Truck driving can be fun, which is why we love it. But while it’s easy for the good times to be rolling, some responsibility is required.
Safety is certainly a big essential, both for you and for others on the road with you. But it’s more than just a good philosophy: having mastery of truck driving safety tips can help you stay safe, avoid delays to accidents, and help you have a good drive.
If you’re trying to learn more or want a refresher for your driving, you may appreciate these 10 best truck driving safety tips.
- Communicate. Even though it’s just you behind the wheel, it’s important to talk with others, especially fellow truck drivers. They can give details about what’s ahead, road conditions, or other useful information.
- Be prepared for anything. Longtime drivers know that the weather can change anytime, depending on where you’re driving. So, just because things start out sunny doesn’t mean the rain, snow or fog won’t roll in later in the day.
- Keep your eyes on the road. Even a familiar road can include unexpected hazards you may not see, especially in poor weather. For instance, black ice can be in shady spots or bridges can be extra slippery.
- Remember the basics. Because trucks are so big, they can be slower to stop than smaller cars. So, this means keeping a bigger distance between the truck and any cars around you. If traffic conditions do change in a hurry, you’ll have more room to slow down safely.
- Pack a bag of essentials. Even if it’s not winter, there’s always the possibility of a road being closed due to an accident or even a disaster like a rockslide or flooding. So, if you do have to spend hours sitting on the road, be sure to have things packed like warmer clothes, a blanket, food and water and similar supplies.
- Inspect your truck before each trip. Look at your tires, brakes, wipers, and other components. Make sure there’s a full tank of gas plus diesel anti-gel additives.
- Have an ‘escape plan’ ready. If the road ahead of you ends up being closed, or at least delayed due to an accident, have a backup plan. This could be an alternate route you’re familiar with. It could also be awareness of who is on the road with you. If the person in front of you stops, can you go to either side?
- Park near your destination and check things out. Expert drivers suggest this, especially when driving to a new delivery place. If you can, find a place to park near where you’re supposed to go, then get out and scout out the place for yourself. This will give you a better understanding of the loading facility and how to access it properly, rather than relying on general information in your order or guessing. This can also identify possible hazards in getting there.
- Use your best judgment. This comes with experience, but generally play it safe whenever you can, including keeping your speed low if you’re unsure. Even being a little behind schedule due to bad roads is preferable to not staying safe.
- Minimize lane changes. Regularly switching lanes doesn’t really save you a lot of time and also increases your risks of an accident.
Tri-State Hazmat can provide more safety information and training details.