Every truck driver needs to take extra care on the road. According to the US Department of Labor statistics, trucking is among the riskiest jobs in the US. This occupation has contributed to large numbers of injuries and fatalities over the years.
A truck driver can personally contribute to reducing injuries and fatalities in their occupation by following safe driving tips keenly. Although most of the time, safe driving is easier said than done, every truck driver should follow these safe driving tips. Drivers should take their own safety and others as their personal responsibility; this will result in safe trucking experiences on our roads.
Below are 10 safe driving tips for truck drivers that can help in preventing injuries and risky incidences while trucking:
Maintain the seven-second rule
This rule requires truck drivers to maintain at least a seven-second interval between them and the car in front of them. This should always be the case in an ideal situation, but if the situation is not ideal, remember to keep an extra gap always.
Always follow the 3 points of contact rule.
Many trucking injuries are associated with not following the three points of contact rule when getting into or getting out of tractors or trailers. Failure to follow this rule when mounting or dismounting causes falling, slipping, or tripping, which causes serious bodily injuries where most people get their knees, backs, or ankles hurt in the process.
To avoid these injuries, this rule requires you to maintain three points of contact with the vehicle always. This means that you should have either two hands and one foot or two feet and one hand in contact with your vehicle every time. This enhances your stability and support and minimizes your risks of falling, tripping, or slipping.
Keep a sharp focus always.
Avoid being distracted while on the road. Keep your two hands on the steering wheel while keeping the wheel at 9 O’clock and 3 O’clock positions. This allows free wheel movement in any direction without requiring you to change your hands’ position, thus having maximum control of your vehicle.
Always stay alert. Know what is going on outside your vehicle, on the road, and beyond. Learn how to anticipate the actions of other road users.
When to use and not to use auto cruise
Avoid using auto cruise or cruise control if the road conditions are not ideal. Using auto cruise on wet, chilly, icy, or winding roads or .
Light your way up
Always ensure that your trailer or tractor headlights are on and functional at all times while on the road. Keep them as clean as possible for enhanced visibility. Keeping lights on while on the road keeps you visible to the other road users.
School and construction zones
For your own safety and other road users, always slow down when drawing near a school or a construction site. That way, you can be able to stop abruptly if required.
Wear your sunglasses
Sunlight, buildings, windows, and even other vehicles’ strong glare can affect your vision on the road. Wearing a pair of sunglasses can help neutralize this glare. However, remember to remove them when driving through a tunnel.
Ensure that your seatbelt is functional and always have it on all the time you are on the road. A seatbelt can save your life.
Practice safe loading and unloading
Always secure your vehicle properly when loading or unloading. Apply the parking brake, use some chock blocks for enhanced safety or switch off your vehicle. Only get out of the loading dock once the dock plate has been taken off, and you are sure no one is lurking behind or beside the vehicle.
For every road user’s safety, maintain the speed limit of the road you are driving on and always adjust it to safer levels if conditions require you to. Because trucks have a bigger stopping distance, they always drive under the speed limit.
These are some common yet very effective tips to ensure you drive safely on the road. But you need to ensure you have the best auto parts and accessories to lessen the chances of accidents. Say, for example, the use of semi-truck exhaust pipes can keep the noise level low to allow you to concentrate on the road and drive comfortably without bearing noise pollution. , on the other hand, can reduce the impacts of minor accidents. So, always look out for the best accessories and parts available out there to stay safe!