Tips For Preventing 18-Wheeler Accidents
When your job involves driving for extended periods of time, the simple truth is that you’re at a higher risk of an accident. This is also true for truck drivers. Accidents involving 18-wheelers aren’t uncommon and may be caused by one of the following mistakes.
A deadline isn’t worth a speeding ticket or accident, yet it’s one of the reasons truckers get into accidents. It takes more time to stop an 18-wheeler with a full load than a passenger vehicle — 40% longer, in fact. That’s why it’s important to know your safe braking distance and avoid going above the posted speed limit.
2. Overweight trucks
Trucks carrying an unusually heavy load or an imbalanced load have more difficulty stopping and slowing down. Cargo may shift during turns or stops, leading to loss of control, jackknifing, or a rollover. To prevent this, conduct a pre-trip inspection and know what kind of a load you’re carrying. You might also need to take extra precautions, such as driving slower than usual and taking more time to make turns and stops.
3. Lack of maintenance
A mechanical failure is more likely to occur if the truck hasn’t been recently serviced. It can take just one flat tire, failed suspension system, or faulty brakes to cause a serious accident. Don’t neglect maintenance as this could lead to costly damage and repairs.
4. Lack of sleep
Though there are limitations on the number of hours a truck driver can stay behind the wheel, sometimes a trucker needs some extra time off to regain their strength. If you find yourself feeling drowsy, pull over and take a nap. You may also need to reconsider your diet, as certain foods could be causing you to feel unusually tired. Stick to healthy fruits and vegetables and avoid processed foods.
5. Highway hypnosis
Driving for hours on end, a trucker may fall into a sort of trance-like state in which they are less likely to notice minor details, potentially leading to a collision. Consider listening to upbeat music or an engaging podcast to keep yourself from zoning out.
6. Blind spots
All truckers are taught to make careful lane changes to avoid a collision with vehicles driving in their blind spots. Signal for at least 10 seconds and check all of your mirrors before making a lane change.