You’ve seen the videos. A 53 foot trailer hitting a low bridge. You think, “Why was that driver even routed there in the first place?” The likely answer – they were following a generic, non-truck specific navigation system, designed for use by drivers of smaller, lighter passenger vehicles. The result? Costly damages to the truck and any goods being hauled, potential harm to the driver and countless other drivers on the road, and fines for driving on a truck-restricted road. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, we saw a staggering number of 4,209 bridge strikes in the US in 2014.
Bridge Strikes Problem Across the Country:
Red = major problem. Green = minor problem. Yellow = no response.
Bridge strikes are a safety risk to drivers and pedestrians. Since critical strikes cause road traffic delays as well as repair costs for vehicles and infrastructure, they become very expensive for truck drivers. Here are some steps to avoid bridge strikes:
1. Know your vehicle dimensions
Before you set off, make sure that you know your vehicle height and width by heart. Please note that your truck’s weight can vary slightly according to what type of load you are hauling. By adhering to routes tailored to your load and trailer specifications, you can avoid fines and low bridges.
2. Plan a truck-safe route
Use CoPilot Truck to plan a route that is safe and compliant on truck-legal roads. First, enter your vehicle dimensions in the app. Second, plan your trip. CoPilot will calculate the best route available for your vehicle. Don’t forget to use a GPS that is built for truck drivers and not for cars and takes into account your truck’s size. When your daily life exists on the road as a truck driver, your decisions are impacted by safety, compliance and cost savings. If you think truck specific navigation isn’t for you – guess again. It pays to have truck specific navigation.
3. Check traffic signs
Last but not least, make sure you always check for traffic signs and other warnings when you approach a bridge.
Here you can find a good practice guide for truck drivers to avoid bridge strikes: