Safety Tips for Truck Drivers
When you are on the road as much as full-time big rig drivers are, truck driver safety is a very important topic to review routinely. When basic truck driving safety topics and procedures are practiced consistently, many accidents and injuries can be prevented. As a truck driver, there are some basic things you can do every time you are on the road to ensure your own safety, as well as the safety of other drivers that you will be sharing the road with. In hopes to keep truck driver safety a priority in 2021, we have detailed our top safety tips for truck drivers.
- Wear Your Seat Belt: Although it goes without saying, it must be said. Please always wear your seat belt! Many studies have shown that an estimated 1 in 6 truck drivers do not wear their safety seat belt – which is not acceptable. Not only is wearing your seat belt required, but it is also the easiest way to prevent and/or reduce the potential for injury in the event of an accident. When looking at 2020 seat belt statistics, roughly 47% of crash-related deaths occurred due to not wearing a seatbelt. That said, always remember to buckle up.
- Avoid Using Your Phone While Driving: As technology gets better and better, the temptation to use your phone while driving is undoubtedly increasing. However, using your phone while driving a big rig is simply being careless. Not to mention it is now illegal in most states. Given how big of a distraction talking via handheld device, texting, or looking at your phone screen can be, doing so can lead to a serious accident.
- Stay Within the Speed Limits: Although there might be specific times where you may need to exceed the speed limit, speed limits have been made to help keep everyone on the road safe and should be followed as closely as possible – especially speed limits made specifically for trucks. Staying within the speed limit will help you and the divers around you stay safer on the road.
- Avoid Drugs and Alcohol: While this tip may sound obvious, there is no harm in having a quick reminder that drinking and driving is very dangerous and should be avoided at all costs. Furthermore, drugs result in an impaired sense of judgment or reaction time, such as medications that may make you drowsy. Not only is driving while under the influence a huge safety concern, it can also cost you your career as a truck driver.
- Plan Your Trip: Before hitting the road, it is often helpful to plan out your trip. There are so many different unexpected things that could happen while you are on the road, but having a plan can help make you more prepared. Below are some things many drivers consider when planning their next trip.
- Routes – What route are you going to take? Is one route safer than the other, or is one route notably faster than the other?
- Driving Hours – When will you start, take your first break, etc.
- Weather – What does the weather throughout your route look like? Are you able to avoid driving through any dangerous conditions?
- Rest Stop – Which truck stops are you thinking of stopping at for short breaks and which will you be sleeping at?
- Meals – Planning meals can often lead to you having a more healthy and balanced diet while one the road. Try to avoid eating “munchie” type foods as they can often make you drowsy and not provide the nutrients needed to be energized for your drive.
- Be Aware of Your Truck’s Space Cushion: Always be aware of your truck’s height and weight. When entering into tight spaces, double check to make sure there is a safe amount of space cushion around all sides of your rig to help prevent accidents.
- Slow Down for Turns/Curves: Making turns on a curvy road or on an off-ramp, can sometimes be pretty tricky. Be sure to slow down accordingly to adjust for lane changes and the other vehicles around you.
- Maintain a Proper Stopping Distance: Make sure to give yourself ample stopping distance between your truck and any vehicles ahead of you. Given some drivers and roads are unpredictable, keeping your eyes ahead and on the road, as well as reducing distractions can help you avoid any close calls.
Hopefully, you have found the above Safety Tips for Truck Drivers helpful. For additional CDL safety topic related articles, check out our blog. We post monthly content specifically geared towards helping you get the best and most up-to-date trucking information possible.