TRUCK DRIVING SAFETY TIPS
by Sumona Automotive 19 March 2022
When you’re a truck driver, you spend most of your time on the road. In fact, the average yearly mileage for a truck driver is almost 125,000 miles! Make sure your upcoming road trip is as safe and pleasurable as possible, whether you’re planning a cross-country or a very small journey.
It is possible to avoid a wide range of truck-related incidents simply by following a few simple rules. For your convenience, San Diego trucking companies compiled a list of ten critical truck driving safety precautions to make a successful truck driving experience.
1. Plan your journey ahead of time
Even before you get in your truck and head out on the open road, you should familiarise yourself with the route you’re taking.
When it comes to getting anywhere, there’s almost always more than one way to do it. Consider all of your alternatives and choose the one that works best for you in terms of both time and money.
You’ll be able to get to your destination faster and more efficiently if you plan out your route ahead of time, and you won’t have any doubts about where you’re going.
2. Make sure you pack your truck correctly
Packing your truck properly is just as important as planning your journey and figuring out your itinerary. If you’re in a time constraint, don’t put other drivers at risk by cramming everything into your truck in a hurry. Your vehicle is more likely to flip if the weight of your load is divided unevenly.
Overloading freight is fraught with peril as well. Of course, if a vehicle is overloaded, the goods could fall and put other drivers and passengers in danger. Because of such, it can place undue stress on your truck axles and braking system.
Verify that the truck’s overall weight does not exceed federal or municipal weight restrictions before loading it all into the vehicle.
3. Perform a thorough inspection of your vehicle
It’s fairly uncommon for trucks to break down, especially if they haven’t been properly maintained or inspected. Ensure that all of your vehicle’s components are in functioning order and that nothing will prevent you from safely driving before you leave.
A short checklist of things to check includes tires, brakes, lights, wipers, and any attachments. If you don’t have one, make one now. To ensure that your truck is ready to go, check each item off one by one!
4. Relax and get some shut-eye!
Even when you’re not on the road, it’s critical that you get plenty of rest, both before and during a long voyage as a truck driver. Sleeping for at least seven to eight hours a day is the best way to ensure that you are always alert. Keep in mind that sleep deprivation can have life-threatening consequences. Don’t put yourself or others in danger—sleep is a need!
5. Choose wisely when it comes to your diet
Getting enough sleep is only half the battle when it comes to being alert and performing at your best. With proper nutrition, it is possible to retain concentration for extended periods of time.
Finding a fast-food restaurant may be the most practical alternative if you want to minimize downtime and arrive at your destination on time. Fast food is, after all, just that: fast. Sadly, it also adds to a diet that is quite harmful.
Conscious eating and devoting an extra 10 minutes to prepare a healthier meal can have a significant impact on your ability to concentrate while driving. It’s good for your long-term health, too.
6. Always buckle up your seatbelt
Studies show that one in six truck drivers don’t wear a seatbelt and that more than one in three truck drivers killed in accidents don’t wear a seatbelt. Wearing a seatbelt should be a no-brainer when driving a truck.
Always make sure that everyone else in your group is buckled up, even if you’re traveling alone.
Depending on the make and model of your truck, bunks may be available for passengers to utilize while you’re behind the wheel. But unless these bunks have restraints, they must be used only when the truck is stationary.
7. Observe the speed limit at all times
For safety reasons, truck drivers should always stick to the speed limit, and if necessary, they should travel even slower than that and the flow of traffic.
Trucks are more hazardous than most passenger automobiles when traveling at high speeds because they are larger and heavier. Truck drivers, on the other hand, should alter their pace to match the weather.
8. Slow down for corners and turns
During bends and curves, as well as lane changes, truck drivers need to keep a close eye on their speed.
Trucks are more susceptible to slipping, sliding, and flipping when making sharp curves at high speeds than most other vehicles. Avoid endangering yourself and other motorists by reducing your speed before making a turn.
9. Make sure that you travel at a safe distance
Trucks, in particular, need to be aware of the importance of adhering to safe driving distances.
Due to their size and weight, trucks require more time to come to a complete stop than other types of vehicles. It’s also worth noting that the consequences of a collision can be far more severe. Passenger car occupants are the majority of those killed in heavy truck accidents.
Keep a distance of seven seconds or more between your truck and the car in front of you as a general rule of thumb. With this much time to spare, you can safely come to a complete stop if the situation warrants it.
10. Distractions should be avoided at all costs
Texting, calling, glancing around, and focusing on other things are all common distractions for drivers. The same goes for truckers.
Many truck drivers are tempted to use their cell phones, especially during long trips. Truck drivers, on the other hand, are 23 times more likely than passenger car drivers to be involved in an accident when texting while driving.
Put your cell phone out of your reach while driving and instead concentrate on the road. The life of another person is on the line!