments will be deducted from the driver's check. A required down payment of around $5000 will be needed. It shows good money management skills and establishes good faith. It also allows for lower weekly payments.
Drivers are responsible for the maintenance of the trucks unless the lease is from Ryder or Penske. These two companies charge between $0.12 and $0.20 per mile for regular maintenance. This, however, does not include accidents and or incidentals. If you hit a deer or a rock cracks the windshield, repairs come out of your pocket.
Buy a Truck
When a future owner-operator purchases a truck and finances it, the bank takes the title as collateral for the loan. The driver owns the vehicle, and like in the lease (unless the lease is from Ryder or Penske) all responsibility for the ownership falls on him.
Financing a loan is a cheaper option. Also since the driver is the owner, he can build some equity in the truck. If the market is strong, an owner-operator can make extra principal payments towards the loan, thus paying it off early and saving on interest.
Drivers need a credit score of over 630-650. That puts those with less than perfect credit at a disadvantage. The higher your credit score, the better the interest rate on the loan will be.
Many banks require down payments when credit history is an issue. Ten percent is standard, but some will only ask for five. Almost any lender will agree to finance a truck driver with 20 percent cash in pocket. Putting down a substantial down payment secures lower monthly payments that won't put a toll on the driver when the market is slow.
A major factor in improving the odds of financing a truck is the previous owner-operator experience. Many banks will deny even 20 percent down payments if the future truck owner cannot provide past truck payment history. That is probably the main reason why many drivers start off with a lease. Experienced truck drivers are not necessarily experienced business owners, and banks know that. Previous owner-operator experience shows knowledge of how to manage a business and offers banks more security.
Aggressive driving is an event that in recent years we see quite often on the U.S roads. We've all experienced it in different forms. This driving behavior is not expected to be absent from the roads any time soon.
An Aggressive driver present on the road can increase the number of waccidents. Aggressive driving behavior is especially dangerous when truck drivers are on the road . Accidents involving trucks are more deadly.
Aggressive driving plays a major role when it comes to an accident event on the road. Not only in publicized incidents of road rage but in a large number of fatal highway collisions.
But is there a difference between road rage and aggressive driving?
Yes! There is:
Aggressive driving is a behavior that is dangerous for every participant on the road.
Road rage is most of the time an emotional reaction at the moment. You can prevent it by following these simple tips.
Who exactly can we qualify as an aggressive driver?
Most of the time men between the ages of 18 and 26 are showing aggressive behavior on the road. Also, the number of aggressive women drivers is also increasing. There is also a general increase in women on the roadways when the traffic is high at a rush-hour time.
How big is the aggressive driving problem?
State Farm and KRC Research conducted an online survey of 1,000 U.S. drivers. According to the survey, 2/3 of the (64 percent) U.S. drivers have experienced an act of aggressive driving.
Affected by aggressive driving already, a large number of drivers say their likelihood to engage in reckless driving increases during the winter holidays.
Survey Key Findings
43 percent of drivers reported that they have engaged in aggressive driving in the past three months.
32 percent of younger drivers (ages 18-29), 28 percent of middle-aged drivers (ages 30-49), and parents (30 percent) were significantly more likely to report being provoked to engage in aggressive driving around the major winter holidays compared to only 9 percent of older drivers (ages 50 and older) and non-parents (15 percent).
About half of survey respondents perceive men and women to be equally courteous when driving. When it comes to aggressive driving, however, the majority (54 percent) of drivers cite men as the most likely culprits of aggressive driving. Only one in 10 women are more likely to engage in aggressive driving. The remaining 37 percent of drivers reported men and women to be equal when it comes to aggressive driving.
The top situations most likely to make drivers aggressive are:
Traffic jams (63 percent)
Running late (55 percent)
Road closures or construction (47 percent)
Examples of aggressive driving?
Оperating the vehicle in an erratic, reckless, careless, or negligent manner or suddenly changing speeds
Speeding in heavy traffic
Not using the turn signal properly
Driving above the maximum speed limit
Cutting in front of another driver and then slowing down
Running red lights
Weaving in and out of traffic
Changing lanes without signaling
Passing where prohibited
Illegal driving on road shoulders, in a ditch, or on sidewalks
Failure to observe warnings or instructions on vehicles displaying them
Blocking cars attempting to pass or change lanes
Using headlights or brakes to "punish" other drivers
Taking frustrations out on а motorist
Failure to yield the right of way
Let us take speeding as one of the major aggressive driving behaviors
For every third car accident speeding is the main reason behind it. In 2017, speeding was a contributing factor in 26% of all traffic fatalities.
