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.
The 10th Trucking Safety Tip
Being a professional trucker can be a difficult and dangerous job. Regardless of how safety-conscious you are, other drivers on the highway can suddenly put you in a life-threatening situation. With that in mind, we’d like to recommend the 10th trucking safety tip:
- Never skip tips one through nine. Nothing is worth risking a life for, so take time to follow the 9 safety guidelines above. Trucking companies rely on their drivers to practice trucking safety procedures while on the road. Also, all of those other drivers on the road depending on your expertise as well. Know the safety guidelines and follow them, always.
The above 10 tips will keep you alive if you’re faced with one of those unpredictable moments that can arise while you’re behind the wheel.
Of course, trucking safety requires a great amount of skill, but it also requires a lot of common sense and too much recordkeeping. To help you carry that responsibility, TruckingOffice offers a TMS package that will make the administrative part of your job much easier. Our program is designed to reduce paperwork and give you more time to build your business. Contact us at any time at TruckingOffice.com or sign up for our 30-day free trial.
Trucking Industry Statistics
Over the past two decades, truck accidents have increased by 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.