Most truck-related accidents happen during the day, between noon and 3 PM, data shows. Every year, experts point out the descriptive statistics of property damage, injuries, and fatal crashes that involve trucks. That’s because working with large trucks faces unique safety challenges.
For every truck driver, mitigating these challenges should be a top priority. With a couple of truck driver safety tips, you can drive safely, and cautiously, and take good care of your cargo. The truck driver safety checklist below can help.
Never Neglect Safety
According to a CDC survey, 1 in 6 large truck drivers doesn’t buckle up. Wearing a seatbelt is one of the most useful truck driver safety tips. It decreases the risks of serious injuries and accident fatalities, even if these safety belts restrict movement and can feel uncomfortable.
Another important factor for trucker safety is to pay attention to longer stopping distances. A standard passenger vehicle weighs roughly 3,000 to 4,000 pounds. In comparison, a fully loaded tractor-trailer that weighs 80,000 pounds and travels under perfect weather conditions at 65 mph, will need around 525 feet to stop. That’s almost the same length as 2 football fields.
For enhancing truck driver safety, staying within the speed limit can make a world of difference. Driving too fast in snow, rain, or other weather or road conditions can make it difficult to slow down for ramps and curves. This increases the risk of crashes and rollovers.
Based on reports in Tennessee, in 2021, there were 78 semi-truck accidents. Including 78 pedestrian accidents, 659 deadly motor vehicles, and other accidents. Distracted driving, speeding, or driving under the influence were major factors in about 55% of fatal crashes. Almost 68% of crashes involved someone who didn’t wear a seat belt.
Always Double Check Your Vehicle
Blind spots are dangerous. Make sure to double-check the mirrors every 8 to 10 seconds so that you will be fully aware of a vehicle entering your blind spot. Keep scanning the road ahead for around 15 seconds for any work zones, traffic problems, car crashes, or anything else.
Here are some useful truck driving tips for beginners who can’t find their blind spots.
The semi-truck has blind spots:
- Right behind the trailer for around 30 feet
- Right in front of the cab of the truck for around 20 feet
- Directly behind and below the driver’s window
- On every side of the vehicle extending backward diagonally
If you recently became a truck driver, make sure to take good care of your mental health while on the road and stay entertained to avoid boredom.
Develop Preventative Maintenance Schedules
Preventive maintenance is a system of planned maintenance activities that enhance truck driver safety and improve the lifespan of the vehicle. Some of the most classic examples include inspecting hoses, changing the oil, and checking fluid levels. As well as verifying tire pressure, inspecting the brakes and checking air filters. If your truck uses an electrical system, do a battery load test.
Make Minimal Lane Changes
Another one of the most useful truck driver safety tips is making minimal lane changes. This helps you avoid erratic braking and the risk of accidents. Mainly because every time a truck changes a lane, other drivers face a higher risk of an accident.
Car or motorcycle drivers could be unaware that they are entering the truck’s blind spots. Or get too distracted and not leave any extra space, making it harder to stop the vehicle on time. If you are interested in becoming a truck driver, it’s important that you know the specific requirements for working in the industry.
Have a Trip & Route Plan in Place
There is more to truck driver safety tips than meets the eye. Sometimes planning ahead can put you at an advantage. With effective planning, you can stay up-to-date with the current road and weather conditions. You can avoid detours or find different types of routes to better fit your schedule. This is one of the most effective ways of improving trucker safety.
Join the Team at Beacon Transport
Whether you’re just starting out or continuing your career, we’re here to equip you with the guidance, tips, and tools you need to succeed. Our team at Beacon Transport specializes in hauling non-hazardous dry freight throughout the Southeast, Midwest, and Southwest. We know the ins and outs of this industry, so check back here often for more advice you can trust!