Speed-related crashes cost the tax payer an estimated $40 billion per year.
Speed is a factor in many crashes because of the physical forces at work. It takes longer to stop a speeding vehicle. Speed prevents the driver's ability to detect dangerous situations.
The IIHS reports that crash severity is directly related to speed. If the speed of the vehicle increases by 50 percent the crash damage will be double. The increased force is the reason for severe injuries and fatalities. Seat belts, airbags, and child safety seats are less effective at high rates of speed.
Speed limits are being used for the safety of every participant on the road. You need to always take into consideration the weather conditions and adjust your speed. By doing so you prevent accidents from happening and you keep every driver around you safe.
NHTSA created guides and toolkits to help spread the message about safe driving. Tips on what you can do if you encounter an aggressive driver on the road are also included.
But how exactly are all these behaviors are affecting the other drivers on the road?
Purposefully tailgating: 51 percent (104 million drivers)
Yelling at another driver: 47 percent (95 million drivers)
Honking to show annoyance or anger: 45 percent (91 million drivers)
Making angry gestures: 33 percent (67 million drivers)
Trying to block another vehicle from changing lanes: 24 percent (49 million drivers)
Cutting off another vehicle on purpose: 12 percent (24 million drivers)
Getting out of the vehicle to confront another driver: 4 percent (8 million drivers)
Bumping or ramming another vehicle on purpose: 3 percent (6 million drivers)
What's Causing the Increase in Aggressive Driving?
Dangerous driving is on the rise-as you as any driver has noticed in the last years. The factors that are contributing are:
Longer commute times,
Increase in congested roads
General decrease cultural empathy.
According to the NHTSA, traffic fatalities and injuries due to road rage incident could increase by 50% between 1996 and 2020. There are a lot of accidents that are not reported. This brings us to the conclusion that aggression is even higher.
Cutting-off. When you are going to merge, make sure that you leave a lot of room. Do not forget to use turn signals before making your move. In case someone cuts you off, give them the appropriate space to merge.
Driving slowly in the left lane. In some cases, you will be driving at the speed limit in the left lane. There will be vehicles that will want to pass you. Make a maneuver to the right lane and let them by.
Tailgating. Make sure that you have at least two seconds between you and the car ahead. If you see that the car in front of you is driving slowly and you can't pass, try to leave more space between the two vehicles. The headlights of the car behind you should be always visible in your rear-view mirror.
Gestures. If you see a reckless driver avoid gestures as much as possible. Keep your hands on the steering wheel and drive calmly.
Be cautious and courteous. Try to avoid using your horn. Always use your turn signals and allow drivers to merge.
Don't engage. Do not let the anger of the other driver affect you. Try to stay calm and assess the situation and act accordingly.
Steer clear. If you see an angry driver on the road make sure you leave them plenty of room. If the other driver tries to intimidate you try to make the distance between you as big as possible. Do not follow them or try to engage in a physical brawl.
Avoid eye contact. Eye contact can be a trigger for the angry driver on the road. Avoid it as much as possible. If they start to follow you try to call the police and drive to a place where there are plenty of people. Do not get out of your car and do not drive home!
Adjust your attitude and slow down. Always take a deep breath and try to adjust your attitude when you are behind the wheel. Always be positive while on the road and give yourself extra time to get to your destination.
How to put a stop to aggressive driving?
Being the fleet manager you have to pay close attention to how aggressive driving is influencing your drivers. Observing how the drivers' behavior is changing when they are exposed to road aggression and how they are reacting. You need to intervene in a timely matter to prevent the deadly consequences of aggressive driving.
What can you do?
You need to pay close attention to the drivers' stress levels. If their stress levels are high it is more likely that they will drive aggressively.
Make sure that there are no scheduling issues that can put extra pressure on drivers.
You need to be the person who will show your drivers how to handle their aggressive driving behavior. Educate them that they need to learn how to dial it back. Take a deep breath and relax.
Motivate your drivers to slow down. After all, speed is the main reason for road accidents. When you drive fast your reaction time is more limited. Your drivers shouldn't be speeding and driving at the maximum speed limit.
