Truck drivers know they have one of the most dangerous jobs in the country so following truck driver safety tips is a must. Stay safe on the road with these quick and easy safety tips.
You Know It
The job requires caution, concentration and expertise. Truck drivers must be aware of their truck, wildlife, and other motorists on the road and remain aware of the truck’s cargo. Because of heavy or dangerous cargo, a mistake could have major consequences.
Truck driving consistently ranks as one of the “10 Most Dangerous Jobs”. Over 85,000 injuries and 411,000 accidents involved large trucks in 2014, according to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration.
Truck Driver Safety Tips
This might be the most important truck driver safety tip of them all. Always be aware of who is behind and in front of you while looking ahead for potential hazards and try to anticipate trouble. If you remain aware of everything that is going on around you, the more prepared you will be if you have to act quickly. Being well rested and maintaining a healthy lifestyle will also help ensure that you are driving at your best.
There are a number of things that can distract drivers – electronics, radio, GPS, eating/drinking, or cell phones. It is crucial that truck drivers refrain from texting and driving, ensuring their safety and the safety of the other drivers on the road.
Watch Your Blind Spots
Other drivers on the road may not be aware of a truck’s “no-zones”. “No-zones” are the areas around a truck where crashes are more likely to happen. Because many aren’t aware of these blind spots, they may drive in them. It is important to be cautious when turning or changing lanes to avoid any accidents. Some of the most common “no-zones” are:
- Directly behind the truck
- Directly in front of the truck
- Behind the side mirrors Remember to always leave plenty of space in front of your truck. Having that extra space in front (and all the way around) allows for more reaction time and will help protect you and your truck.
Check the Weather
It is a good idea to check the weather before departing on the trip and check it throughout the trip when possible. Knowing what to expect makes it easy to be prepared and adjust accordingly. In bad weather always drive at a reduced speed and allow extra time for maneuvers. It is recommended that you reduce your speed by 1/3 in rainy weather and by 1/2 in snow or ice. It will allow for plenty of extra time to stop or pull over if needed. Always signal in plenty of time before you intend to slow down, turn, or change lanes.
Watch for Hazards
It is especially important for truck drivers to be aware of hazards on the road. Inclement weather, nighttime and road construction can make it harder to spot hazards and take necessary precautions. Here are just a few of the hazards that drivers should look out for.
- General road hazards – uneven lanes, pot holes, ruts
- Objects in the road – tire pieces, trash, animals
- Construction zones
- Vehicles on the shoulder or on the road
Keep up with Truck Maintenance
No matter the season, trucks need routine maintenance to run safely and efficiently. Check out this awesome maintenance checklist to make sure your truck is in tip top shape!
Truck Driving Safety Infographic
Contact Us. Our service department can help with any of your truck maintenance needs!
Keep it Rolling and Keep it Safe
Implementing these truck driver safety tips every time you drive will help keep everyone on the road safe. For more safety tips and information about commercial trucking, check out your state’s CDL manual. The Oklahoma manual can be found here, or pick up a copy at your local DMV!
Kirk Booth is the Service Manager of Truck-N-Trailer, a family owned and operated shop dedicated to providing the best medium and light duty delivery and work trucks, vans, and services to fit the individual needs of its customers. He provides excellent service to his customers for over 13 years. Kirk has 25 years in the automotive industry and his technicians (and himself) hold many factory training certifications. They take pride in being a “One Stop Shop.”