Being a truck driver is by no means easy. There are so many responsibilities that appear and you want to be careful whenever you are on the road. After all, you are driving a much heavier vehicle and one moment of not being safe can lead to huge disasters.
Here’s a handy list of basic yet essential truck driver safety pointers for beginners, pros, and any owner-operator in the trucking industry. Remember the tips and respect them in order to be sure that nothing bad will happen.
- Watch Your Blind Spots – Keep an eye on the blind spots and double check for cars before making lane changes. Most motorists do not know about all of a truck’s “no zones” and are not as careful as they should be, so it is your job to be extra careful. Since we are referring to trucks, the blind spots are much more dangerous, especially when referring to other people on the road that are on a motorcycle or similar vehicle.
- Slow Down in Work Zones – It is estimated that as much as one-third of all fatal work-zone accidents are involved with large semi-trucks. Be careful in construction areas, watch for other cars changing lanes, and be alert for traffic pattern changes. Work zones are particularly dangerous because accidents do lead to fatalities in many cases.
- Maintain the Vehicle – Give your vehicle a thorough check each morning (fluid levels, horn, mirrors, etc.) The brakes are particularly vital, given how much weight is riding on them. If you spot anything unusual, report it to dispatch before attempting to drive. Most of the accidents happen because maintenance problems. This is not something that is often advertised but if you look at statistics, you will be surprised to notice that it is true.
- Adjust to the Weather – As many as half of all traffic accidents involving large trucks occur during inclement weather, in many cases with maintenance problems associated. Be careful in rainy, snowy, and windy conditions. If you drive through an area that tells you that you need chains on your wheels, as an example, put them on.
- Take Care of Yourself – One of the biggest steps you can take to being safe on the road during a delivery is to take care of yourself. Sleep enough when you are off, eat good food, avoid alcohol and tobacco, and never drive if you are sleepy or otherwise impaired. Remember that there are laws that limit the amount of time you can drive trucks for a reason. You do not want to be a fatality since the solution was to simply sleep for a few hours.
As you can easily see, truck driving safety revolves around common sense. You want to be sure that you are not tired while driving, that you respect the law and that you will take care of yourself. By simply exhibiting common sense and not doing something that you know you are not supposed to you drastically reduce the possibility of ending up with a problem.