Driver fatigue can be the reason behind poor decision making. As a fleet manager, you need to pay close attention to this.
We can't stop aggressive driving as a whole. But we need to learn how to raise awareness among drivers. encourage them to prevent aggressive driving as much as possible. Helping our drivers while they are on the road should be a top priority.
You have seen the bad driving habits so many times if you stay on the road for a longer period.
The truck industry is like a living organism that keeps the USA economy on the move. You always think that while you are on the road most professional drivers will know what they are doing. Some of them have bad driving habits that we will explore.
So what exactly are these bad driving habits that we find amongst the truck drivers? Where do they come from, and how we can prevent them?
What are the bad driving habits that we see most often?
Fatigue and being alert on the road
Being fatigued is one of the most dangerous events that can happen while driving your truck. According to federal statistics, driving fatigue is responsible for 13 percent of large truck accidents in the USA. Drowsy driving can impact your driving performance and sometimes end up in a fatal crash.
Thanks to modern technology our ways to communicate had increased tenfold. Being a truck driver safe driving is your top priority. Driving and texting/talking on the phone is also one of the most common accident reasons. Every fleet manager should recognize the danger of using cell phones while driving. Implementing procedures for safer communication is a must to ensure the driver's safety.
Never assume an uninterrupted right of way at an intersection.
Unsure driving is also a bad driving habit. Pretty often experienced among the younger drivers, it is something to be wary about.
Steering with one hand.
Non-Defensive Driving Habits
You can see bad defensive driving skills on every road. Truck drivers should always be aware, because of the sheer size of their truck and their exposure.
Lazy driving styles - impacts response times in the event of emergencies. Also, invite complacency into the truck cab.
If your style of driving is lazy it can harm your response time. Always make sure that you are aware of your surroundings and be alert.
Speeding is also a pretty common bad driving habit. In their attempt to earn more, drivers do not pay attention to the speed limit signs. Pretty often go over the limit.
Hard braking - The drivers need to practice defense driving and they have to avoid hard braking.
Using brakes when going downhill - Applying the brakes when going downhill increases the temperature of the brakes. If they are applied for longer periods friction is created. The performance of the brakes is reduced. Useful advice here is to downshift let the engine braking take over.
Improperly warming the vehicle - If the temperature outside is lower than 32°F you need to warm up the engine for 3 to 5 minutes. By doing so you prevent unnecessary strain and tension.
Underinflated tires - the reason for flats or blowouts, decrease the lifespan of the tires, fuel waste, and increase the risk of an accident. Always check the tire pressure and inflate tires to the standard.
What are the reasons for the bad driving habits in the first place?
The main reasons behind bad driving habits? Drivers never go through defensive training. Most companies cut the training budget.
Driving coaches do not have the appropriate skill level. They do not teach the new drivers the required skills.
Overconfidence is part of poor driving habits. The driver thinks that he/she knows all the roads and they pay less attention to their surroundings.
Drivers' behavior changes if they see that another driver on the road is driving recklessly. Companies can counter this by showing the drivers what is the correct attitude when they are driving. That will tempt them less to follow a bad driving pattern. Appropriate training in this area that would impact safety on our roads. We need the culture to be adopted holistically.
Adopting bad driving practices from peers and little or no consequences for poor driving performance.
Humans test their limits by nature - so do truck drivers.
Common ailments and illnesses contribute to bad driving.
Truck size is also a formal reason for bad driving habits
The actual truck size is not the problem. It is the driver that did not get their license properly and they did not receive adequate training. A truck driver needs to pay more attention when they are driving a bigger vehicle. If they did not get the proper defensive driving skills the vehicle size will play little to no role if an accident happens. The younger drivers start with smaller size trucks. Once they become confided in their driving ability and they later move on to bigger size vehicle.
How can the trucking industry change improve and detect bad driving habits?
Defensive driver training - should be a prerequisite before receiving a Code EC or C1 license. Drivers should pass the existing K53 first. After that, they need to drive a Code B for at least 3 years crash-free. Next is to undergo Defensive driver training before issuing their heavy-duty driver's license. Companies need to set in place effective testing to determine driver skills. If needed assigning improvement courses is the proper course of action. They should include - Provide embedded knowledge training and effective Defensive Driver Training. The first one improves understanding of the truck. The second one improves understanding of the road.
