Accidents are something every driver never wants to be involved in. Truck drivers are no different, which is why truck driver accident prevention is such a crucial component of their employment. Getting your CDL is only the first step toward becoming a professional and safe truck driver. To improve your abilities and confidence, adopt an “always learning” and “Safety First and Always” approach. These truck driver safety recommendations cover many aspects of a typical day on the job, including pre-trip, on-the-road, arriving, and post-trip.
The FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) prepares a report called Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts. The number of heavy trucks involved in fatal, injury, and property-damage crashes all climbed in 2017, according to NHTSA statistics included in the 2017 report (the most recent report published).
So, what can you do to lessen your chances of getting into an accident? Here are some ideas for avoiding accidents, which is the first and most crucial step in driving safely.
Check The Weather Forecasts.
Be mindful of weather conditions before leaving on a journey, and check weather reports as frequently as possible while on the road. Keep an eye on the temperature outside to keep an eye on changing driving conditions. Knowing what to expect might help a trucker prepare for poor weather driving and take the required measures.
Keep An Eye Out For Unusual Traffic Patterns.
The most important thing you can do is pay attention and remain aware since knowing your surroundings is the first line of defence. In order to be proactive, you must be aware of the traffic around you. You’ll become more comfortable with identifying typical traffic patterns and signals of traffic problems as you spend more time on the road. The more you get familiar with these indications, the more you’ll be able to moderate your reactions to slowing traffic. Controlled responses are always safer than panicky ones, and they increase your chances of avoiding a truck driver accident significantly.
Being aware offers you enough time to change lanes if necessary. Instead of fighting through a traffic snarl to get to an off-ramp, you’ll be in a better position to depart when necessary. You’ll also have more time to move into the middle lane if there’s an accident or an emergency vehicle stopped on the shoulder.
Get Down and Check the Delivery Spot
This is the most commonly disregarded driving safety tip among truckers. Find a safe place to park your rig while delivering, especially to a new customer, and leave it for 5 minutes to scope out the area. It’s all too common for shippers to claim, “Oh, we have trucks in here all the time, it’s fine.” Examine it for yourself. A vehicle can get stuck and unable to turn around, or the docking facility may not be adequate for large trucks. You can see obstructions in your path by getting out of your truck and checking around for yourself, such as low fire hydrants, poles, and ditches. Make a mental image of the surrounding region. You won’t see the dangers if you just drive in. Also, keep in mind that backing up accounts for a substantial percentage of truck accidents. Accidents are expensive for everyone involved, and they can severely damage your driving record.
Be Extra Careful During The Night
Always be particularly cautious at night, especially while moving in confined spaces. Too many truckers have driven straight into a ditch, slammed into the back end of a trailer, and collided head-on with lamp posts after leaving a truck stop late at night.
Keep Your Truck In Tip-Top Shape.
Maintaining your vehicle is one of the best methods to minimise preventable accidents, so stick to your maintenance schedule and don’t skip any inspection processes. Faulty equipment on a semi-truck or trailer can cause breakdowns or other issues, increasing the risk of a truck driver disaster. Proper semi-trailer maintenance ensures that your truck runs smoothly.
When driving, professional drivers should never omit any safety precautions. If you skip steps, you risk endangering your own safety as well as the safety of others on the road with you. Remember, no matter how hot your load is, arriving safely is always preferable. Nothing is worth putting your life on the line for, not even your work as a driver.