TRUCK DRIVER SAFETY TIPS
Keeping safe on the road is the single most defensive driving tactic you can take and one of the keys to keeping your insurance rates low. Below are some basic safety tips as provided by Road Safe America.
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
Get plenty of rest before driving. Eat well and stay fit. Driver fatigue and lack of attention can significantly increase your risk of a crash. Hours of service violations are serious and can threaten your livelihood or even your life. Stay healthy and well rested, or don’t drive!
SLOW DOWN IN WORK ZONES
Watch out for highway construction. Stay alert. Almost one-third of work zone fatal crashes involved large trucks. Most of these crashes occurred during the day. Take your time going through work zones. Give yourself plenty of room, and expect the unexpected.
BE AWARE OF YOUR ‘BLIND-ZONE’
Other drivers may not be aware of the size of your blind spots. One-third of all crashes between large trucks and cars take place in the blind-zone areas around a truck. Adjust your mirrors and be vigilant in watching out for vehicles in the blind-zone.
ALWAYS KEEP YOUR DISTANCE
Always leave enough space between you and the vehicle in front of you. In rear-end collisions, regardless of the situation, if you hit someone from behind, you are considered “at fault.” Large trucks, given their mass, have much greater stopping distances than 4-wheelers. Take advantage of your driving height, and anticipate hard braking situations.
ALWAYS MAINTAIN YOUR VEHICLE
It can save your life. Inspect your vehicle before each trip and check your brakes regularly. Brake defects are the most frequently cited out-of-service inspection violation. Learn how to inspect your brakes, identify safety defects, and get them repaired before risking your life, and others, on the highway.
ALWAYS DRIVE DEFENSIVELY
Avoid aggressive drivers and maintain a safe speed. Two-thirds of all traffic fatalities may be caused by aggressive driving behaviors. Keep your distance and maintain a safe speed. The only thing excessive speed increases is your chance for a crash.
PLEASE FASTEN YOUR SEAT BELT
Buckle up for safety and vehicle control. If you are in a crash, a seat belt will save your life and that of others. It will keep you in your seat and allow you to maintain control of your truck. Increasing seat belt use is still the single most effective thing we can do to save lives and reduce injuries on our roadways.
ALWAYS WORK TO IMPROVE HIGHWAY SAFETY
On the highway, and through safety promotional events, be the professional! Assist stranded motorists, notify traffic safety agencies of crashes, unsafe drivers, unsafe roadway conditions, and other situations that can lead to crashes. Join a “Highway Watch” program, if available in your state. Your participation in public safety events and your performance on the highway can change public perception!