Trucking is one of the highest injury professions. Some states have such a high rate of injury for truck drivers that there are initiatives to help protect drivers. Truck driving can be a tough job, but someone’s got to do it. The trucker cab front seat is the truck driver’s office. They provide a vital service that keeps the economy moving, getting products from point A to point B and everywhere else they need to be.
While the road offers some flexible freedom, there is pressure to deliver on time. One of the keys to delivering on time is to ensure trucking safety. Here are some tips that can help keep truck drivers safe and healthy.
Trucking Safety #1: Take care of yourself and keep healthy
Keeping fit, eating right, and avoiding injury is a big part of being a safe trucker driver. Truck drivers are on the road long periods of time, and health issues are part of the job if you don’t take care of yourself. A big part of truck driver safety has less to do with your vehicle, and more to do with you. Getting enough sleep, eating right, exercising, and taking quality home time will all help you feel more content and refreshed behind the wheel.
Trucking Safety #2: Equip yourself with the right tools for the job
Without the right tools, truck drivers can be prone to injury. Use tools to help you avoid injury, check tires for low pressure, avoid strains when reaching underneath the trailer, etc. A tool like the OPNBar can help avoid injuries or strains when opening and closing truck trailer or shipping container doors. If you don’t have these tools, let your company know about them. Who knows, you could be promoted for helping to lower workman’s comp claims.
Trucking Safety #3: Reducing Accidents
Equip truck drivers and operators with the proper tools needed 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.
Trucking Safety #4: Buckle your seatbelt
As with driving any vehicle, your chances of being killed are almost 25 times higher if you are thrown from your vehicle during a crash. Safety belts can keep you from being tossed out a window, from being dragged on the road or from being crushed by your own vehicle or another.
Trucking Safety #5: Don’t speed
Truck drivers have their own speed limit for a reason. Trucks have much less control when going fast than cars. Curve and entrance/exit ramp speed limits are intended for small vehicles, not large trucks. Studies show large trucks often lose control or roll over when entering a curve at a posted speed limit due to their high center of gravity.
Trucking Safety #6: Pay attention to driving conditions
Unless you’re on the show, “Ice Road Truckers” if really bad weather is in the forecast, consider taking a detour or pulling over to ride out the storm. Bad weather conditions contribute to 25 percent of speeding-related large-truck fatalities. Drivers should reduce their speed by one-third on wet roads and by half or more on snow-packed streets.
Trucking Safety #7: Check and recheck blind spots frequently
Truck drivers have many blind spots and no rear view mirror. Never rely on other drivers to stay out of your blind spots; they may not be aware of the size of your vehicle’s “no zone.” Check your mirrors every 5-8 seconds as well as before you change lanes, turn or merge. This will help you keep track of changing traffic patterns around your truck.
Trucking Safety #8: Watch the road
Pay attention to the road. Don’t drive distracted or be on your phone. To safely slow down, a commercial motor vehicle driver should look at least 15 seconds ahead (a quarter-mile on the interstate and one-and-a-half blocks in the city). Paying close attention to the road ahead helps avoid abrupt braking situations and potential accidents.
Trucking Safety #9: Don’t drive drowsy
If you are drowsy, pull over. Research shows that being awake for 18 hours is comparable to having a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent, that is no good. Keep yourself safe and the motorists around you. Always pay attention to signs of drowsiness like frequent yawning, heavy eyes, blurry vision, and spacing out. Don’t lose your job, or even worse, kill someone. Pull over and stay safe.
Did you know that trucking, cargo and insurance companies lose billions a year due to operator injury?
Did you know 50% of all trucking injuries are sprains/strains? Check out our infographic on workplace injuries, costs and causes: