Trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds when fully loaded, so driver safety is essential to prevent accidents. You can become a safer truck driver by remembering the safety tips outlined here.
Get Plenty Of Rest
It’s important to get your load to the destination on time so it can be quickly unloaded. But you shouldn’t neglect your sleep because driving fatigued is both dangerous and illegal if you have a commercial driver’s license.
Remember to plan your workday with hours of service rules in mind, so you are fully awake when you need to drive. But remember, even if you are a bit late, you should always take a quick break when you’re tired.
There are far too many examples of truck drivers who went far past their endurance and got in serious accidents that injured or killed others. Don’t let that happen to you – take a break when you need it!
Maintain A Safe Distance
This tip is always important for every driver, but it takes a big rig weighing 80,000 pounds much longer to stop than a car.
Of course, many car drivers don’t realize you need two or three times as much distance to stop. If a car driver is too close in front of you, slow down and keep a safe distance. Getting angry and taking revenge only leads to trouble.
Stay Away From Aggressive Drivers
Most truckers have cell phones in their rigs, so if you see a dangerous car driver, call the state highway patrol right away.
What you shouldn’t do is get into a road rage incident with an aggressive driver. If you do, there could be a disastrous accident. Don’t let other people’s aggressive behavior goad you to do something inappropriate. Remember, you’re the one with a commercial driver’s license, and you need to act professionally.
Use Caution With Wide Turns
As you learned in commercial driver training, truck drivers need more room to make turns safely. Make sure you have plenty of room for making turns and signal well in advance. Not every regular driver understands you need more room, so be patient with them and don’t get upset.
Stay At a Safe Speed
The large size and weight of big rigs make slowing down quickly difficult. It’s tempting to drive faster to reach your destination quicker. But speeding greatly increases the danger of serious accidents.
Plan your trips carefully with the assumption that you will always drive the speed limit. When you plan things out, you will be able to get to your destination on time by following all traffic laws.
Never Drive Distracted
On long road trips, it’s tempting to look away from the road at phones or other electronic devices. But when you look away from the road to read a text message at 65 MPH, you go the length of a football field in a few seconds.
It’s best to put the cell phone in a place you can’t reach it when driving. Or, consider shutting it off. When you need to make a call or text, pull over at a truck stop.
Maintain Your Rig
Every year, serious truck crashes happen from blowouts and poorly maintained brakes. The saddest part is most of these incidents are avoidable if drivers and their employers check the rigs every day.
The last safety tip for truck drivers is to remember everything mentioned above. Remember that truck drivers have a higher obligation than other drivers to dispatch their duties safely. It’s never worth endangering yourself or someone else by speeding, ignoring rest times, and driving dangerously.
If you remember all of these trucker safety tips, you’ll have a long, accident-free career.