Accidents can happen anytime when you are out there on the road. There’s just no telling when. Sometimes it’s through a fault of your own, sometimes it’s not your fault at all. Regardless, accidents can create devastating consequences for either party involved.
Hence, it’s only natural that anybody would want to avoid them. However, avoiding accidents when you are driving a large vehicle, like a truck, gets a little more complicated than when you are driving a smaller one. For one, the dimensions of the vehicle are significantly bigger, which creates more blind spots in large vehicles. And then there’s also the matter of navigating large vehicles through small or crowded roads.
These reasons aside, one should always try their best to avoid accidents. It’s in the best interest of everyone involved, really!
Therefore, here are 7 efficient and well-tested tips for truck drivers to prevent accidents on the road!
Tip Number #1 - Watch Your Speed
Driving slowly is the one piece of advice anybody could give you to avoid accidents. Trucks are harder to maneuver at the last second, no matter how many years of experience you have at hand. Therefore, it’s always best to drive slowly.
If you are driving in a work zone or under some adverse weather conditions, drive slower than usual. Do the same while entering a curve. Always remember that the speed limits posted at these curves are for passenger vehicles. Your aim is to reduce your speed even further.
Speed is a major factor contributing to many many accidents. So moving slowly and thinking through your movement is the best thing a trucker could do to avoid accidents.
Tip Number #2 - Be Thorough and Prepare Well
Before you set out on the road, be sure that you are well-prepared. And that means checking all your blind spots, completing your pre-trip inspection, etc.
Be thorough and methodical. Make sure you don’t miss out on checking anything important. Set up a schedule for this and follow it. You are less likely to miss out on something this way. Also, always remember to watch your entire vehicle and not just the front of it.
Never set out on the road without planning your trip. There’s nothing worse than trying to find a location in the middle of nowhere while sitting all alone in a big vehicle. So, always make sure to look up your destination in advance and make plans accordingly.
Tip Number #3 - Ask For Directions
We know that you have GPS, but it’s always better to ask your customer for directions. They regularly guide trucks in and out of the loading facility every day. If there’s someone who could give you the best and safest directions to reach a place, then it’s them.
Ask them for detailed directions and compare them with what you are seeing on the GPS. Mark three points of contact throughout the road. This way you’ll know you are taking on the right track and taking the best route available.
Tip Number #4 - Get Some Rest
As a trucker, it is extremely crucial that you get enough rest before you set out on the road. Always ensure that you have slept well before you get behind the wheel. Recognize drowsiness when it starts to set in and take a break.
Take a 45-minute nap with a 15-minute buffer to wake up fully, before you set out again. Try to maintain a healthy diet as much as possible. Do not rely on “Alertness Tricks” like smoking, turning up the radio, drinking coffee, opening the window, etc, to keep you awake. These are not a real cure for drowsiness and may give you a false sense of security.
Tip Number #5 - Avoid Distractions
When driving, stay focused on driving. Do not let the objects outside of your truck distract you. Taking your eyes off the road even for a second could spell disaster for you. So, always pay attention only to the things that are related to driving, and will keep you aware of the road and vehicles around you.
Do not text while driving, do not use the dispatch device while driving, and do not dial a phone while driving. Do not try multitasking while you are inside the vehicle. If it’s that necessary, make a pit stop. A few minutes of delay is always more affordable than the lives of people.
In The End -
Being a trucker is one of the most essential and trickiest jobs in the world. You might have targets to hit and customers to reach, but always remember that safety comes first. Do your best to stay safe and keep others safe on the road.
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