Driving a semi truck means that you are driving a vehicle with huge weight and size. As a result, this may lead to a semi truck accident that ends up with life-threatening injuries and deaths.
According to the National Highway Travel Safety Administration (NHTSA) in 2017, large trucks were directly involved in 361 road crash fatalities in California.
To drive your semi truck safely on the road, you need to follow tips to avoid a semi truck accident.
Table of Contents
- 1 12 Tips to Reduce Semi Truck Accident
- 1.1 1. Plan Your Route Before You Drive
- 1.2 2. Be Careful
- 1.3 3. Give Clear Signals
- 1.4 4. Avoid Passing Turning Vehicles
- 1.5 5. Follow the Road Rules
- 1.6 6. Use Trucks Brake Early
- 1.7 7. Lower Your Truck’s Brights
- 1.8 8. Check the Weather Forecast
- 1.9 9. Avoid Traffics
- 1.10 10. Pay More Attention at Night
- 1.11 11. Do Not Stop
- 1.12 12. Be Aware of Your Trailer
12 Tips to Reduce Semi Truck Accident
Here are some 12 tips for you to reduce accident possibilities when driving a semi truck on the road.
1. Plan Your Route Before You Drive
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 25% of all large truck accidents happen on unfamiliar roads.
That because truckers are more likely to become lost, miss turns, and breaks the speed limit in regions where they are not used to drive on.
So a semi truck driver can reduce the risk of accidents by carefully planning their routes before they operate.
2. Be Careful
As a semi truck driver, you need to know how things are going on the road around you. Be aware of the vehicle in front of you as well as those behind you, and vehicle on your right and left.
You also need to drive slowly, as if you drive very fast at weather or road conditions or failed to slow down at curves or ramps, then you will be in risks for spills, rollovers, and crashes.
This allows you to take the appropriate decision to avoid semi truck accidents.
3. Give Clear Signals
Before you change your lanes or turn while driving a semi truck, it is important to provide clear signals so that the other drivers can know your expected move.
Changing your lane suddenly may not provide the truck driver with enough time to avoid a collision.
This signal will give other drivers on the road more time to adjust their own driving and decide how to act appropriately. As a result, reduces semi truck accident possibility.
4. Avoid Passing Turning Vehicles
Be aware of the turning vehicles and never pass them, especially trucks and other large commercial vehicles that make much wider turns than smaller vehicles.
If you tried to pass a turning vehicle or truck this will put you at an increased risk of being involved in a semi truck accident.
5. Follow the Road Rules
When driving your semi truck on the road, you need to practice safe driving. Following the road rules will make you avoid accidents.
You also need to pay attention to posted speed limits, always pass on the left, and keep a safe distance between your truck and other vehicles. Avoid distracted driving and running red lights.
6. Use Trucks Brake Early
Never underestimate the amount of space your truck needs to slow down or stop. A semi truck needs 525 ft to make a complete stop from 65 mph.
So use your beaks well and in the appropriate time to avoid semi truck accidents.
7. Lower Your Truck’s Brights
If you are driving near a vehicle, you should lower your high beams, bright headlights may have a bad influence o other driver’s vision; they also reflect on the trucker’s large side mirrors.
8. Check the Weather Forecast
Before operating your semi truck, you need to know how the weather is going to be on that day and check the reports as often as you’re able while traveling.
Keep an eye on the temperature outside the truck to watch for changing road conditions.
What you know what to expect, it helps you as a trucker to be better prepared for bad weather driving journey and the important precautions that can be taken.
9. Avoid Traffics
For your safety, avoid driving in peak traffic times and high volume traffic as much as possible.
You need to know that the more traffic is the more possible an accident occurs. Consequences may be fatal, and you may get injured as well as having your fright delivered late.
Try to avoid driving during rush hour (between 4 and 7 p.m.) which is a dangerous time to drive due to crowded traffics and drivers eager to get home after work.
10. Pay More Attention at Night
Always pay extra attention at night, A lot of semi truck drivers are launching their trips at night and it ends up with them making an accident.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), crashes account occurs due to speeding account for 37% of nighttime driving fatalities.
50 years old driver needs the double amount of light that 30 years old needs according to the American Optometric Association.
The more you get older the more difficult trucking becomes.
I will provide you with some tips to follow while driving at night to avoid semi truck accident:
- It’s ok to have an off-duty day in cases of bad weather conditions.
- Be certain that your car headlights are working properly, clean, and aligned correctly.
- Clean your glasses lenses.
- Be sure your car’s windshield is clean on both sides.
- Keep your eyeglass prescription updated.
- Rest your eyes when needed, and have a break when being tired.
11. Do Not Stop
When visibility becomes zero (vision from behind), stopping your truck at the time will be the wrong thing to do. As you will be hit when you stop where you are.
The right thing to do is to go ahead until visibility becomes clear or until you can safely get your vehicle off and away from the road.
12. Be Aware of Your Trailer
Control your trailer or you are subject to failure. Your truck trailer could get you and others injured or killed.
Be aware your trailer doesn’t leave the road. You also need to know how to back up your truck trailer.
Many trucks backing up accidents usually occur due to not spending the time necessary to complete the backing up process.
Here are some tips for you to be able to back up your trailer. As a result, reduce the possibility of a semi truck accident:
- Only back up when you have to (If backing up isn’t your driving strength then you should avoid doing it).
- Always back up as straight as you can.
- Check your mirrors, and back up mostly using your left one.
- Make yourself visible to other drivers; turn on your hazards when backing.
- Hit the horn to get the attention of people around.
- Remember that you are driving the trailer and not the truck.
- Look at your steering wheel.
- Keep your foot on the brake.
- Before you start backing make sure to look around for cars, people, other trucks, power lines, wires, broken glass, and anything else that could make the backup more difficult.
- Try to focus on your axles and where they are going.
- Take your time, check your mirrors, and get out of the truck to see how you are doing.
Remember that when you drive your truck, you are handling a work responsibility as well as other people’s lives.
So make sure to follow these tips to avoid semi truck accident because your wife and your children are waiting for you to back home.