By using nine good motoring habits, truckers can continue to ride the highways in a safe manner. After all, no one wants to add the information of a truck accident to their financial or DOT records, even if they have easy-to-use, online truck expense management software.
9 Safety Tips for Truck Drivers
1. Get enough rest. If you feel drowsy, pull over and take a nap. Don’t risk driving while sleepy.
2. Slow down in work zones. Lanes are often moved or redirected during construction; adjust your speed so you can follow the provided signage without endangering yourself, other drivers, or the workers.
3. Be aware of your blind spots. Small cars can be easily missed. Signal your intention to change lanes or turn well in advance, so that cars have enough opportunity to get out of your blind spot. You might also invest in extra side mirrors to improve visibility.
4. Maintain a safe distance from the cars in front of you. It will take you much longer to stop than an average car.
5. Regularly check your brakes. There isn’t always a convenient runaway truck ramp nearby to catch you if your brakes go bad.
6. Follow suggested speed limits.
7. Avoid aggressive drivers. This will help you fulfill tip #6. Don’t get caught up in road rage scenarios; antagonizing aggressive drivers will only escalate the situation.
8. Always, always, always wear your seat belt.
9. Beware of the effects of prescription and OTC drugs; many medications make you drowsy.
By making these suggestions habits, truckers can avoid getting personally acquainted with highway patrolman, accident lawyers, insurance auditors and DOT representatives. Instead, these dedicated freight movers will enjoy the camaraderie of other truck drivers, rest stop acquaintances and happy freight companies.
Trucking Industry Statistics
Over the past two decades, truck accidents have increased 20% and 1 truck driver out of 20 is involved in an accident every year. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration claims that driver errors cause 10 times more accidents than any other reason. Action or inaction is credited for 88% of collisions. In a report the FMCSA released in 2006, the top four causes of these mishaps were prescription drug use (26%), traveling too fast (23%), unfamiliar roads (22%) and over-the-counter drug use (18%). According to these trucking industry statistics, even something as innocent and commonly used as cough syrup impacts drivers’ reactions.
The best way to avoid becoming part of these trucking industry statistics is to be alert, be aware and be conservative. Drivers have their hands full handling the tons of equipment and cargo they move. By adopting these nine safety tips for truck drivers, they can avoid becoming the 1 in 20 drivers with an accident on his or her record.