Safety is Highway Driver Leasing’s number one priority. Below are a few tips to keep truckers and other motorists safe.
- Upon arriving at an intersection be sure to signal early and often to ensure that other motorists know which way your truck is turning.
- Always make sure to slow down long before a complete stop is necessary. Other motorists do not realize how long it takes for a truck to come to a full stop, so seeing the brake lights early will help to avoid a collision.
- Keep changing lanes to a minimum as trucking “no zones” or blind spots are large. Be sure to check mirrors every 7 or 8 seconds.
- When routinely checking your vehicle, always be sure to check the headlights, brake lights, and turn signal lights to avoid accidents.
- When driving slower than the speed limit due to a heavy load or bad weather always use your flashers.
- Use the specific parking set aside for trucks as big rigs need four times the space as an average passenger car.
- Trucks should never be parked on roadways with speed limits over 30 mph unless disabled.
- When pulling off to the the side of the road or highway, always use precaution with flares, flashers, and safety triangles to alert other motorists.
- Do not park your truck near driveways or side streets, as the tractor trailer can obstruct a motorist’s view of oncoming traffic.
- Never park facing oncoming traffic.
- Do not let your truck idle for more than 5 minutes at a time as it is a waste of fuel.
- Do not idle your truck while sleeping, loading or unloading. Not only does it burn fuel, it has also been linked to lung cancer in truck drivers.
- When idling your vehicle, do not leave it unattended. This is how theft happens.
- If idling is necessary, keep windows closed or wear a safety mask so as not to inhale too many fumes.
- Idling may be necessary in temperatures below 20 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid fuel-gelling. This can be for as much as 10-20 minutes as necessary.
- In rain or snow conditions be sure to keep substantial space between your truck and the vehicle in front of your truck in case of an emergency stop.
- In bad weather, do not feel obliged to go as fast as the speed limit. Slower speeds are necessary to avoid rollovers, jackknifes, and collisions.
- Always keep tire chains on hand in case of snow or ice.
- Keep the fuel tank full during the colder seasons as water condensation can build up in the fuel line.
- Remember to take extra precautions on bridges as they freeze before roads do.
LONG HAUL DRIVING
- Do not tailgate. Although trucking often entails hours of driving and frustrations run high, keep emotions in check.
- Take sufficient breaks and actually get out of the truck in order to stay fresh and alert on long hauls.
- Wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing as sitting for long periods of time can cut off circulation and cause serious health problems over time.
- Admit to yourself when you are fatigued. Driving while exhausted can be more dangerous than driving while intoxicated.
- Remember that trucking regulations prohibit more than 11 hours of continuous trucking with a subsequent 10 hour off-duty break. However, this is not always enough rest time so be sure to pay attention to your body’s fatigue levels.
Safety Tips: pointers for truck drivers and other motorists to stay safe on the road.
Share the Road Safely: tips for truck and bus drivers including defensive driving and maintenance.
Trucking Safety: a guide from the Ohio Department of Public Safety on changing lanes, wide turns, and avoiding accidents.
Parking: a list of rules and regulations to maximize safety while parking a tractor trailer.
Truck Safety Coalition: an organization dedicated to the safety trucking regulations.