Thousands of people across America drive trucks for a living. They spend hours on the road transporting goods from state to state. But trucking can be a dangerous job. By driving a truck and spending many hours on the road, you are uniquely exposed to a number of risks such as accidents. This is why it is extremely important to be cautious of safety while driving a truck. For new truckers who are just starting out on the road, here are some steps that you can take to ensure your own safety and that of others:
Always be fully alert
When you are driving for long hours, it’s easy to become bored and distracted. You might want to look down at your phone to change a song and catch yourself responding to a text message. It’s really important to stay alert, so make sure that your undivided attention goes to the road. You can set up voice controls on your phone to prevent distractions. Listen to podcasts if music lulls you to sleep. If you are feeling tired or sleepy, take frequent breaks and load up on the caffeine. But resist the temptation to grab a drink, even if it is just one drink. Any amount of alcohol can make your lethargic and distracted. Don’t take on too many shifts if possible, and make sure that you get time to sleep properly in between trips.
Follow driving rules strictly
While all drivers should follow traffic rules, truck drivers need to follow them even more strictly. People often tend to flout certain traffic rules such as tailgating. Make sure to always wear your seat belt, and be aware of the space you put between your vehicle and other vehicles. Try not to switch lanes as much as possible; avoid overtaking other vehicles or becoming impatient from hours of driving. If you have been in an accident, consult a trucking attorney in Washington immediately.
Be aware of weather and road conditions
Whenever you are heading on a trip, make sure that you stay updated with the latest weather and road conditions. Consult with traffic apps to find out which roads are busier. Busy roads are more dangerous to drive on; there will be many small vehicles darting in and out of lanes. Keep an eye on the weather hour by hour, especially if you are driving in an area prone to flash floods or other weather extremes such as heavy downpours.
Double down on safety at night
While driving at night, it’s important to remain extra careful and alert. This is often when your body clock will try to get some rest, so you will feel even more tired. Have the proper lights on, especially if road conditions are foggy or if it’s raining. Smaller vehicles will be harder to spot on the road, and may pop out from behind your blind spot at the last moment. Be aware of stationary objects such as tree stumps or parked vehicles with the lights off.
With adequate safety measures, you can minimize the risks of truck driving to driving a regular vehicle. Always remember that getting there safely is the most important factor, not getting there fast.