Truck driving may seem easy, but there’s a lot that goes into it. While truck drivers must ensure the safe delivery of their cargo, they’re also responsible for the safety of themselves and other drivers. Check out some of these most essential safety tips for truck drivers to protect you on and off the road.
Prepare for the Drive
Always prepare for a long haul. Check the route and inspect your vehicle as you plan out the days ahead. Look up the weather forecast, road conditions, traffic patterns, and state regulations to avoid potential incidents. Also, be aware of the presence of construction work and bridges. Given how inclement weather causes a significant portion of trucking accidents, always check the local weather of where you’re going. Also, get comfortable. Adjust the driver’s seat, steering wheel, and backrest to ensure a comfortable commute.
Avoid Traffic Violations
There are many common traffic violations that truck drivers encounter. These include speeding, driving violations, accidents, and distracted driving. Do your best to avoid these issues. Doing so will preserve your CDL record and help you retain your job. While it may seem tempting to speed if you’re in a rush, don’t. Semitrucks and trailers are large vehicles that cause serious harm to other motorists if driven erratically. Always drive defensively and responsibly on the road.
Care for Your Semi
Don’t neglect your semi, either. Vehicle maintenance is one of the most essential safety tips for truck drivers. When hauling heavy cargo loads, the last thing you want is your truck to break down on the road. Inspect the tires, breaks, engine, and cargo hold to ensure safe travels. Immediately report any abnormalities to your dispatch. They’ll send a mechanic or auto technician to repair the vehicle before you begin your route. Not only is this important for your safety, but it also protects other motorists.
Stay vigilant of your surroundings, as well. Always lock your cabin when you take breaks, sleep, or leave your truck. You’re responsible for delivering cargo to its designated location, so do your best to protect your haul. The need for alertness also extends beyond your cargo. Never drive with distractions. Turn your phone off; set your GPS before you drive; and plan your eating, sleep, and break times according to your route. Many driving accidents, whether from a semi or regular vehicle, occur due to distracted driving. Don’t become a statistic because you fidget with your GPS, radio, or cell phone when on the road.