Commercial truck drivers cannot become complacent and think they know everything to be safe on the road. Drivers must always be aware of dangers around them as if their life depends on them — because it does. Commercial trucks are obviously larger and heavier than cars, so they take longer to stop. Don’t allow anything or anyone to enter your blind spots, maintain a safe following distance, use your turn signals, and leave plenty of room between you and the car in front of you. If you end up breaking down and need commercial truck repair, Doug Yates Towing & Recovery can help get your truck where it needs to be. In the meantime, if you drive commercial vehicles, here are a few helpful safety tips to keep you safer on the roads and highways.
Safety Tips For Commercial Truck Drivers
Commercial truck drivers are typically defensive drivers because they have bigger vehicles that may cause more damage if they get into an accident. They should always drive defensively because they cannot predict when things will go wrong on the road. This means that even if you are driving safely, there is still a chance that something could happen, so it’s best always to be prepared for anything negative that might happen on the road.
Know Your Blind Spots
Drivers need to be aware of blind spots in their vehicles and those of other drivers around them. Drivers need to maintain their own space cushions around other vehicles on the road and leave room for others to change lanes if needed. This will reduce the risk of a collision when changing lanes or merging into traffic from a side street or driveway.
Maintain a Safe Following Distance
Commercial truck drivers must maintain a safe distance between their vehicles and other vehicles on the road. This will not only help ensure that you don’t crash into another vehicle but also prevent other drivers from crashing into you! Sometimes motorists will jump in front on your quickly so it’s important to maintain a safe distance.
Commercial truck drivers should remain calm at all times while driving their vehicles. This can be very difficult when driving through heavy traffic or trying to avoid an accident. Still, staying calm will help keep your body focused on driving instead of reacting emotionally. It’s important to t ake breaks during long drives so that your body has time to rest before continuing with your workday.
Commercial truck drivers must take care of their vehicles to avoid unnecessary breakdowns in the middle of nowhere. You should ensure your vehicle is in good working order before leaving so it won’t break down along the way. You should also check your tires’ tread depth regularly — at least once every six months — because tires with too little tread can blow out unexpectedly, leading to an accident or even death if you’re traveling at high speeds.
Pre and Post-Trip Inspections
Before a longer trip or haul, check the vehicle’s lights, mirrors, tires, and fluids to ensure everything is in good working order. After completing a trip, inspect the vehicle again before starting another trip or heavy haul. This will help you avoid any problems while driving that could lead to an accident or injury.
Distractions can lead to dangerous situations, no matter how skilled you are behind the wheel. Commercial drivers should never text or talk on their cell phones while driving. They should also avoid eating and drinking while driving and reading anything that could distract them from their surroundings or cause them to take their eyes off the road for too long. Distracted driving leads to mistakes and mistakes lead to accidents.
Prepare For Dangerous Road Conditions
Commercial trucks sometimes don’t have drive capabilities like most passenger vehicles, which means they aren’t as well equipped to handle bad weather conditions like rain or snow. To prepare for these situations, ensure all tires are properly inflated and always carry an emergency kit in case your vehicle breaks down or gets stuck in mud or snow.
Ice is one of the most common causes of accidents on the road. Commercial truck drivers should always remember that ice can form on their tires even though they may not be driving in rainy or snowy conditions. This ice can cause them to lose control easily if they don’t take precautions before crossing the highway. To avoid this problem, check your tires regularly and ensure they’re properly inflated before leaving home so you don’t have any surprises along your route.
Heavy snow can make driving difficult, especially for commercial trucks weighing over 30,000 pounds. When driving in heavy snowfall, commercial truck drivers should:
- Reduce speed and increase following distances to allow enough time to stop if necessary.
- Use a low gear to reduce stress on your brakes and tires when going up hills. If you don’t have four-wheel drive, use chains or tire chains when necessary.
- If you’re having trouble seeing through your windshield or mirrors, clean them off with a scraper or windshield wiper fluid before starting out again so you can see ahead of you. Use your wipers frequently during heavy snowfalls to keep visibility clear and prevent ice buildup on your vehicle’s windshields and side windows (you may also want to consider using heaters instead).
Rain can be a challenge for drivers because it makes roads slippery and difficult to drive safely. If you’re driving during rainy weather conditions, make sure you’re prepared with extra supplies like blankets and flashlights in case you have to stop.
Fog is one of the most dangerous conditions that commercial truckers face. It can reduce visibility and cause accidents when drivers are unprepared for it. Drivers should always slow down when entering foggy areas to adjust their speed accordingly. If possible, they should avoid driving in foggy conditions altogether until it clears up completely.
If you see a disabled vehicle on the side of the road or if there is a stalled car in front of you, it’s important to slow down before approaching them, so you have time to react if something happens. You should also ensure that there is enough room between your vehicle and theirs so that if something does occur, there will be enough space between them for both vehicles to pull off safely without hitting anything else along the way.
Road construction is one of the most common reasons for accidents. Many large trucks have trouble maneuvering around detours or slowing down in time due to their size and weight. Drivers need to be aware of what’s happening to plan accordingly. This means checking with your dispatcher before you head out to know what roads may be closed or have reduced speed limits due to construction zones.
Injuries from accidents caused by commercial trucks are often more severe than those caused by passenger cars because of the heavy weight and size of these vehicles. In addition, if you’re in an accident with a commercial truck driver who’s uninsured or underinsured, it could be even more difficult to compensate for your injuries and damages.
Animals on the road pose a serious threat to any vehicle, but they can be particularly dangerous when driving a large truck. If you hit an animal with your vehicle, your brakes might fail due to fluid leaks, and your tires could blow out because of punctures in their sidewalls. You won’t have time to react if an animal jumps into your path — so always watch out for stray dogs and cats!
Take Adequate Breaks
Commercial truck drivers should take breaks at least every few hours. This gives them time to rest and allows them to focus more clearly on their driving. The last thing you want is to fall asleep at the wheel and cause a major accident.
Use a Dash Camera
Driving conditions can change quickly, so installing a dash camera in your vehicle can help provide valuable evidence if an accident occurs. A dash cam will also protect you and your employer if someone tries to file false claims against you or your company. Many dash cams also feature GPS tracking capabilities, so they can even help you avoid traffic tickets by recording your speed at all times while driving on public roads.
Maintain a Space Cushion
Driving a big rig requires you to keep at least two seconds’ worth of space between yourself and the vehicle in front of you. If someone slams on their brakes, you would have enough time to react and stop safely.
Awareness of what’s happening around you is essential when driving any vehicle. Commercial trucks can be even more dangerous when they are not driven safely. To avoid accidents, you must always remain alert while on the road.
The best way to stay safe while driving is by being predictable. Drivers need to know what other vehicles around them are going to do so that they can plan accordingly. By maintaining a steady speed and practicing defensive driving techniques, you will help other motorists anticipate your actions as well as prevent any accidents from occurring in the first place.
Doug Yates Towing & Recovery
As a professional truck driver, you should practice many things to increase your chances of a safe and incident free service. Following the tips above will ensure that you are keeping your eyes on the road more often, but you must always do what you can when in control of a vehicle. Truck driving involves driving quickly, and in confined spaces, so you must share the road with other motorists. If you need a Chattanooga towing service, search for a towing company near me, and we at Doug Yates Towing & Recovery can be there promptly.