In the truck driving industry, safety is the number one concern. Various injuries, accidents and unexpected complications can easily be prevented by following some of the most basic safety guidelines. But on-the-road safety is not the only concern. Instead, truck drivers need to be cautious even on the rest stops, as well as when handling the load.
With that being said, here are some of the most important safety tips every truck driver should keep in mind.
Plan your trip
The first thing you need to do to improve your overall safety is plan your trips in advance. As soon as you learn about the upcoming trip, make sure you prepare all the necessities you may need while on the road. Additionally, plan out which routes you’ll be taking. The better you prepare for the trip, the lower the chances of any unforeseen hiccups along the way.
Stay safe on truck stops
Truck stops are places where truckers generally make stops to take a break from driving, get some refreshments or grab a bite. And even though these areas are usually safe, some additional caution can’t hurt. Always make sure you lock your vehicle when visiting truck stops, no matter how close to it you may be. This way you’ll avoid any potential theft that are not – unfortunately – unheard of.
Always wear a seat belt
No matter what you personally believe in, wearing a seat belt is mandatory. According to research, 1 in every 6 truck drivers don’t wear a set belt regularly. This type of behavior is not only potentially extremely dangerous, but downright reckless. Every year, about 40% of crash-related deaths happen particularly due to the fact that a driver wasn’t wearing a seat belt.
Make sure your windshield is clean
Next, you need to make sure your windshield is clean before you hit the road. A dirty windshield can significantly lower visibility and cause other hindrances while driving. Additionally, make sure your windscreen wipers are in top condition, in case you happen to run into any unfavorable weather conditions. While driving your windshield will get dirty over time, so make sure you clean it regularly.
Never use a cellphone while driving
Cellphones and driving simply don’t go together. This type of behavior is not only extremely reckless but even illegal. If you still need to use your phone while on the road, make sure you get your hands on modern hands-free gadgets. That said, it would still be wise to avoid using your phone altogether.
Minimize unnecessary distractions
Along the similar lines, you also need to make sure you minimize any distractions that will take your attention off the road. When distracted, it’s easy to make a mistake that can not only potentially result in damages and injuries, but can often have a lethal outcome. So, make sure you create a pleasant and comfortable driving environment that will help you focus on the road ahead.
Mind the speed limit
Every road in this world has a determined speed limit. These are not suggestion but downright rules that need to be obeyed. So, no matter where you are and no matter the conditions of the road, make sure you stay within the safe speed limit to minimize the chances of any accidents. Speeding will not only potentially get you in trouble with the law, but it can have quite serious – and irreversible – outcomes.
Avoid alcohol and drugs
Needless to say, you should never be driving under the influence of either drugs or alcohol. This type of behavior is extremely dangerous – and, again, illegal – and can have quite negative consequences. You should also avoid indulging in any of these during the entirety of your trip. Since consuming both drugs and alcohol will hinder your judgement and motor skills, you should never choose to put either yourself or anyone else in danger.
Make sure you’re well-rested
Among other important things you should know, you need to make sure you’re well-rested before hitting the road. The lack of sleep and proper rest may result in various hindrances that can seriously affect not just your perception and physical readiness, but your overall driving abilities as well. And remember, no amount of coffee or energy drinks can ever replace a good night’s rest.
These are just some of the most basic safety tips every truck driver should keep in mind. No matter how long you’ve been doing your job, make sure you always do what’s in your best interest and stay safe. Contact us for more information!