The safety of truck drivers and the safety of other drivers on the road are of primary importance. Being a successful truck driver does not start and end with you obtaining your CDL. Driving safely is easier said than done. Staying safe on the road, especially during harsh weather conditions can be hard. To drive professionally, you will need a great deal of skill, since truck driving carries a lot of duties for the safety of others on the road. Being safe is what will keep you alive every time you are confronted with the anxious moments when you are behind the wheel.
Truck Driving Safety Tips
What are you shipping?
Sometimes, you will be called on to haul hazardous goods; in that case, it is significant to know what you are hauling. Any element that is considered to have a threat to people and the environment is considered as hazardous materials. For example, when you are shipping lithium ion batteries, there are things you must know. The hazardous materials should be marked in English; you must have some training, including general awareness and acquaintance with hazardous materials. It is vital that you know your responsibility as a carrier to safely and securely transport dangerous goods.
Wear your seat belt
Truckers can overcome accidents; however, that should not be an excuse for not using their seat belts. As a matter of fact, all truck drivers and passengers are required by law to wear seat belts. According to the NHTSA, the safest choice that a driver and the passengers can make is to fasten their seatbelts. Buckling up helps you stay safe inside your truck, not buckling up can end to you being ejected from your vehicle in the event of an accident. Always follow the seat belt guidelines to maintain your safety and other road users’.
Eat healthy on the Go
The big challenge with motorists who want to eat healthy meals is getting over the usual high-calorie cost to find a low-priced but healthy food variety while out on the road. Moreover, a healthier diet and enough rest will keep you more attentive on the road. Ensure that you get enough sleep and pull-over whenever you feel tired. Most grocery stores have ample parking for trailers, although you will have to walk a bit. Grab a light grub, stretch your legs, and take a nap. Avoid junks like sugary drinks and don’t consume heavy meals; they can trigger drowsiness. Instead, opt for healthy alternatives that can keep you alert on the road.
Keep lane changes at the minimum
To be safe on the road, you need adequate space all around your truck. In case something goes wrong, space gives you enough time to take action. Commercial vehicles are typically broad and can take up most of the lane. However, if you are a safe driver, you will manage the little space you have by keeping your truck fixed in the lane and avoid driving on the edges. It is advisable to pick a lane and stay on it; however, if it is necessary that you change lanes, move very carefully, beware of blind spots, and frequently check your side mirrors.
Adjust for bad weather
There are some areas that are known for having unpredictable weather; however, you should try and keep track of changes and avoid hazardous road conditions as much as possible. Changing climate and poor road conditions impact commercial trucks more than passenger vehicles. Road conditions are not within your control; however, there are numerous sources that can help you keep up with the weather and road conditions. Commercial trucks usually need a lengthier stopping space, so cut your haste by one third on damp roads and by one half on frosty or snowy roads.
Additionally, take your time to maneuver on poor road weather and allow your blinker to run for five blinks before you change lanes.
- Watch out for blind spots
- The typical ‘no zones’ include
- Straight behind your truck
- Just behind the side mirrors
- Off to the side just in from of the cab
Motorists who are not aware of these blind spots may drive dangerously close to one another. This can be very annoying, but it is up to you to exercise caution before turning or even changing lanes. Also, make sure that you are maintaining a safe distance between you and other motorists.
Avoid distracted driving
Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of accidents on the road. Distractions can be categorized into three types, namely;
Nowadays, the most common type of distraction comes from mobile phones and other technological devices. The probability of causing an accident when using a cell phone is four times higher. The risk increases significantly, considering the amount of time cell phone usage can occur during a drive, especially when it is a long one. Using voice-activated or one-touch dialing is the best way to avoid cell phone distraction while driving.
Always beware of your trailer
The typical trailer is about 70 feet long; hence, you must beware of the trailer whenever you are making turns or changing lanes. Before changing lanes or making a turn, make sure that your mirrors are fixed and turn-on signal for three seconds and then take seven seconds to make a lane change.
Safety Tips for When You Arrive
Don’t stop following the safety tips just because you are hauling into a truck corner. Things can go wrong even when you are packing. Make sure to follow your path and examine your endpoint. Inspect your truck even after packing and unload the cargo wisely. After unloading your vehicle, inspect your truck and report any faults and lock the doors.
Trucking comes with its own way of life, and it is not just an ordinary career. The long hours and the lengthy drives can take its fee. However, if you follow the above safety tips, you will return home in one piece to your family every time.