Truckers spend most of their time on the road. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), driver errors cause 10 times more accidents than any other reason, such as weather conditions or other drivers on the road. Review the quick road safety tips for truckers below to avoid accidents.
1. Don’t drive drowsy.
It has been found driving exhausted can be as bad as driving with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent, the legal limit in Wisconsin.
2. Take breaks.
Pay attention to the signs of exhaustion and take breaks when needed. If you feel your eyes are getting tired, take a quick nap to refresh your body.
3. Keep your distance.
Give other vehicles on the road room – don’t tailgate. Semi-trucks take longer to stop, so if a car brakes abruptly in front of your truck, you need to have extra room to be able to stop safely.
4. Take precautions when pulling over.
If you have to pull over on the side of the road for a mechanical issue, make sure to use your flashers, reflective triangles and road flares to alert other drivers and keep yourself safe.
5. Use caution on bridges.
Bridges freeze faster than roads do, so be cautious in freezing temperatures when driving over bridges. Be aware bridges may be slippery and ice can be hard to detect.
6. Wear your seatbelt.
When driving, always wear your seatbelt. In a big rig you may feel safe without a seatbelt, but if you get in an accident, you will be safer if you’re wearing a seatbelt especially if the truck rolls over.
7. Be aware of medication side effects.
Some medications may make you drowsy. Even certain types of cough syrup can have an impact on your driving reactions. Before driving, don’t take medications that may make you drowsy.
8. Use signals.
Make sure to signal early to make other drivers aware of the direction you are turning or if you are making a lane change well before you turn the truck.
9. Slow down.
Reduce your speed in construction zones and in bad weather. Only drive as fast as the road conditions and speed limits allow.
10. Be aware of your surroundings.
If you aren’t aware of what is around you, minor accidents can occur when parking or backing up. Before backing up, walk around your truck and look for any obstructions you may hit.
11. Keep supplies in the truck.
If you do get stuck in bad weather, you will want to be prepared. Keep a few supplies in your truck like blankets, bottled water and non-perishable snacks.
12. Use smooth driving movements.
Don’t accelerate too fast or brake too fast, especially in slippery conditions.
13. Check blind spots.
Make sure to check (and recheck) your blind spots before making a lane change or merging.
14. Use flashers when necessary.
If you are carrying a heavy load or have mechanical issues that cause you to drive under the speed limit for an extended period of time, use your flashers to alert other drivers.
15. Check your brakes.
Make sure to check your brakes frequently to ensure they are in proper working condition.
Follow these tips to stay safe on the roads. If you are interested in learning more about trucking safety, take a look at some of our previous safety blogs: