Driving a tractor trailer is a big responsibility. It requires handling the largest vehicles on the road and ensuring that other drivers are safe, as well as the trucker. Trucking accidents are the most common causes of car collisions, so taking safety precautions is essential for everyone’s protection.
Take a look at these safety tips for truck drivers to learn how to stay protected while on the road:
1. Get Lots of Rest
Following the guidelines about driving hours and having plenty of rest is imperative. It’s vital not to get behind the wheel when you’re exhausted or if you’re tired. Doing so helps to prevent accidents.
Deadlines are always the reason most people push themselves to the max, but when you are a truck driver, sleep is not something to neglect. Be sure to take breaks, and stay rested and fresh.
2. Don’t Drive While Intoxicated
Refraining from driving while drunk is one of the primary safety tips for truck drivers. For some truck drivers, it’s enticing to use drugs or alcohol to cope with exhaustion, but that should be avoided at all costs. Using drugs to stay awake encourages you to push boundaries that you wouldn’t normally push.
Also taking drugs or consuming alcohol reduces your concentration and slows down your natural reflexes. Intoxication makes you a risk on the road and more likely to cause a harmful accident.
3. Drive at the Legal Speed
Not only is the legal speed limit a rule you should obey, but it is also the maximum speed that is permissible for that region of the road. In many car accidents, speeding is the primary factor.
Tailor your speed to the conditions of the weather, as well as the conditions of the road and traffic. You must remain safe in order to avoid a trucking accident and deliver the cargo to the customer on time.
4. Plan Your Trip Ahead of Time
In any profession, it is important to be thorough. However, being a truck driver allows you to save time and money and get to your customer safely. Before you start your journey, if you are unfamiliar with the direction that you should go, do some research first.
Check the roads that you are allowed to travel and the exits you should take. GPS is not always completely accurate, so set it before you get on the road and form a map as a backup. The best way to stay safe while driving is to plan ahead of time.
5. Always Check Your Blind Spots
People believe that truckers— since they are higher off the ground— can see the street better. While trucks have larger mirrors and a broader front view, when changing lanes or turning, they still have significant blind spots that must be searched when driving.
The blind spots, along with each side close to the truck and behind the haul, are right in front of the engine. These blind spots are called No Areas, which is an area outside of the truck where the truck driver can no longer see other drivers.
6. Understand Your Truck
A key aspect of truck driving is cruising long hours—just the driver and his truck on the open road. Therefore, knowing your truck is essential to helping you prevent accidents. When driving, if you notice a problem, understanding what’s causing it can make a huge difference when practicing safety on the road.
7. Know What Cargo You’re Carrying
It is vital that you know what you are transporting. Understanding what to do in an emergency is crucial when you are driving a truck full of hazardous materials. If you have cargo that is dangerous to the environment or to you and anyone on the road, you need to know how to respond.
Some roads and routes require you to have a special permit for hazardous materials or waste to be transported, so you can check with your dispatcher. Also, if you are working with a carrier, or if you are an independent trucker, check with state organizations to create your route.
8. Don’t Always Rely on the Spotter
Once you reach your destination and deliver your cargo, you shouldn’t stop concentrating. The last job to be done is still a factor and driving your truck safely into the delivery place is key. If you’re not familiar with the delivery place, one thing you can do is park outside and walk inside and check it out for yourself.
The spotter is someone you have to depend on, but only to a certain point. Most likely, they’re just one person watching one part of your truck, therefore you should still continue checking all the points.
9. Don’t Lose Focus
One of the most important safety tips for truck drivers is to always remain focused. When starting a job, you should always feel rested, be mindful of your environment, the other drivers on the road, and be in tune with your truck.
While you drive, don’t get distracted, don’t use your phone, don’t do any other tasks, and concentrate on the lane. Before getting on the road, prep your GPS route, your music, and anything else you might need while driving.
Another one of the most essential tips for truckers is to have trucking insurance. Follow the highlighted link to find more trucking insurance options.
Safety Tips for Truck Drivers
Hopefully these safety tips for truck drivers helps you to avoid harmful accidents while going cross-country.
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