In 2019, about 4,100 people died in large truck accidents.
In order to prevent those deaths and injuries, you should learn about truck safety before driving a truck.
But what truck driving safety tips should you follow? Keep reading to find out how to work on truck accident prevention!
1. Watch for Blind Spots
If you are operating a tractor-trailer, you might find that it’s so high off the ground that it’s hard to see cars behind you or when they’re right next to you.
You’ll have a larger blindspot than other cars on the road, and a truck accident can happen when truckers try to change lanes because they don’t see a car that is in their blind spot.
As a truck driver, you should always make sure that you check your mirrors and always look out the window and over your shoulder. This will help you identify if there are any cars that just aren’t showing up in your mirror.
2. Practice Safe Loading Procedures
If you’re going to be driving around cargo, make sure that you load and unload it properly.
You should keep the three points of contact rule in mind. This rule says that you should have three points of contact when you exit or enter the trailer, meaning that you should have one hand and both feet (or both hands and one foot) touching the trailer at all times.
This will help to ensure that the load is secured if you have to brake suddenly.
3. Focus on Defensive Driving
Defensive driving is a type of driving that will encourage truckers to anticipate what others are going to do as a form of truck accident prevention. They’re also looking out for changes in road conditions or potential hazards.
When they are anticipating dangerous situations and always prepared to deal with the worst, they can make better decisions when they’re behind the wheel.
One tactic of defensive driving is always practicing the three-second rule. This will help to avoid running into other cars. You should allow three full seconds to pass between you and the car in front of you.
For example, if the car in front of you passes a road sign, you should pass that road sign three seconds after they do. If you pass it after one second, you’re following too closely.
Whenever you’re in doubt or some other car is driving recklessly on the road, just slow down. This should be the default mode, especially if it’s raining or there is poor visibility out there.
When you drive slower, you give yourself more time to react to hazards, which could prevent accidents or at least lessen the severity of them.
4. Avoid Distractions
Distracted driving is one of the main causes of truck accidents. To avoid them, make sure that you always keep your eyes on the road, and your hands are always on the steering wheel.
Distracted driving could be anything from eating while you’re driving, looking out the window at billboards, or checking your phone.
Some trucking companies will install dash cams in the truck to make sure that the driver’s head positions are facing the road rather than looking down at the phone.
5. Don’t Constantly Change Lanes
Once you get onto the road, pick one lane and stay in it. Cars will take the time to go around and dodge you, but they’re smaller and don’t have large blind spots.
It’s easier for you to just stay in one lane and be aware of everything. If you do need to change lanes, make sure that you do it carefully and slowly.
Another reason this tip is great because if there is some kind of an accident based on a car changing lanes, they will be at fault rather than you since you just stayed in one lane.
If you’re driving on a freeway in the city, try and drive in the middle lane. This will help you avoid merging vehicles and will keep you out of the faster left lane.
6. Bring Extra Tools for Maintenance
You never know what will happen during your trip, but you can help avoid possible accidents by doing an inspection before you take any trip.
Before you leave, make sure you check the lights, tires, pins, cabin, and the fifth wheel. In case you end up driving through some unfavorable weather, you should also make sure that you have covers and snow chains.
7. Check Out Delivery Spots on Foot First
One tip that many truckers ignore is checking out delivery spots on foot before you bring the truck there.
If you’re delivering to a new customer that you’ve never been to before, make sure that you find somewhere to park safely. Then go walk over to the delivery area.
You might find that your truck could get trapped and be unable to turn to the docking facility. You’ll be able to identify any obstacles that could be in the way and make a mental note of them.
If you just drive in there in your truck, you may not be able to see all of the hazards.
Discover More About What to Know Before Driving a Truck
These are only a few things to keep in mind when driving a truck, but there are many more things to keep in mind to ensure truck safety!
We know that being a trucker can be a stressful job, but we’re here to help you out!
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