Jobs that involve a lot of driving can often be a challenge and they come with more risk than you might think. Driving for many hours a day is very tiring, and of course, it can be incredibly boring, despite how important the trucking industry is and how much experience you might have as a driver. Truck drivers need to be able to stay safe on the road and be responsible for the safety of both their trucks and of any other road users around them, especially when driving a large vehicle. Here are the best ways to stay safe on the road and keep those around you safe too.
Always wear a seatbelt
Choosing not to wear a seatbelt is surprisingly common among truck drivers. Wearing a seatbelt is a legal requirement in most countries, and is the single most effective way to prevent injury and death if you are involved in an accident. A lot of deaths caused by a crash with other vehicles can actually be prevented simply by just wearing a seatbelt. If you are involved in a crash, if you weren’t wearing a seatbelt, a car accident attorney will have a much harder time helping you, regardless of whether or not you’re at fault. Always wear your seatbelt to avoid preventable injuries and even death.
Never use a cell phone while driving
In most places, it is illegal to use a mobile phone while you are driving. Even if you are working somewhere where you can use a phone while you are driving your truck, don’t be tempted to do it, as it is a very effective distraction from the road, which can make you more likely to have an accident. Instead, if you do use a hands-free set, or connect your phone to the vehicle’s Bluetooth, and only use it if you really need to. If possible, wait until your break, and pull over before you make a phone call or use your phone for anything else. Remember that replying to texts, checking notifications, or messing with your music on your phone also count as distractions.
Keep to the speed limit
Speed limits are put in place for a reason, so make sure you know them and obey them. This keeps you a lot safer and is safer for other road users too. If you’re driving too fast, you will find it harder to stop or make a sudden turn and are far more likely to cause an accident.
Don’t use drugs and alcohol
This might sound like an obvious tip that you would never need to be reminded of, but it actually can be easier to get wrong than you might think. Alcohol can remain in your system for longer than most people know. This means that if you drank heavily the night before you need to drive, you could actually still be well over the legal limit when you start to drive. This could cause problems if you’re pulled over and could affect your driving skills. Be careful if you do have a drink the night before driving. Remember that drugs also include perfectly legal prescription and over-the-counter medications, as some of those can cause side effects like making you feel drowsy. Always read the label carefully and check the packet for possible side effects that could cause you an issue.
Plan your trip
If you’re going to be driving a long way, plan your trip as much as you can first. If you know about any potential issues in advance such as bad driving conditions, bad weather, or road closures, you can prepare for them better and either change your route or make sure you know about the best diversions.
Be aware of your truck’s space cushion
A truck is a large, heavy vehicle. You should keep a safe cushion of space around you on all sides to avoid collisions with other vehicles or road furniture that are too close.
Slow down for turns and curves
Trucks are can be hard to maneuver. When you make turns on a road or an off-ramp you need to concentrate. Slow down well before any turns and moves like changing lanes are coming up, and take it carefully.
Keep a proper stopping distance
Trucks take more time to stop than cars, as they’re a lot heavier. Leave yourself plenty of room to come to a complete stop if you have to brake suddenly. You don’t want to brake and then hit the back of the car in front of you.