The roads and highways of the United States are filled with vehicles of all different sizes. Most people drive to transport themselves and their loved ones around, but commercial truck drivers transport the goods that the rest of the country couldn’t function without.
Unfortunately, the sheer size and weight of these trucks make them highly hazardous to other travelers even under ideal circumstances. When truck drivers are fatigued or otherwise driving poorly, however, the consequences can be disastrous.
For these reasons and many more, it is critical for truck drivers to understand the role they play in maintaining road safety for everyone. By making small changes to their routines and behaviors, truckers can help everyone get where they are going, safe and sound.
Basic Safety Reminders for Truck Drivers
As a truck driver, your decisions have a major impact on your own safety and on the safety of all other travelers who share the road with you. Here are some important reminders on staying safe behind the wheel:
- Obey hours-of-service restrictions and follow the spirit of the rules, not just the specifics. Sleep and rest are vitally important to avoid drowsy driving and fatigue.
- Take regular driving breaks, and include stretches and exercise in those breaks. Being active helps you feel better, sleep better, and drive more safely.
- Always be aware of the weather and road conditions you are driving in and respond accordingly. Slow down in snowy and icy weather, and maintain extra distance between cars when it is foggy.
- Always keep and use the appropriate gear and equipment for the conditions and terrain you drive in (such as using tire chains when driving on steep mountain roads).
- Give more space to the cars in front of you than you think they need. It takes a lot of time and distance to stop a fully loaded semi-truck.
- Always signal your lane changes and don’t change lanes excessively. There are significant blind spots on your truck.
- Drive defensively. Keep in mind that even if other drivers are driving erratically or making dumb decisions, your truck could cause serious harm if you got involved in an accident.
- Keep your vehicle road-ready at all times. Worn-out brakes and balding tires are a serious accident waiting to happen.
Many of the tips listed above are also regulatory requirements (such as hours-of-service rules). Following them is not only necessary to avoid an accident, but also to keep your job. If you’ve been injured in an accident or otherwise need legal guidance related to your truck driving operations, please contact a skilled truck accident lawyer, like a Virginia truck accident lawyer, today.
Thanks to Martin Wren, P.C. for their insight into how truck drivers can stay safe on the road.