Have you ever wondered what are the 8 Places to see while driving OTR?
As a professional truck driver, you’ll travel across the country, and drive through towns and cities you never knew existed. You’ll probably see more sights and scenery than you ever thought possible. Although it requires a little bit of planning you can make the most of your truck driving career.
The amount of sightseeing you can do on your downtime depends on the rules your company sets. But if you can, do a little planning and take advantage of your resets and days off!
You can even use a trip planner like Roadtrippers.com to find attractions that are accessible by public transportation, or even within walking distance of your tuck terminal. You might even find some offbeat, strange, and unusual places to visit!
Here are the top 8 places to see during your time as a Professional Driver:
1. Lake Tahoe
Often forgotten among top travel destination lists, North America’s largest alpine lake still enjoys visitors year-round. Nestled between California and Nevada, Lake Tahoe is known for its stunningly clear water.
The area surrounding the lake is surrounded by a panorama of mountains on all sides. In the winter months, you can enjoy skiing and snowboarding through one of the numerous resorts in the area. The warmer months will offer plenty of opportunities for hiking, kayaking, and boating.
2. Mount Rushmore
Visiting Mount Rushmore in South Dakota will give you a chance to pay tribute to America’s greatest presidents. The sculpture is carved into the granite face of the mountain and features the 60-foot heads of Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln.
The four presidents were chosen to represent the nation’s birth, growth, development, and preservation, respectively. Sometimes referred to as the “Shrine of Democracy”, the sculpture is unlike any other in North America. Families can enjoy hiking trails, ranger talks, and lighting ceremonies. If you’re in the area, consider touring the surrounding Black Hills and the South Dakota Badlands, known for its sharply eroded buttes and pinnacles.
3. The Florida Keys
Sure, the Florida Keys aren’t one single destination to see, but if you’re there you might as well see it all. You can traverse the entire coral cay archipelago, including the seven-mile-bridge. Key West is home to the southernmost point in the continental United States and offers pristine beaches and a lively bar and restaurant scene.
In Key Largo, you can find some of the best snorkeling and scuba diving spots in the country. The entire area is known for its ecological preservation, including the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, the first underwater park in the United States. Visitors flock to the Keys to enjoy all sorts of water recreation including snorkeling, sailing, deep-sea fishing, or simply lounging on the beaches. No trip to Florida is complete without seeing the Keys at least once.
4. Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park in California boasts nearly 768,000 acres of land with granite cliffs, towering waterfalls, and giant sequoia trees. Over 4 million people visit this UNESCO world heritage site every year.
Among the famous spots here are El Capitan, a sheer granite rock that measures about 3,600 feet tall, and Yosemite Falls, North America’s tallest waterfall. Yosemite is a popular destination all year-round, even though the best hiking months are when it's warmer. Tuolumne Meadows is a hiker’s delight, complete with alpine lakes, rivers, and mountain peaks. The diversity of the terrain, along with the unique flora and fauna, make Yosemite one of America’s great treasures.
5. The Everglades
If you’ve never seen a tropical wetland before, the Everglades should be at the top of your must-see list. The Everglades National Park comprises only 20 percent of the original Everglades region in Florida. It’s the largest tropical wilderness in the United States, with over 1 million people visiting the park every year.
As another UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Everglades functions to preserve a fragile ecosystem, along with many threatened or protected species such as the Florida panther and American crocodile. Visit the River of Grass, where you’ll find the largest stand of old-growth cypress trees on Earth, along with alligators and black bears. The 15-mile Shark Valley Scenic Loop tram or airboat tour will also offer spectacular views right through the glades, with plenty of opportunities for wildlife sightings.
6. Yellowstone National Park
With over 2 million acres, Yellowstone is so massive that it spans three states- Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. It was established by the US Congress and signed into law in 1872, making it the first national park in the US. Yellowstone is famous the world over for its wildlife and geothermal features like lakes, canyons, rivers, and mountain ranges.
The park is open year-round and offers different recreational activities each season, to complement the must-see natural wonders. Yellowstone Lake is one of the highest elevation lakes in North America. It’s centered over the Yellowstone Caldera, the largest supervolcano on the continent. Half of the world’s geysers are in Yellowstone, including the famous Old Faithful, which erupts every 90 minutes. Yellowstone is another original American natural treasure.
