Driving Safety Tips for New Truck Drivers
Congratulations on your new career as a truck driver! As you prepare to hit the open road, it’s important to always remember that safety comes first. Nothing is more important than keeping yourself and all the drivers around you safe.
America Truck Driving School has put together this list of helpful tips that will enable you to be safer in your truck driving career.
1. Keep Your Truck Maintained
Make sure to perform a thorough vehicle check every single morning. Check fluid levels, test the horn, position the mirrors, check tire air pressure, etc. Your brakes are the most important, though, so be sure that those are working properly. While on the road, take advantage of any brake test areas before major downgrades.
2. Check Those Blind Spots
Most accidents involving trucks and regular motorists happen because of the blind spots (or what we call “no zones”). Remember that other drivers may not be paying attention or understand where your blind spots are, so you must be very diligent as the truck driver. Common “no zones” include off to the side, in front of the cab, right behind the side mirrors and directly behind the trailer.
3. Stack Your Cargo Efficiently
The higher your weight is distributed, the more drag you will have on the truck and the more likely it can jackknife. Try to distribute the weight lower and spread the cargo evenly in order to maintain better control of the truck and trailer.
4. Be Mindful of Work Zones
Always slow down in work zones. So many accidents happen every year involving freeway or highway work zones and large trucks. Don’t be another statistic.
5. Slow Down Through Curves and Grades
Watch speed limit signs carefully and maintain proper speeds through turns, up/down steep grades and on off-ramps and on-ramps. Remember, a lot of speed limit signs are for regular cars, so pay special attention to any targeting trucks and always stay on the conservative side of speed.
6. Be Prepared for Bad Weather
The more you drive, the more likely you will encounter inclement weather somewhere along the route. Know and practice your poor weather driving maneuvers, cut down your speed on wet, icy or snowy roads, and just be extra careful when road surfaces and visibility are bad. If you see most other trucks pulled over somewhere, you might want to do the same.
7. Be Healthy
Take care of yourself and that will lead to safer driving. Make sure you eat right, have enough sleep and exercise or stretch whenever you can.
When you practice good safety on the road, great things will happen in your truck driving career. For information about America Truck Driving School’s class training sessions and class schedules, check out our website or contact us today.