Have you recently become a truck driver? Would you like to know how to stay safe whilst on the roads? If so, keep reading for some useful truck driver safety tips.
Driving a truck is perhaps the most difficult vehicle to operate. Not only do you have to account for its size but the added weight as well. Both of these factors can provide problems, especially if you’re new to truck driving.
Plus, you have to get used to the differences between driving a truck and smaller vehicles. If you don’t, then you may suffer a major crash.
In this article, we’ll share some easy-to-follow truck driving tips for beginners. By following these whilst you’re behind the wheel, you can keep yourself and other road users safe.
Assess Your Truck Before Setting off on Your Journey
The first thing you should do before entering the vehicle is to walk around it and look for problems. For example, if your truck has a flat tire or oil leak and you try to drive, this can put you in danger.
Plus, it’s an inconvenience and may leave you stranded in the middle of the highway. So, before starting your journey, walk around the truck and ensure there are no issues such as:
- Flat/damaged tires
- Faulty lights
- Damage to the vehicle
Also, if you have a trailer on the back full of goods, you want to make sure everything is secure. By following this procedure before each journey, you’ll identify potential problems and stay safe.
Always Wear Your SeatBelt
Seatbelts have been one of the greatest inventions ever by humans. They have saved so many lives and are crucial to keeping safe whilst on the roads.
You should wear your seatbelt at all times whilst inside the vehicle. This even includes if your truck is parked and stationary.
It’s not uncommon for parked trucks to be hit by other vehicles, so by wearing your seatbelt, you reduce your risk of injury or worse.
Finally, always check your seatbelt is fastened correctly and not damaged. If it is, then don’t drive until it is fixed.
Abide By The Speed Limits
Traveling at a suitable speed is paramount to staying safe whilst driving a truck. When you speed, you have less control over the vehicle and less time to react.
Trucks have lower speed limits than smaller vehicles due to their size and weight. These speed limits can vary between states, so ensure you’re aware of them before crossing borders.
Remember, you don’t always have to travel at the maximum speed limit. Instead, you need to assess the road and weather conditions then adjust accordingly.
Heavy rain, snow, and ice can increase the chances of crashes. So, you should drive a lot slower in these types of conditions. You should also take this approach when driving at night and on small, bendy roads.
Listening to loud music or using your cell phone whilst driving increases your chances of crashing. This is because your focus is not on the road, and you won’t react quickly in an emergency.
So, play music at a low sound and never use your phone whilst operating the truck.
If you need to make a call or check a text, you should pull over in a safe area. This then allows you to use your mobile without causing risk to yourself or others.
Follow the Seven Second Rule
The stopping distance for trucks is far longer compared to cars or motorbikes. So, you need to adjust your driving and account for this.
When following vehicles, you should aim to leave a seven-second gap between you both. This is so if they suddenly stop, you’ll have enough time to react.
But remember to leave a bigger gap if the weather conditions or visibility are poor.
Don’t Drink and Drive
One of the best safe driving tips is never to drink alcohol and then drive. This is because alcohol impairs our concentration and reaction speed.
Plus, it’s also against the law.
If you are caught drinking under the influence, you can face fines and even a prison sentence. You’ll probably be fired from your job too.
Plan Your Journey
A great truck driver will always plan their journey ahead of time. This is so they can identify the quickest and safest route.
Before you set off in your truck, make sure you know where you’re going and have a map with you.
Satellite navigation systems are great, but being technology, they can break. But by being prepared, you’ll be able to continue on your journey with minimum issues.
Carry Sunglasses With You
One of the simplest but useful truck driving tips is to always carry a pair of sunglasses.
When the sun is low in the sky or reflecting off the road, it can be lethal to drivers. Their vision becomes impaired, making it difficult to drive safely.
To prevent this from happening to you, always carry a pair of sunglasses in the truck. Ideally, you want curved polarized lenses to filter out the glare. Just remember to take them off a night and before entering a tunnel.
Finally, if you ever do suffer an accident, you may need to hire a trucking accident lawyer. They can help you claim compensation and guide you through the process.
How to Improve Truck Driver Safety
We hope our guide on truck driver safety has been useful to you.
As you can see, there are many things you should follow whilst operating a truck. Not only will this keep you safe, but other road users as well.
Finally, if you have been injured in a crash, check out our blog for personal injury legal advice.