Being a truck driver is not just a job, it’s a lifestyle. Driving a truck comes with a lot of responsibilities and a lot of risks. In Oregon alone, 474 people die in auto accidents. Here are five useful tips for truck drivers that can improve safety and enhance your lifestyle on the road.
1. Always Pay Attention To The Rules
Speed limits and other rules are implemented to help keep everyone safe on the road, including truck drivers. Of course, speed limit rules are not the only rules that truck drivers have to follow. Federal service limitations for truck drivers are 11 hours on the road driving during 14-hour shifts. That means you can’t or shouldn’t exceed 11 driving hours total each day. One of the leading causes of trucking accidents is driver fatigue. Resting and taking breaks is essential to your safety and that of other drivers.
2. Keep Equipment in Top Condition
Before you leave for the day, quickly inspect your equipment. Check lights, brakes, fluids, and windshield wipers to ensure everything works. Regular maintenance and professional inspections ensure your truck is always fit for service. If you notice a safety issue, don’t take the truck out. It is best to skip a day of work or be late for a shipment than it is to risk your safety and ultimately impact your lifestyle.
3. Always Check The Weather Down The Road
The United States has millions of miles of roadways that drive through many different climates. It may be sunny and 75 degrees where you are right now, but a few hours down the road, you may run into a totally different weather situation. Check the weather down the road before you leave to ensure you are prepared for the changes. Always have an emergency bag packed with a change of clothes, extra food, water, and blankets, just in case. You should also keep a bag of snow melt in your truck just in case you run into snowy weather. The trucker lifestyle requires that you are prepared for anything.
4. Always Keep Your Eye On the Road
Taking your eyes off the road may have you meet one of the world’s 3.04 million trees up close and personal. Distracted driving gets people killed. Don’t text when driving, don’t eat your meals when driving, and don’t try to multitask while you are driving. The trucker lifestyle can, unfortunately, promote unhealthy driving habits. Don’t be fooled into thinking because you are a professional driver, you are above the risk that distracted driving can present.
5. If You Break Down, Do This
You should have a couple of flashlights and other safety equipment stashed in your truck. If you break down, the safest thing is to pull off the road as far as possible, set up warning lights so other drivers can see you, then stay in your truck until help arrives. An astounding number of truck drivers and other drivers are hit by oncoming traffic when their vehicle breaks down. Stay in your truck and wait for help. Don’t risk getting out of the truck.
The trucker’s lifestyle is not easy. There are a lot of risks. Taking a little extra time to mitigate some of that risk by following these tips will ensure that you arrive alive with your cargo intact. Take the steps you need to stay safe on the road.