Large trucks account for 10% of all fatalities in crashes. When you’re driving a truck, it’s essential to stay safe on the road and protect yourself and those around you.
Read these tips to find out the best ways to do that.
Be Aware of Your Blind Spots
Being aware of your blind spots is perhaps the most important thing you can do to avoid a truck accident. As you likely know, the blind spots on trucks are much larger than other vehicles.
Check your mirrors roughly every ten seconds to ensure that you’re aware of vehicles entering your blind spot. Doing this makes it much less likely that one can creep up on you and cause an accident if you need to change lanes.
Make sure you’re scanning ahead on the road too in case you overtake someone who then ends up in your blind spot.
Wear Your Seatbelt
It may sound like an obvious safety tip and yet a study by the CDC one found that one in six truck drivers don’t wear their seatbelt on every trip.
This is a very dangerous thing for a truck driver to dismiss, as it may save their life in a truck accident. Make sure you put your seatbelt on, no matter how long you’ve been driving and no matter how much of an inconvenience you may feel it is.
It’s much better than being seriously injured or worse.
Be Aware of Vehicle-Specific Speed Limits
You may think you know the speed limit of a certain road because you’ve driven on it before but there’s often a completely separate speed limit for trucks posted.
No matter how familiar you think you are with a place, scan the signs and make sure you’re following the rules.
Practice Defensive Driving
No matter how good you are at driving and no matter how much confidence you have in yourself, it’s important to remember that not everyone is the same way and you’ll also have to account for other people.
Some people may be under the influence, distracted, or affected by the weather — you never know.
Maintain as much distance as you can from others. If you see someone driving erratically, slow down or switch lanes to get away from them. If you notice anything amiss at all, it’s better to avoid it, as it may cause a crash that you have no control over.
If you have been in an accident despite your best efforts to avoid one, make sure you contact a reputable lawyer like reasonoverlaw.com.
Make Sure Your Truck Is Inspected Before the Trip
Before you take on any long trip, your truck should be inspected to ensure it’s in full working order.
Don’t skip this, even if the truck was running just fine soon before. There are a whole host of issues that can go wrong with a vehicle and it’s best to make sure none of them are going to cause any trouble.
In the best-case scenario with a truck issue, your trip is delayed in the middle and takes far longer than it should. Worst case scenario, it puts you in serious danger.
Get Proper Rest
This is important before your trip and during. Make sure you’re well-rested before you begin the trip, and make sure you take all the breaks you can during.
While many truck drivers will attempt to caffeinated to keep themselves going, caffeine can only last for so long and it will definitely have an impact on your health. It also may make you easily distracted or cause other symptoms, which is the last thing you want with such a long journey stretching out ahead of you.
If it’s not possible to get sleep during the journey and make stops then ensure you time your sleep beforehand well.
Don’t Get Distracted
Truck journies can be long and boring — but don’t be tempted to get distracted. While you might want to look at your cell phone, it’s best to save that for stops. There’s no text that can’t wait.
Other levels of distraction, you can judge by the environment around you. If you can listen to an audiobook or podcast and still drive fine, then great — especially if it’s a long, straight road.
However, if the weather is bad or there are too many dangerous elements are you, it’s best to make sure you have no distractions completely.
One of the most important things you can do as a truck driver is to plan ahead.
While the route has likely been set for you, there are other things you can do to make yourself prepared. Create a playlist ahead of time so you don’t have to mess with your phone while driving, check the weather through the whole route to prepare yourself, and work out how many hours you’ll be driving at a time and where you’ll stop.
If you take the time to familiarize yourself with the schedule ahead of time, you’ll be able to plan better and make sure you have everything you need to take on the trip successfully.
Keep Yourself Safe on the Road With These Tips
It’s essential to keep yourself safe on the road when you’re a truck driver. There are so many things that could go wrong, and you need to protect yourself and those who may be driving around you.
Make sure you plan the route ahead, get plenty of rest, minimize distractions, and practice defensive driving.
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