Being safe as a professional truck driver is not only an important part of your job, but it is crucial for your health and wellbeing, as well that of those around you. While you should always use your best judgment when driving, we want to remind you of a few tips to increase your safety and keep yourself and other drivers safe on the road. By practicing these safety tips, you will not only improve you and your fleet’s safety, but you will increase your bottom line from fewer repair costs, insurance premiums, and claims.
Check the Weather
Bad weather is responsible for a large number of trucking accidents every year. Rain, ice, and snow are not always easy to drive in. Before you get on the road, always make sure to check the weather forecast to be prepared for what you will be driving into. You should also be sure to check road conditions so that you aren’t caught off guard by an icy highway or longer drive time than anticipated, pending weather, or even construction or closures.
Road conditions can change at any time, so be on high alert any time you are driving in bad weather. If road conditions or visibility worsens, slow down and be on high alert. Slowing down can help to prevent an accident in the case of heavy rain or a slippery road.
Steer Clear of Distractions
Distracted driving is one of the main causes of accidents on highways. Not only is being on your cell phone while driving illegal in most states, but it is also incredibly dangerous, especially if you are driving a 70-foot truck. However, there are more distractions than just a cell phone. Other distractions can include looking at billboards and other objects outside of your truck, eating or drinking, changing radio stations, consistently using a dispatch device, and more. If you must look up directions, either look them up before starting to drive or pull over to the side of the road.
Slow Down for Curves
Always slow down when you are approaching a curve. Not only is your vehicle much longer than the other cars on the road, but it weighs a lot more. This applies to turns as well. Semi-trucks just don’t handle as well as smaller vehicles, so by slowing down, you are significantly decreasing the chance of a tip-over or losing control of your truck. There are usually speed limit signs specifically for trucks that you should take care to stay within when approaching curves or turns.
Pay Attention to Your Surroundings
Pay attention to your surroundings, particularly other drivers. Cars are notorious for quickly changing lanes and speeding while on the road. Do your best to pay attention to cars surrounding your truck and be ready for a quick response if necessary. Leave plenty of room in between the front of your truck and other vehicles, and try your best to stay in one lane.
Don't Forget to Rest
Driving drowsy can be very dangerous. Some say it can be as bad as driving under the influence. By getting a proper amount of sleep every night, you will be much more alert while on the road. If you are feeling tired while driving, pull over and take a quick walk or get a light snack or coffee. A quick power nap can do wonders for your alertness, so if you are able to, a 20-minute nap can make a huge difference.
Keep up with Routine Maintenance
By keeping up with your truck’s routine maintenance, you are increasing driver safety exponentially. Always make sure to do your pre- and post-trip checks, and never skip scheduled maintenance. If something is found on one of your checks, get it repaired immediately. Don’t try to take one more trip or finish your current trip if you are currently on the road. Small problems can quickly turn into big problems with semi-trucks, and by driving with an issue, it can significantly increase the risk of having an accident. Your tires and brakes are particularly important, so pay special attention when inspecting them.
Call Tri-State Truck for Your Trucking Needs
For over 60 years, Tri-State Truck has provided the trucking industry with high-quality customer service and a commitment to excellence. We offer repair and maintenance services for class-8 trucks, as well as truck sales and leasing. For more information, please contact us. We will be happy to assist you!