7 Safety Tips For Truck Drivers

Posted in: Driving Tips.

7 Safety Tips For Truck Drivers
7 Safety Tips For Truck Drivers

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Whether you own a trucking business or work as a truck driver for a company, it’s essential to be alert when driving. It all starts with getting the right training to equip you with the skills you need to drive safely. This way, you reduce the risks of accidents and also avoid putting others at risk. Beyond that, there are some essential safety tips you must remember while on the road, especially for long hours, including those listed below.

  1. Get enough rest and take breaks

General driving laws mandate all commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers to rest for at least 30 minutes after driving for 8 hours. Additionally, it will help if you get enough sleep before hitting the road in the first place so your mind and senses are alert. If you feel extremely tired during the journey, don’t hesitate to park if the road allows, and at least stretch your legs and get a quick shut-eye before you continue. While taking breaks, you can grab some snacks and stay hydrated to keep you feeling refreshed. Avoid alcohol before or while driving to prevent you from getting intoxicated and putting others at risk. Don’t drive if you’re tired, unwell, or using drugs that cause drowsiness or dizziness,  including over-the-counter prescriptions. Feeling well rested will help to significantly reduce at-fault accidents caused by tiredness, keeping you safe and helping to save money on accident-related expenses.

  1. Avoid all distractions

Several distractions could arise while driving your truck, and you need to guard against them. Simultaneously texting and driving is one of the most life-threatening distractions, and you must avoid that at all costs. If you must use your mobile phone, go hands-free to talk without having to press any button or look at your phone screen instead of keeping your eyes on the road. Other forms of distraction include eating, drinking, engaging with a navigation system or reading maps. If you need to do something apart from driving, exit the highway or pull over so you can give it your full attention.

  1. Reduce your number of lane changes

Cars will always dodge and shift lanes; sometimes, trucks are no exception. If you must change lanes, do so with caution, being mindful of your blindspot zones and continually checking your mirrors. Every time a car changes lanes, the chances of an accident increase considerably. In the case of a collision, you will at least not be at fault because you stuck to the required lanes and only changed when you had to. To reduce the likelihood of any collision when joining the main highway, pick the second lane from the right. This way, you’re more likely to avoid any cars that are carelessly swerving without your knowledge. While being vigilant when changing lanes, you should also consider not putting others at risk. It might be tempting to complete lane changes and leave motorways without signalling, especially during non-peak traffic. However, failure to indicate might increase the chance of a collision. Remember to indicate before switching lanes or turning, and signal even if there are no other cars in the area so that it becomes a habit.

  1. Slow down

As basic as this tip may sound, it will go a long way in helping to keep you safe on the road. Always reduce your speed when you reach ramps and corners, even if you hold up traffic. The main focus is getting around a corner safely. And managing your speed also helps you to maintain control. While doing this, remember not to go extremely slowly to the extent that you put others at risk of hitting the back of your truck or overtaking on an excessively busy road. Identifying the speed limit will help you know the best pace at which to drive.

  1. Be vigilant

As a truck driver, you must be aware of everything around you so you’re not caught unawares. Occasionally look out the window and around your rig and prepare an ‘exit route’ before driving along the highway, especially in heavy traffic. Be conscious of who is around you, so you can react appropriately if and when necessary. As mentioned earlier, being properly rested makes it easier to be vigilant, as all your senses are alert.

  1. Observe the three-second rule

The three-second rule plays a vital role in avoiding front and rear collisions. This rule has been modified to two seconds in some instances. It involves leaving three seconds between the time the vehicle in front of you reaches a given place on the roadway and the time required for you to get to that same position. If there is heavy rain or wind, increase the time to five seconds. Suppose the roads are slick. In that case, increase the follow time to 10 seconds. As technical as it may sound, it’s pretty simple and can go a long way in keeping you and other drivers safe while you drive.

Whether you’re a tow truck driver, own a trucking business, or are a part of a team of truck drivers, applying the above tips will help make your drive as smooth as possible, reducing the risk of accidents.



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