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Defensive Driving Techniques for Truck Drivers

Operating large trucks can lead to fundamental safety challenges. Even the most experienced drivers must take a proactive approach to defensive driving, otherwise the consequences can be massive. Before heading out on the road, it is essential that all truck drivers have an understanding of defensive training. Read on to find out some of our most helpful defensive driving tips for truck drivers. 

Be Prepared to Stop

Large operational trucks, buses, and tour vans need more space to brake and stop properly. Driving recklessly in poor weather conditions and failing to decrease speed while turning or going onto onramps can lead to severe problems. One way to avoid any issues is to look farther ahead while driving. Scanning ahead for any hazards gives you more time to react to potential risks.
 

    1. Check for Blind Spots

      Another CDL defensive driving tip is to check your blind spots constantly. Drivers must check all blind spots before merging lanes to decrease the number of accidents per year. Drivers should scan their mirrors every 10 seconds to be conscious of other vehicles entering their blind spots.

    2. Drive at a Safe Speed

      Defensive driving for truck drivers also includes operating the vehicle at a safe and responsible speed. The immense size and weight of trucks produce driving challenges that include acceleration, braking, and maneuvering. A defensive driving tip for CDL drivers is to adjust your speed to specific conditions. These could be road conditions, traffic patterns, weather, and visibility. Ultimately, you want to have safe and proper control of your vehicle. 
    3. Stay focused 

      Being attentive while behind the wheel of a vehicle is essential for defensive driving. Stay alert while driving and keep your mind engaged. It is vital that drivers have enough rest and should not get behind the wheel when feeling tired. Defensive driving for CMV drivers includes avoiding distractions. Always remember to pull over if you have to give attention to another activity other than operating a vehicle! Distractions include:
      • Texting
      • Eating
      • Drinking
      • Reading maps
    4. Plan Accordingly

      Another valuable technique on defensive driving for CDL drivers is to plan accordingly. Before starting your vehicle, make sure to complete a pre-trip inspection. Ensure that your tires have the correct pressure and that your brakes are working. Double-check that your load is secure so that nothing will shift during travel. Check for traffic updates, weather forecasts, and if any roads are closed or undrivable.

Now that you have a handle on the top defensive driving tips for truck drivers, make sure you run through this checklist before heading out on the road. Just remember, defensive driving could save a life so it is extremely important that you follow these tips. Stay alert and be safe out there!

Brandon Maciel

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