Truck Driving: Safety Tips to Keep Out of Trouble
Whether driving a 4X4 truck or being involved with long-haul trucking, safety should always be a prime consideration. The sheer weight, size, and speed that trucks travel at makes it easy to lose control and cause damage to other vehicles, property or people.
Here are some safety tips to avoid difficulties as a truck driver.
Being Mindful of Other Vehicles
Whether driving one of the TruckXpress oil trucks with secured metal drums on the back or another type of truck, the dimensions of any truck mean it tends to hog the road. It’s important that a driver appreciates that they take up more of the road than other vehicles and they must keep strictly to their lane.
Veering off even slightly can cause another vehicle on either side to adjust their driving position as the truck gets to the edge of their respective lane. This can create a domino effect on a multi-lane highway where other drivers also adjust their positions,with one making a critical error resulting in an accident.
Getting Enough Rest & Taking Breaks
Another cause of accidents is driving while overly tired. This dampens reflexes and slows the reaction time to problems up ahead. Making the right driving decision at a critical juncture requires the type of quick thinking and rapid problem solving that doesn’t work when overly tired.
Getting enough sleep and taking driving breaks also avoids drifting off to sleep while at the wheel due to the monotony of the road. This is less of a problem for truck drivers taking shorter day-time trips compared to long-haul trucking, but nevertheless, it affects all types of truck drivers. If you need to pull over and sleep or even find a hotel, do so. Get $50 off your next hotel stay here.
Adjusting Driving Technique Based on Weather Conditions
While every driver has a schedule to keep, it’s beholden on them to adjust their driving speed and technique to reflect both recent and current weather conditions. Use a mobile app on a smartphone for timely updates to stay abreast of changing road conditions.
When it’s been raining recently or there’s ice on the road a few days after a snowstorm in the area, the time to brake and come to a complete stop is lengthened. Allow enough time to slow down and drive more defensively when the weather and road conditions warrant it.
Eat Healthier on the Road
Manage meal times to avoid overeating while on breaks. Larger meals will make any driver feel drowsy when back behind the wheel. Then it’s natural to reach for a coffee or a sugary drink to provide the stimulation to stay alert. This becomes a vicious cycle as the sugar high wears off, leaving the driver needing to consume more caffeinated drinks and sugary snacks to keep going.
With driving a truck, it’s easy to forget some basic safety principals, even when possessing years of experience. However, vigilant drivers avoid downtime and a threat to their jobs when they adhere to safety considerations on the road. Trucking companies prefer to hire personnel with good to exemplary driving records and look unfavorably at applicants with a record of previous trucking accidents.
Equip operators with the proper tools needed and promote safety to help them avoid injury.
The OPNBar tool, for instance, can help avoid some injuries by providing an ergonomic means of opening shipping containers, checking for low-pressure tires, and aiding operators in releasing the tractor from the trailer.
Please be sure to read OPNBar Extended Instructions & Precautions
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