As a truck driver, keeping safe on the road is not only essential for your health and well-being but also benefits other road users. The Department of Labor in the United States singles out trucking as a dangerous occupation. This situation should mean being extra careful when handling the truck. How do you maintain safety on the road as a truck driver? There are many tips you can adapt to stay safe. Here are the top four.
1. Practice Defensive Driving
As a truck driver, you need to learn defensive driving to stay safe and avoid getting into accidents with other reckless road users. This situation also enables you to avoid road hazards and maneuver well in adverse road situations. Some of the best defensive driving strategies you can adopt are watching out for blind spots, getting prepared for emergencies, and practicing the three-second rule – where the driver gives the utmost three seconds to reach a place where the front vehicle is. Also, as a driver, you need to use signals and slow down on contentious roads. It is essential to stay calm and collected while on the road.
2. Have Proper Rests and Breaks
Truck drivers indeed travel over long distances to deliver goods. Most laws stipulate driving for eight hours before taking a rest, regardless of the distance and urgency. It’s essential to take a break after eight hours to catch some breath and stretch the muscles. Not taking these breaks or traveling for more extended hours lead to fatigue, as a fatigued truck driver is more likely to cause road accidents, which lead to injuries. Such accidents also lead to court cases, with victims requiring compensation. Besides the hours, any driver should take a break when they feel sleepy or impaired to avoid causing accidents.
3. Have Before and After Trip inspections
Any driver should have their vehicle checked before and after the trip. This inspection ensures that everything is in check for the trip and that you don’t suffer any inconveniences along the way, which might cause delays or road accidents. Ensure the vehicle engine, tires, and other essential parts are checked by an expert. Also, ensure these inspections are documented and monitored at all times. Documenting repairs and inspections ensure proper follow-up of your vehicle and increase its safety and lifespan. Ensure you don’t drive any car with mechanical faults or one that’s due for service.
4. Have Tools to Respond to Road Conditions
As a truck driver, you understand that road conditions are unpredictable. What you are experiencing in your current location won’t be the same along the way and your final destination. It is essential to prepare yourself with the crucial tools to adapt to some road conditions, so bad weather, including rain, ice, and strong winds, isn’t good for driving. It is important to have maps and weather prediction tools to know the weather along the way. With these tools, you can postpone or reroute your journey to a safer route to avoid inconveniences along the way.
Other tips you need to consider are avoiding distractions along the way, have dashboard cameras to record road happenings, and have proper driving habits. While we can’t stop accidents, we can use the tips above to prevent or avoid them.