Staying Safe While Driving A Truck on the Road
Truck drivers provide an important service for companies and citizens in all countries around the world. Many of these truckers drive long hours, covering hundreds of miles in big, bulky vehicles and this profession comes with more risk than you might think.
The safety of the truck drivers is of the utmost importance in this industry as truckers need to be responsible for preserving the cargo, protecting themselves and other drivers on the road too. The most common safety issues for truckers are to master the unique skills required to drive a truck in traffic, to ensure that the vehicle is properly maintained, and to stay alert on the road at all times.
Read on for our best tips on how to stay safe as a trucker on the road.
Think About Lighting
Roads may sometimes lack proper lighting, especially during nighttime, and that is the reason why every trucker should take the use of proper lighting seriously. For instance, by installing LED light bars for work trucks, you can get useful and sturdy lighting that will withstand harsh weather conditions, and pack enough power to alert oncoming vehicles of your presence. They will ensure increased visibility and versatile lighting which emit a wide flood beam or a narrow spot beam, or a combination of both.
These light bars can also be used as daytime running lights, fog lights, off-road lighting, ATVs, industrial and work lighting. It’s also essential to understand that when used on highways, these lights should have opaque coverings, which will make sure that other drivers aren’t negatively affected by them.
Wear a Seatbelt at All Times
Not wearing a seatbelt is very common among truck drivers although it’s a legal requirement in most countries. Buckling a seatbelt is the single most effective way to prevent serious injuries and even death in case of an accident.
Many deaths caused by a collision with other vehicles can be avoided by simply strapping on a seatbelt. If you’re involved in an accident and if you weren’t wearing a seatbelt, your attorney will have a difficult time helping you, regardless of whether or not you’re at fault. For this reason, wear your seatbelt at all times to avoid preventable tragedies.
Watch Out for Blind Spots
Visibility is key for truck driver safety and preventing road collisions, especially as they are operating a large truck that is so high off the ground that makes it hard to see cars behind or next to their vehicle. Driving a truck means that there are more blind spots to be aware of compared to when driving a standard passenger vehicle.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reveals that over 840,000 accidents per year are a result of blind spots. Most of these accidents happen when drivers change lanes. As rear-view and side mirrors are not always effective when checking for potential blind spots, make sure to familiarize yourself with the potential blind spots and leave room around your vehicle when merging. Checking the side view mirrors at least every 10 seconds can also be a good way to increase road safety and awareness.
Keep to the Speed Limit
Speed limits are put in place for road users to obey them. This keeps truckers a lot safer, especially in bad weather conditions or when there’s poor road visibility. Driving too fast makes it harder for trucks to stop, take corrective action, or make a sudden necessary turn and the chances of causing an accident are smaller then. All in all, you need great breaks and solid training.
As a trucker, you should always try to slow down as it will, at the very least, decrease the impact and severity if a crash does occur. Knowing the safe braking distance is crucial and truck drivers may also want to consider completing a driver training program that compares the differences in braking distances in detail.
Follow All Road Signs
When driving trucks, you must follow road signs and pay close attention to all local traffic rules in the area where you’re driving. Not only are they designed to provide necessary information and warning of potential dangers, but they also help regulate the flow of traffic for drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists.
There are times when truck drivers go over the enforced speed limit, particularly if they’re running late or detained for an extended period by a shipper or receiver. Speeding may then cause truckers to lose control of their vehicle and get involved in danger.
Driving a truck is a tiring and challenging job and comes with great risks. To stay safe on the long roads and keep other road users protected as well, truckers must use proper vehicle lighting, watch out for blind spots, follow traffic signs, and always buckle up.