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You Need to Know These Truck Drivers Safety Tips

  • 5 MIN READ|
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  • by Joseph Priebe|
  • September 13, 2019 |
  • General

Red semi truck driving on freeway in a blizzard

Trucking is, perhaps, one of the most dangerous jobs out there today. Failure to keep specific guidelines that ensure truck drivers' safety does not only expose a truck driver to danger, but it also puts the lives of other motorists, pedestrians, and animals at significant risk. Therefore, every truck driver must make it a point of remembering these common safety tips for truckers that will help them stay safe while they are behind the wheel.

Read These Great Safe Driving Tips with Semi Trucks:

  • Make sure you're healthy before every haul
    Like the popular adage says, health is wealth. Your health should be your topmost priority every time. If you do not pay attention to your health, you will fail as a truck driver. Do not start any journey unless you are fully certain that you are feeling great. To ensure that you are healthy before and during every trip, some of the things you should do are:

    • Eat a healthy diet that consists of vegetables, fruit, poultry products and so on. Avoid sugary meals or drinks that can make you fatigued quickly.
    • Sleep or nap for at least 30 minutes before starting each journey

     

  • Take time to plan every trip
    This is another important safety message for truck drivers. Consider your driving routes, driving hours, weather conditions and other factors and make a plan for your trip. Although unexpected challenges may be encountered at times, planning ahead of your trip gives you an ample opportunity to deal with different issues.

  • Stay alert
    Staying alert ensures your safety and also safeguards the lives of other road users. Be fully aware of the activities going on around you while you are driving. Pay attention to the people, animals, and objects that are sharing the road with you. Nevertheless, if you notice that you're losing concentration, do not hesitate to pull over and take a rest until you are awake again.

  • Always wear your seat belt
    Though this particular safety tip for driving semi trucks seems like a no-brainer, about 15% of all truck drivers still violate this basic regulation. This violation has continued to cause death and injuries for many truckers. According to various studies conducted on the use of a seatbelt, failure to use a seatbelt accounts for over 40% of crash-related deaths annually. Therefore, one of the most important safety messages for truck drivers is the need for them to wear their seatbelt always.

  • Check weather reports before going on any trip
    Unlike what was obtainable in the past where truckers would travel without knowing anything about the weather conditions of their routes, truck drivers can now prepare ahead for bad weather conditions. Check the weather forecasts and get a clear report of the weather conditions along your driving route. Apart from knowing when to put your trip on hold, checking the weather helps you prepare and travel with the ideal items that can ensure your safety.

  • Drive slowly
    All drivers, including truckers, tend to speed to get to their destination on time. However, truck drivers must remember the peculiarity of the vehicles they are driving; hence, they must always slow down so that they can handle the semi truck properly. While slowing down may keep you on the road for a longer period and cause traffic, it keeps everyone on the road safe.

  • Utilize GPS for truckers
    The advent of technology has introduced several truck drivers’ safety devices and trucker apps, and one of them is a GPS device. You can use trucker’s GPS to track traffic reports, various exits in a particular place, distance to your next break and many more. GPS will provide you with great information that can help you during your trip.

  • Do not use a cell phone while driving
    There are many safety messages for truck drivers that warn them of the dangers of using a cell phone when driving. Nevertheless, many truckers still turn a deaf ear to these messages; thus, putting their lives and the lives of others at risk. Do not let your cell phone distract you while driving; avoid using it.

  • Reduce lane changing
    If you are using the road during the active hours of the day with other motorists, reduction of lane changing is one of the safe driving tips with a semi truck you should be fully aware of. When you are changing lanes, there are various blind spots on your truck that may make it difficult for you to see other motorists. Rather than changing lanes from time to time, choose a lane and stick to it for as long as necessary.

  • Do not drive under the influence of alcohol and drugs
    As obvious as this specific safety message for truck drivers sounds, there is a need to reiterate it. Alcohol and drugs are both capable of impairing your judgment; hence, making it difficult for you to make vital decisions while you are on the road. Also, apart from putting your life and the lives of others at risk, driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol is illegal and could lead to a penalty.

  • Beware of the dangers at night
    Driving at night has never been safe for anybody; therefore, truckers should take extra caution if and when they need to drive at night. Put on your lights to make sure that other road users see you. Also, be alert so that you do not lose control of your semi truck due to drowsiness or loss of concentration. If you feel distracted or drowsy, find a safe place to take a rest.

  • Check your brakes
    If your brakes should ever go bad, there is the potential to destroy property or lives in a few minutes. That's why you must understand that it's necessary for you to check your brakes regularly before, during and after your trip.

  • Avoid tailgating
    Due to tailgating, many truck drivers have rammed into other vehicles on the road as their truck could not brake as quickly as they wanted. Do not make yourself a victim of circumstance, exercise patience whenever you are sharing the road with others. Ensure that you keep a proper distance between you and the vehicle in front of your truck.

  • Avoid idling as much as possible
    Ideally, you are advised to avoid idling your truck. However, if you have to idle the truck, you should prevent prolonged exposure to the fumes by closing the windows.

  • Beware of turns
    When you are making turns, you should adjust for the changes in the lane as well as the movement of other vehicles. Nonetheless, if you're speeding when making these turns, you're at high risk of driving off the road. As a consequence, you must slow down at turns or curves.

  • Take breaks regularly
    No matter how strong and alert you are, your body deserves some rests. Stop and take rests when necessary to avoid fatigue, drowsiness and other problems that may jeopardize your safety. 

  • Inspect your truck
    During your breaks, you must inspect your truck and trailer. Take your time to inspect the loads. Check the oil or coolant if they are leaking or not. Also, take a look at the air leaks and tires.

  • Do not speed in work zones
    Slowing down in a work zone is another safe driving tip with semi trucks. Speeding in a work zone can lead to crashes and could make you lose your license as a commercial driver.

  • Use reflective triangles and flashers when necessary
    As a result of mechanical faults or other problems, you may need to pull off on the road or highway. When you do so, you should alert other road users by utilizing your reflective triangles, road flares or flashers.

  • Give signals at intersections
    When you are at an intersection and intend to make a turn in any direction, you must signal early. This ensures that other motorists are fully aware of your intended turn and avoid crashing into your truck.

  • Follow speed limits
    Speed limits are suggested to help you move at the ideal pace that is suitable for a particular road. Therefore, you should always follow the suggested speed limits for any roads or highways.

  • Be extra cautious during the winter
    The winter causes many changes to the conditions of the road and atmosphere. Hence, extra caution is required when driving during the winter. Some of the things you can do include preventing water condensation in your fuel lines by keeping a full fuel tank, driving below the suggested speed limit, and avoid tailgating.

  • In conclusion, your experience or expertise as a truck driver is not an excuse for skipping any of these safe driving tips with semi trucks. Therefore, follow the tips listed above and save yourself and other road users from any unwanted events.

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