Driver safety is an important topic in the truck driving industry. Many accidents and injuries can be prevented by following certain safety procedures. As a truck driver, there are some simple things that you can do every day to ensure your own safety, as well as the safety of other drivers who share the road. To help make the roads safer, here’s a few of those safety tips below.
1. Wear Your Seatbelt
Studies show that roughly 1 in 6 truck drivers do not wear their safety belts. The use of seatbelts is not only required, but it’s also the most preventable way to reduce injury. More than 40% of crash-related deaths occur every year from not wearing a seatbelt.
2. Avoid Using Your Cell Phone While Driving
Not only is it careless, but it is now illegal in most states to use a handheld mobile phone while driving. Talking, texting or looking at your phone screen is distracting and can lead to a serious accident.
3. Be Aware of Speed Limits
Speed limits are there, especially ones specifically noted for trucks. Stay within the speed limit and you will stay safer on the road.
4. Avoid Drugs and Alcohol
While it may sound obvious, drinking and driving is very dangerous and should be avoided at all costs. Drugs include anything that impairs your judgment or physical faculties, such as medications that may cause drowsiness. Besides having safety concerns, being under the influence can also cost you your job.
5. Plan Your Trip
There are all sorts of unexpected events that could occur on the road, but having a plan can make you more prepared. The better you have your trip planned out (driving hours, routes, weather scouting, etc.), the safer your journey will be.
6. Mind Your Truck’s Space Cushion
Always be mindful of your truck’s large height and weight. Make sure there is a safe space cushion around all sides of the vehicle to prevent accidents.
7. Slow Down for Turns/Curves
Be careful when making turns on a curvy road or at an off-ramp. Slow down accordingly to adjust for lane changes and other vehicles.
8. Maintain a Proper Stopping Distance
Make sure to maintain ample stopping distance between you and any vehicles ahead of you. Keeping your head forward and reducing distractions will help you avoid close interactions.
9. Watch Out for the Weather
Certain parts of the country are known for having unpredictable weather, but try to keep track of changes and avoid dangerous driving conditions whenever possible.
10. Eat Healthy and Get Your Rest
A healthier diet and ample rest will keep you more alert on the road. Make sure you get plenty of sleep and pull over if you are feeling tired. Grab a light snack, stretch your legs or take a catnap. Munching on junk foods, drinking sugary drinks and consuming heavy meals can make you drowsy, so look for healthy alternatives when you can.