9 Safety Tips for Truck Drivers
According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a truck driving job is one of the ten most dangerous occupations in the U.S., based on fatality rates per 100,000 workers. That’s why it is extremely important to be safety conscious. Here are 9 truck driver safety tips to keep you protected on the road.
Wear your seat belt
Everyone knows about this, but not everyone follows this essential rule. According to the CDC reports, 1 in 6 drivers of large truckers don’t use their seat belts. Don’t forget about this required and easiest way to reduce injury, wear a properly adjusted seat belt at all times. If you are a part of the driver team – use belts and/or netting when you sleep during the driving.
Avoid distracted driving
Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of truck accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2018 alone, 2,841 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers. You cannot drive safely unless the task of driving has your full attention. Read more about distracted driving here.
Don’t change lanes too often
Remember, that even if you are very attentive, the truck has major blind spots. So it is better to pick a lane and stay in it. If you need to change lane, always signal, be careful, and check your mirrors.
Maintain your truck
You should never miss pre-trip inspections in your truck. Even if you are late. Even if it is a hot load. It is your safety and the safety of people around you. So please, check your tires and brakes, and how your load is secured and balanced. Read more about truck inspection here.
Drive slowly around corners and exits. Always adjust your speed to a safe level based on different driving conditions. Slowing down gives you more time to take action or react to sudden changes like weather conditions or an animal runs onto a highway.
Plan your trip
To make your trip safe, plan it carefully. Think about driving hours, routes, weather conditions, delivery places. Check to see if there are any blocked roads or repairs in your way. Use a trucker’s GPS, but don’t forget about a map too. Know more about how to plan your trip like a pro driver here.
Maintain a proper stopping distance
Your truck needs time to brake. So always maintain extra following space, and be prepared to stop. More space between your rig and another vehicle you have, the more time you will have to react to a dangerous situation.
Watch out for the weather
Before starting your trip, check the weather conditions and check the reports as often as possible while traveling. Sometimes the weather can be unpredictable. If you are driving in winter, always take the necessary equipment with you like fuel additives, hammer, putty knife, flashlight with extra batteries, propane heater, and lighter, etc. And of course extra food, water, and cold-weather clothing and waterproof boots. In summer it is better to have sunglasses with polarized lenses that filter glare.
Get your rest
Don’t drive when you feel sleepy. Adhere to driver hour restrictions. Provide a comfortable sleeping environment in the truck – buy a comfortable mattress and pillow, use earplugs, truck shades, or an eye mask, keep your cab temperature comfortable for you. Make little breaks, do exercises to stretch your legs, or take a nap.