3 Essential Truck Driver Safety Tips to Minimize Risk
For truck drivers, staying safe is the first priority. Their behavior on the road directly affects other motorists and their employers’ bottom line. Driving a truck is an exciting job, but it is also one of the most dangerous occupations. Follow our tips to prevent accidents.
Truckers must be on the constant lookout for changes in road conditions and potential hazards. Official CDL courses like https://truckschool.net/cdl-class-b-spokane/ have a strong emphasis on safety. Learn to anticipate adverse situations and lower the risk of collisions and other accidents. The following defensive techniques reduce the frequency of costly repairs and claim payouts:
Watching out for blind spots:
When you are in the seat of a truck trailer, you are so high off the ground that you may fail to notice vehicles behind or even next to yours. Such blind spots lead to more than 840,000 accidents annually, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
When changing lanes, look over your shoulder and all the windows. Make sure there is plenty of space around your truck.
Allow three full seconds between yourself and the car in front of you. The following time increases to 5 seconds in heavy rain or wind. On icy roads, allow at least 10 seconds. This rule works regardless of your speed.
Preparing for emergencies:
Conditions on the road can change rapidly. A first-aid kit is a must. Stock up on snacks and water, take a change of clothes and some blankets.
Avoid road rage at all costs. If you get honked at, cut off, or harassed in another way, this is not a reason to tailgate or weave between lanes. Do not put yourself and others at risk. Instead, increase the distance between you and annoying drivers.
Even when you see no other vehicles on the road, there is no excuse for neglecting traffic rules. You must signal before turning and changing lanes.
Slowing down when in doubt:
In case of any changes on the road, slow down. If it gets slippery or an animal appears, this is the first thing you should do. Slowing down will give you time to take corrective action. Unfortunately, swerving to avoid an animal is too risky.
The primary cause of accidents for truck drivers is distractions. They range from texting to eating lunch to looking out the window at a billboard. Using cell phones while driving is prohibited, but not every driver follows the rules. When the weather is bad or traffic is heavy, turn off the radio, too.
Get Enough Rest and Take Breaks
In addition to mandatory breaks required under HOS regulations, stop whenever you feel sleepy or impaired. This will decrease the risk of fatigue-related accidents. Take care of your health by eating, sleeping, and exercising properly.