Being a professional truck driver comes with a measure of responsibility. Hopping into a cab and hitting the open road may sound like a basketful of fun, but in reality, there are few jobs that call for more expertise and road caution.
You need to know what the easy-to-follow rules of the road are. When you are operating a heavy-duty commercial vehicle, you have a responsibility, and not just to the freight you are carrying, but to yourself, your fleet and those on the road around you.
The fact is long-haul trucking is quite possibly one of the most crucial jobs one can undertake. Ensuring timely delivery of the nation’s goods is no small task. At the same time, it’s also not without risks.
For Newbies or Pros
Face it, one of the reasons you love this work is because you don’t have to sit in a windowless cubicle. At the same time, it’s virtually impossible to endanger others on the road from a cubicle.
According to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration there were over 100,000 injuries and 315,000 accidents involving large trucks in 2012. In 2014, Time ranked truck driving number 8 on its list of 10 Most Dangerous Jobs in 2014.
So if you aren’t practicing solid safety measures you may not be driving as safe as you think. Let’s take a moment to look a little deeper into better truck driving safety measures.
Whether you are brand new to the cab or an experienced trucker, it’s never too late to brush up on your safety skills. You need to know the latest and greatest on truck driving safety, and we’ve got the goods for you right here.
One of the most important safe truck driving principles involves blind spots. Remember, you are aware of your truck’s no-go zones, but other drivers may not be. The no-go zones are where most crashes occur.
The most common no-go zones include:
- In front of the cab, just off to the side.
- Directly behind your vehicle’s side mirrors.
- Directly behind the vehicle.
Others may not be aware of these spots, and as a result, they may drive dangerously close. Although this can be a frustrating scenario, the responsibility is on you. You have to exercise extra caution before turning or changing lanes. Maintaining a safe distance is also crucial.
Did you know that around a third of all fatal work-zone accidents involved a large heavy-duty commercial motor vehicle? As a professional truck driver, you’ve got to take extra time when entering or exiting a work zone.
Interstate and in-city construction zones can both be dangerous if you aren’t paying attention. Your delivery can always wait, and is never more important than someone’s life or safety.
When you think about safe truck driving, the maintenance of your vehicle may not be the first thing that comes to mind, but it should be. You need to make sure you are giving your vehicle a thorough inspection each morning.
Check everything from fluid levels to your horn, mirrors and more. Even more vital, you must make sure you are checking your brakes. If you spot anything unusual, always report it to dispatch before getting behind the wheel and firing up your vehicle.
Following the speed limit is always a good thing, but when you are behind the wheel of a Class 8 truck, sometimes even the speed limit is too fast. This is especially true when you are entering or exiting an onramp.
Also take special care when you are entering a curve. When encountering a curve, it’s important to make sure your speed is far lower than the posted limit.
Want to be a consistently safe professional truck driver in mind? With these tips you’re sure to be on your way!