7. Niagara Falls
Rightly considered one of North America’s great natural wonders, the Niagara Falls State Park and Heritage Area is housed between the Canadian province of Ontario and the US state of New York. The Falls are actually comprised of three waterfalls- the largest Horseshoe Falls which straddles the border, the American Falls, and the Bridal Veil Falls.
During peak daytime hours, more than 168,000 cubic meters (six million cubic feet) of water go over the crest of the falls every minute. The best views of the Falls are undoubtedly from a helicopter tour or from the Maid of the Mist boat tour. Alternately, you can stay until dark when the falls are lighted or walk across the Rainbow Bridge to the Canadian side. The Falls are famed the world over for their beauty and enjoy an average of 20 million visitors annually.
8. Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon frequently tops lists of best places to visit in the country, and for good reason. The canyon is carved by the Colorado River in Arizona and is a testament to nearly 5 million years of water cutting through layer after layer of rock. The canyon is 277 miles long, up to 18 miles wide, and attains a depth of over a mile.
The park is one of the world’s premier natural attractions and enjoys about five million visitors per year. Once again, helicopter tours or other aerial sightseeing offer some of the best views of the canyon. On foot hiking tours will also offer some jaw-dropping vantage points. Aside from sightseeing, visitors can also enjoy rafting and camping. Along with Yellowstone and Yosemite, the Grand Canyon completes the holy trinity of must-see natural wonder sites in America.
From all of us at Logiflex, we hope that you are staying safe and healthy amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. No matter where you live or where you travel to, the pandemic carries a heavyweight that we all feel. We would like to thank truck drivers and all those who are working tirelessly to keep the supply chain going strong and providing essentials to countless people. We know this time is challenging, which is why we put together some tips that can help you manage your mental health even on the front lines of delivery.
Ways to Manage Mental Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Set Limits on News Intake and Rely Only on Trusted Sources.
You should limit the amount of time you spend watching, reading, or listening to the news. While it is essential to stay informed, too much exposure can cause more feelings of panic and fear. Even during this pandemic, when things change on a day-to-day basis, you must limit yourself. Try only watching news reports in the morning for 15 minutes or listen to updates during your lunch break. As for the information you are taking in, use reliable sources to obtain information. The Center for Disease Control (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), or any local government news outlet are the best options for getting the most accurate and up-to-date information.
Recognize What Triggers Your Anxiety.
It is normal to feel emotional distress in the middle of all that is happening. There are high levels of uncertainty, and news changes daily. Emotions such as stress and anxiety can present themselves in some ways – even fatigue. It is essential that as a truck driver, you recognize your triggers for distress and take time for your mental health even while on the road.
Get Plenty of Rest.
Common signs of high-stress levels, panic, and anxiety are fatigue, muscle tension, and difficulty resting. These physical symptoms can be paired with cognitive issues such as confusion and decreased concentration. It is crucial that truck drivers are well-rested and focused while they drive. Take the time to ensure that the sleep you get is quality sleep and that you are getting enough, if not more, rest than you usually would. Sleep will help your mind stay sharp and out of panic mode and will help keep your immune system healthy.
Be Prepared and Stay Educated.
As a truck driver, you visit many public places and are suspectable to germs. Initiate healthy and preventive measures like the proper hand-washing technique, sneezing, and coughing etiquette, and if you have any pre-existing medical conditions, talk with your doctor about how you can best take care of yourself.
Get Set-Up With HealthiestYou.
Logiflex provides our drivers with HealthiestYou, an app that allows you to instantly connect with a doctor by phone or video 24/7 – all with a $0 copay. During the COVID-19 pandemic, this is a great resource that allows you to receive the medical care you need while on the road or even when you are at home. You can talk with therapists on the weekends by phone and video, which is another significant step for taking care of your mental health right now. HealthiestYou also allows you access to the lowest-cost prescriptions at pharmacies nearest to you. If you do not already have an account set up, you can start here.
Take Time For Things You Enjoy.
You must allow yourself mental breaks to do the things that make you happy. Even if it is just a walk around the truck stop, getting exercise can help you fight off the sense of fatigue that comes with stress. Phone a loved one, get out in nature and enjoy fresh air, or watch your favorite TV show. Whatever it is you enjoy doing, making these things a priority will make your mental health a priority as well.