Truckers spend most working days on the road – it’s their job, after all. And since they’re transporting tons of materials across the country in a large vehicle, they need to be especially mindful of other drivers. So, practicing safe driving should be stressed to new truck drivers before their first trip on the road. Here are some tips for truck drivers for staying safe on the road.
Prep the truck
Readying a vehicle for the road is an important task to prepare for a long drive. Perform routine maintenance like changing the oil, replacing the necessary fluids, checking wiper blades and testing the brakes. Make sure the truck is equipped with and emergency kit that includes a flashlight, flares, first aid kit and jumper cables. And don’t forget to completely fill the fuel tank before starting the drive across the country.
This one should be obvious, but people continue to use cellphones while driving. At least nine people are killed every day from distracted driving accidents. Truck drivers especially should avoid distractions while driving, as the weight and size of trucks makes accidents potentially more dangerous. Only adjust dials when necessary and don’t spend too much time setting the temperature or changing the radio station. Don’t call or radio other drivers unless it’s necessary, and never text and drive, no matter how short or quick the text is.
Take regular breaks
Truck drivers have strict guidelines for the amount of time they’re allowed to spend on the road and the amount of time spent on breaks. They are required to take 30 minute breaks at least every eight hours during an extended trip, or they can drive 11 hours if they’ve been off duty for at least 10 hours. Following these guidelines helps drivers avoid fatigue, which is dangerous if drivers are on the road for hours. Pay close attention to the driver’s log and plan rest stops accordingly.
Be aware of other drivers
It’s impossible to predict what other drivers will do on the road, but it’s possible to reduce the chances of getting in an accident. Always be aware of how other drivers are acting on the road. Trucks have pretty big blind spots, so give plenty of notification when switching lanes or turning to make sure nobody is behind or beside the truck. Drive the speed limit or slower if the weather is bad, and don’t tail other drivers, as this lowers the time to stop or react quickly.
There’s more to truck driving than being able to drive for 8 hours or more per day. Truck drivers have to be extra cautious on the road to make sure they reach their destinations on time and without incident. Driving responsibly and taking necessary rest stops ensures can make for a safe drive across the country.