Long-haul truck drivers are responsible for the timely delivery of goods, making their job an essential component of keeping our economy ticking. The work of a truck driver is not easy, as evidenced by the number of accidents and injuries associated with truck driving. Truck driving is classified as one of the 10 most dangerous jobs in the country.
Here are a few tips for truckers to make driving as safe as possible:
- Watch blind spots – The blind spot is the area around your vehicle that you cannot directly observe while at the controls. Blind spots occur in the off side of your truck just in front of the cab, behind the side mirrors, and directly behind the truck. Exercise caution before changing lanes or turning your truck.
- Reduce speed in work zones – Many truck accidents happen in work zones. Slow down when going through construction areas, even if your trip will be delayed a little bit.
- Maintain your truck – Give your truck a thorough check in the morning before you start your trip. Check your mirrors, horn, fluid levels, and, most importantly, your brakes. Report anything questionable to the dispatcher.
- Load cargo properly – There will be more drag on your truck if you stack the cargo too high. Stack your cargo lower and spread it out through the full length of the truck. This also helps with fuel economy.
- Reduce speed on curves – Following the speed limit is responsible driving, but bear in mind that speed limits are generally set for cars and other smaller vehicles. Sometimes the speed limit is too fast for a loaded truck, especially when you are negotiating curves. When tackling a curve, it is often best to maintain a speed lower than the posted limit to compensate for the length and weight of your truck.
- Adjust to bad weather – Runs often increase during the busy holiday season. Unfortunately, that’s when roads are apt to be icy and snowy. It is advisable to cut your speed by a third on wet roads and by half on icy or snowy roads. Do not make abrupt turns or brake too quickly in unsafe conditions. Start your turn signals well before changing lanes or slowing down to make a turn. Pull over when you see other trucks have done so; it usually means the road conditions ahead are not safe for driving.
- Take care of yourself – Get enough sleep, eat right, exercise, and spend quality time at home. This can help you feel refreshed for the drives ahead.
Be safe and responsible on the road this holiday season.