Are you interested in the trucking field and looking for a job in this field, or already you are a truck driver? You need to know Truck Driving Safety Tips and put into consideration that you are taking a great responsibility.
Table of Contents
Truck Driving Safety Tips for You as a Truck driver:
1. Be Aware:
As a truck driver, you need to know everything going on the road around you. Be aware of who is in front of you, behind you, and in your side at all times.
Be aware of everything, so you can act appropriately when necessary and able to take the correct decision at the correct time.
When driving on the way, especially in heavy traffic, in order not to be late and finish your transport on time, always plan an escape route for such emergency cases.
2. Check the Weather Forecast:
Before driving on the road, 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.
Related >> 13 Winter Driving Tips for Truck Drivers
3. Avoid Traffics:
Avoid traveling at high volume traffic and peak traffic times as much as possible. The more traffic, the greater the accident possibility is, as well as the later your transportation delivered.
Here are some truck driving safety tips to avoid traffic, thus lowering your risk and getting you to your destination much faster:
- Check local news and radio reports for road conditions.
- Plan trips in advance and when traffic is low.
- Leave space in front of the vehicle for breaking.
- Change lanes as little as possible.
- Use a truck route GPS.
4. Rush Hour
Evening rush hour (between 4 and 7 p.m.) is a dangerous time to drive due to crowded traffics and drivers eager to get home after work.
So how can you go back home safely during rush hour? Read the following list to know the truck driving safety tips while driving in rush hours.
- Slow down and be a patient driver.
- Stay in your lane and beware of drivers who move from lane to lane.
- Even if the route is familiar to you, you have to stay alert.
- In unfamiliar areas, use a map before you go and memorize your route, or you can use your GPS.
- Don’t eat, drink, touch your phone, or do other things that are distracting.
5. Be more careful at night:
Driving at night is actually more dangerous. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Speeding-related crashes account for 37 percent of nighttime driving fatalities.
In the other hand, 21 percent of those crashes happened during daylight hours.
Always stay extra alert at night, there are a lot of truckers leaving a truck stop at night driving on the road, and it ends up with them making an accident.
Here is some truck driving safety tips for driving at night:
- Make sure your glasses lenses are clean.
- Be sure your car’s windshield is clean on both sides.
- Make sure your car headlights are working properly, free from dirt, and aligned correctly.
- Keep your eyeglass prescription updated.
- Rest your eyes when needed. Eyestrain can decrease night vision.
According to the American Optometric Association, A 50-year-old driver may need twice as much light to see as well as a 30-year-old. At age 60 and up, trucking can become more difficult.
So you need to be alert, be aware, move slowly and cautiously especially at night.
6. Maintain your lane:
While driving your truck, drive on a lane, and stay on it. Keep both of your on the wheel so you can prevent wind from pulling your tractor-trailer to one side or the other.
Cars surrounding you will dodge and change lanes. If you do find it necessary to change lanes, then you should move over very carefully, being aware of other vehicles surrounding you, and constantly check your mirrors.
In most states, trucks must simply stay out of the left lane on certain highways. However, California has lanes with two truck-only in existence and more potentially on the way.
Possibilities of an accident increase each time a vehicle makes a move to another lane.
If you were maintaining your lane position while driving, the other vehicle will most likely be at fault in the event of an accident.
When entering a city from the freeway, be sure to take the second lane from the right, as cars take the right lane and dodge all over the road.
7. Use your trucking GPS:
A trucker’s GPS will show important information for you as a truck driver, information such as which exit to take, distance before exit when to change lanes, traffic reports, etc.
These devices can provide you with the huge help and can alleviate a lot of stress, especially when traveling to unknown areas.
Drivers may use maps to reach unknown areas and be able to know unknown streets, but comparing both methods, using a trucker’s GPS will be great for you on the road.
8. Don’t drive rapidly:
This is one of the most important truck driving safety tips for you as a truck driver.
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.
A big truck doesn’t corner like a Ferrari, nor do it is driven like one. When you want to take a corner, be aware to take the corners and ramps very slowly.
Speed signs on the road are for cars, not for trucks. It doesn’t matter if you hold up traffic. The main deal is to turn through a ramp and go ahead straight.
Travel slowly and maintain control. There’s never a need to drive above the second gear in a parking lot.
Always drive with care and control. Don’t drive as fast as you think you can get away with, because consequences may be out of control and fatal.
9. Have a Break:
According to the National Sleep Foundation poll, 60% of adults have been driving on the road while being tired, and another 37%, or 103 million people, have slept during their driving.
Of those, 13% fall asleep while driving at least once a month, and 4% have made an accident by falling asleep while on the road.
While driving on the road, it will be fine to stop and take regular breaks when needed.
Have some food and drink your cup of tea, take a walk around the truck and trailer, check your load, check your truck by looking for soft tires, air leaks, and take a look under the truck for any dripping oil.
Get enough rest; don’t drive when you’re fatigued, too ill to focus, or on medications that make you drowsy or dizzy.
Trucking is not just a job but comes with a lifestyle all its own. It may be dangerous in some situations, but if you follow these truck driving safety tips, you will go back to your home safe again and again.