In the truck industry, nothing is more important than safety. Most accidents and injuries are preventable. If you know how to protect yourself, you can avoid a lot of trouble. Here are a few things that will promote safety for any truck driver.
1. Wear Your Seatbelt
Like with any other vehicle, you need to wear your seatbelt when driving a truck. Unfortunately, studies suggest that one in six truck drivers don’t wear their safety belts. This leaves them vulnerable to accidents. Wearing seat belts is a legal requirement and one of the most reliable ways to reduce injury. Over 40 percent of crash-related fatalities could be prevented by wearing a seatbelt.
2. Stay Alert
Do not be distracted on the road. Remain alert and aware of your surroundings. This way, you can react to things before it is too late. Look straight down the road, and do not lose track of the area around your rig. According to Mark Rouse at The702Firm.com, good truck drivers know what is happening ahead, behind, and next to them. They anticipate problems and prepare for them before they happen. They always have an ‘escape’ route when going down the highway—being well-rested before driving promotes alertness on the road.
3. Observe Speed Limits
Stay aware of the speed limits and observe them. They are there to protect you. Even though all limits are essential, you must be very keen on those expressly noted for trucks. Speeding increases your chances of getting into an accident in a few basic ways:
- It increases the intensity of the crash
- You may not realize the need to react until it is too late
- You will be forced to break harder
Inexperienced truck drivers are more likely to get into speeding accidents than experienced ones.
4. Avoid Alcohol and Drugs
Even though this point may seem obvious, many truck drivers fail to observe it. Driving while intoxicated puts you and other road users in danger. Drugs include everything that may impair your judgment or physical performance. If you plan on taking medication, learn about its side effects first. Some medicines will have side effects like drowsiness and fatigue. It would be best if you didn’t take them before driving a truck. Driving under the influence could cost you your job as well.
5. Rest and Eat Healthily
Sufficient rest and a healthy diet are essential for all truck drivers. They keep you alert on the road and lower your chances of being involved in an accident. If you feel tired or sleepy, pull over to the side of the road and get some sleep. Stretch your legs and grab a snack. Avoid heavy foods and sugary drinks as they could make you even drowsier.
6. Check Weather Reports
Before heading out on your trip:
- Learn about the weather conditions,
- Often Check weather reports and stay aware of the changes
- Keep an eye on outside temperatures and changing weather
Knowing what to expect makes it easy to prepare. Taking the appropriate precautions is an integral part of trip planning. The weather in some parts of the country is unpredictable. Therefore, checking weather reports may not be enough. You must keep checking for changes in driving and weather conditions.
7. Keep a Proper Stopping Distance
Ensure that there is enough distance between your truck and other vehicles. You never know when the car in front of you may stop. If you are too close, you are likely to crash. Minimize distractions and keep your head forward to avoid extremely close interactions.
8. Minimize Lane Changes
Keep your lane changes as minimal as possible. Choose a lane that you like and stick to it. If you have to change lanes, be very careful. Check your mirrors often and stay aware of the blind spots. The chances of getting in an accident increase dramatically every time you switch lanes. If you maintain your lane and still get into an accident, the other driver will most likely be at fault.
9. Use a Trucker’s GPS
A trucker’s GPS is essential. The best ones are designed to show crucial information, including
the distance before your exit, the proper exits to take, traffic reports, and when you need to switch lanes. Even though the best ones can be costly, they are worth buying. They can be accommodating when traveling in unknown areas. Even though you shouldn’t rely on a trucker’s GPS entirely, you should get one.
Driving a truck professionally is a challenging and dangerous job. It requires responsibility, skill, and common sense. Even the slightest act of carelessness can put you and other road users in danger. Essential things to keep in mind include wearing a seat belt, observing speed limits, and checking weather reports.