On average, a professional long-haul trucker goes more than 100,000 miles per year. That’s a lot of driving for a big truck. It’s no wonder highway fatigue and burnout are common.
To stay safe on the road, follow these ten safety tips for truck drivers on long runs.
1. Practice Defensive Driving
One of the best safety tips for truck drivers is to practice defensive driving by being on the lookout for hazards and road conditions. As a driver, you can reduce the risk of accidents by implementing defensive driving techniques.
Some strategies truck drivers can use to be safer on the road include watching out for blind spots, preparing for emergencies, always signaling, slowing down when necessary, and practicing the three-second rule. Implementing the three-second rule means allowing three seconds to pass between you and the car in front of you. In serious weather conditions, the time should increase to five seconds or more.
2. Have a Maintenance Schedule
Tips for truck drivers include keeping your truck up to date on important maintenance. The vehicle you are in should be as safe as it can be.
Up to date maintenance includes everything from oil to brake pad changes. These things are likely to cause problems on the road so they should regularly be taken care of.
You can work with a trusted mechanic to ensure your maintenance schedule works based on the days you drive, mileage, and breakdown history. To ensure your truck is in the best shape, you need regular upkeeping.
3. Trip Inspections
Safe truck driving tips like pre-trip and post-trip inspections are necessary. If you get regular maintenance, these inspections will be a breeze. However, it is important to check your truck before a trip just in case.
There are tools available that make inspections easier to handle. You must walk through each part of the inspection and take note of any issues the truck may have. This will make repairs easier and quicker to handle.
4. Avoid Distractions
Nowadays, it is easy to get distracted by things while driving because of the increase in technology use. But, other things can distract drivers like eating, fatigue, and even looking out of the window for a split second.
Avoiding distractions is one of the most important road safety tips for truck drivers. This will not only keep you safe, but it will also make the roads a safer place overall.
Distracted drivers cause most accidents that occur on the road. Although an increase in technology use has made distracted driving more critical, it also works to make the roads safer. This is because technology can now tell when a driver is distracted.
You can equip your truck with this technology to keep you and others safe on the road. This technology will be able to tell if you are distracted based on your head position.
5. Prepare for Road Condition Changes
Road conditions are unpredictable, especially in the winter. Winter driving tips for truck drivers are even more important to follow. Road conditions can also change based on traffic.
Weather and traffic are both conditions that can affect the safety of truck drivers. To prepare for these road conditions, you can use a live map that shows weather and traffic. These maps will be able to help you reroute to avoid these conditions.
6. Take Breaks
Safety tips for truck drivers that have to go on long runs include taking breaks and getting proper rest. The general rule after eight hours of driving is to take a 30-minute break. Before going back on duty, you should take at least a 10-hour break.
These breaks are required by HOS (hours of service) regulations. However, you should always take more breaks if you feel it necessary. If you are sleepy or impaired, pull over to keep yourself safe.
7. Be More Cautious at Night
During the night, it can be harder to see where you are going. This is why it is important to always be more cautious when truck driving at night.
It’s easier to drive into a ditch when it is pitch black outside. If you get in an accident, there are steps to take to get through the process. You should stay alert, be aware of your surroundings, and drive slower.
8. Check Mirrors
It’s not enough to just check your mirrors occasionally when you are driving a truck. You need to be checking your mirrors often.
The rule of thumb for truck drivers when checking mirrors is to do so every 8-10 seconds. This is important so you can be aware of when other cars enter your blind spot. Maintaining a scan pattern will be second nature after a while.
9. Be Comfortable
If you are not comfortable in your truck, it is going to be harder to stay safe on the road. Instead of adjusting while you are driving, make sure you are comfortable before getting on the road.
You need to adjust your steering wheel, seat height, and backrest to the proper position. Also, make sure you can easily see your navigations system.
10. Slow Down
Driving a truck is a lot harder than driving a regular car. This means you will need to slow down sooner on certain roads.
For example, when you are about to come to a curve, you should slow down lower than the speed limit. Usually around 7-10 mph under.
Safety Tips for Truck Drivers Explained
Truck driving is dangerous enough on its own, so keeping the road safe is especially important for truck drivers. Following these tips will keep you safe from the start of your journey to the end.
The next article you read could give you new awesome tips so keep coming back for more!