5 Tips for Safe Trucking
Between 2016 and 2017, 4,657 large trucks were involved in fatal crashes — an increase of 10% from the previous year. Driver safety should remain a priority for drivers long after they’ve completed truck driving school. Here are a few tips every truck driver should follow to decrease their risk of accident and injury.
- Mind the speed limit.
As a driver of a passenger vehicle, you may be used to ignoring speed limits. But if you’re driving a truck, then you need to remember that you’re also towing a trailer behind you. Stopping a truck takes much longer and can be dangerous for other drivers if you’re driving too fast. So follow the speed limit and be considerate of the safety of other drivers.
- Slow down for work zones.
According to the Department of Transportation, “In 2016, 27% of fatal work zone crashes involved at least one large truck compared to only 11% of all fatal crashes.” A work zone presents many hazards to drivers, such as uneven road surfaces, moving workers and equipment, sudden stops and lane shifts. Be on the lookout for work zones and be prepared for lane changes and stop-and-go traffic.
- Stay on top of maintenance.
Just because your truck starts without any hiccups, doesn’t mean all is well. Follow pre-trip safety inspections to the tee and make sure tires and brakes are in good condition before you hit the road. A split second could be the difference between an injury and a fatal accident.
- Make sure you’re getting enough sleep.
If you’ve been on the road for a while, it could be tempting to spend hours watching TV. In 2017, drowsy driving claimed 795 lives. So limit the time you spend watching TV and make sure you’re getting at least seven hours of sleep each night.
- Get rid of distractions.
Input directions into your GPS before you turn the key, set your cell phone to silent while you’re driving and avoid flipping through radio channels. The call can wait. Your safety is worth it.