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How To Stay Safe While Behind the Wheel of a Tractor Trailer

Tractor trailers serve a very important purpose in the modern supply chain. Without these vehicles, it would be impossible to transport cargo across vast distances in a fast and efficient way. Unfortunately, the demands placed on drivers can also lead to some tense situations on the road. According to recent statistics, one person is killed or injured by tractor trailers roughly every 15 minutes. The same research has revealed that tractor trailers cause more than 500,000 accidents annually. If you drive this type of vehicle, you absolutely need to take a step back and consider how to stay safe.

Map Out Your Route

There are many reasons why tractor trailers lead to so many accidents on an annual basis. Above all else, however, are the demands that business owners place on their drivers. To meet deadlines, many drivers are forced to work insanely long hours and forego sleep to please employers. Since this is an easy way to end up in a crash, you need to map your route in a more concise manner. When planning your trip, be sure to take note of places where you can stop to rest for the night. 

You cannot always guarantee that accommodations will appear when you are ready to get some rest. By thoroughly mapping out your trip and taking note of all possible spots for slumber, you can significantly increase the odds of being rested and alert while behind the wheel.  

Know How To Respond to an Accident

Even drivers who put a strong emphasis on safety procedures can wind up in a situation where an accident occurs. While preventative steps will prove invaluable, you must also think over the best way to respond to a crash. A quality tractor trailer injury attorney is your best bet in such a scenario. A lawyer who specialized in accidents involving tractor trailers will offer greater insight into your legal options after an accident. Conduct a little research about your options in advance in order to know who to call when you wind up in a worst-case scenario. 

Avoid Distractions

When you’re driving for long periods of time, you may find that your mind starts to wander. If this happens, you might idly check your phone or pay more attention to the scenery of the open road than the road itself. Unfortunately, distracted driving is one of the easiest ways to get into an accident. While it might be easier said than done, staying alert while behind the wheel and minimizing distractions can be vital to your safety. In many cases, pulling over for a quick stretch or a bite to eat can prove useful for your focus.

Pay Attention to Maintenance

Finally, never forget the importance of maintenance. Servicing your truck regularly is the only way to spot any worn or torn components. If you want to stay safe and ensure that your vehicle will remain operational for many years, dedicate time and energy to basic maintenance procedures. 

Though tractor trailers are said to be responsible for countless accidents each year, you do not have to become a statistic. Put together a plan for safety in advance and see how being strategic about your time behind the wheel helps to minimize the odds of an accident.

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