Out on the road, there are several safety precautions commercial truck drivers need to follow. A truck driver must realize that they are driving a vehicle that is nearly twenty times the weight and size of a sedan. Not only that, but you often have a container compartment full of goods and merchandise, thus further adding to the weight. Not only is slowing down more difficult but so is turning and maneuvering. When it comes down to it, sticking to the safety rules is important – not only will it potentially save your life, it will also save other people’s lives.
Here are the top five safety tips for commercial truck drivers.
Always wear a seatbelt.
If you have an insurance policy – from a company – there is a good chance that they will say something: even truck drivers need to wear seat belts. Just because you are in a big truck, it doesn’t mean that you can’t hit your head on the roof, the dashboard, or even fly out of the windshield. Moreover, if your cab jack-knifes, the injuries could be life-threatening if you aren’t wearing a seat belt.
Always be aware of the conditions in front of you.
One advantage you have as a truck driver is that you are high up, which means that you have a perfect view of the road in front of you. It is important to never take this view for granted. Ideally, you want to look out as far ahead as possible. You want to be prepared for traffic, obstructions, or any other problems that may be in your way. The last thing you want is to react too late to road conditions – it could be disastrous.
Always go the speed limit.
There are speed limits for a reason – if you go above the limit, you are putting yourself and everyone on the road in danger. If you go above the speed limit, you are also breaking the law. The general rule of thumb is that on a highway, you should be traveling about 55 miles an hour in the slow lane. On a side street, twenty miles an hour is sufficient.
Always check your blind spots.
Trucks have a lot of blind spots, but they also have a lot of mirrors, so you can very easily check your blind spots when you need to. Ideally, you want to keep an eye on your blind spot even if you are not merging or turning into another lane. You never know when a small car is stuck in your blind spot – it is imperative to let the car go far ahead of you before you merge or change lanes.
Always pull over if you are fatigued.
Fatigue is a common issue in the trucking world. Hundreds of truckers die each year in accidents that were the result of fatigue. If you are driving a truck at night or even during the day, you want to pull over as soon as you start feeling tired. In the end, safety is all about being well-rested and on your toes.