7 Tips to Avoid Road Accidents
Road accidents are common in the US and those that involve trucks can be really fatal. Around 500,000 trucking accidents happen in the US every year, and 1% of that resulted in death.
Sometimes, no matter how careful you are, accidents are inevitable. However, as a driver, you can exercise safety so you may be able to avoid these events from occurring. You are not only responsible for your own vehicle, but also those that are on the road. When heading out for delivery, keep these few tips in mind:
- DRIVE WITHIN LIMITS
Every road or highway has speed limits. This is the maximum speed that every driver should keep their vehicles running. In fact, during days with bad weather, you’ll need to adjust your speed a little bit to stay in control of your truck on the road. Remember, you are not on a race track. The safer you get to your destination, the better.
- FOLLOW DRIVING HOUR RULES
There are actually strict regulations about the number of hours you can travel on the road, the number of breaks you can take in between, and also the number of hours of sleep. As a truck driver it is important for you to follow these rules carefully.
There is a reason behind these rules and they have been carefully studied to make delivery efficient not only for the truck owner but also for the client. If it’s time to take a nap, do so. You need to stay active and alert while on the road as that is what your profession calls you to do.
- AVOID DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF DRUGS OR ALCOHOL
Don’t drink and drive – that is the golden rule for all drivers. Some drivers may be tempted to take stimulating drugs like cocaine, especially when they are experiencing fatigue. But this is not the solution.
Like alcohol, drugs may distort your vision and judgment, and impair your physical faculties especially when taken on high doses. Get some ample sleep to recharge. If your body does not feel well before the trip, it would be in everyone's best interest if you take a leave from work rather than force yourself into it.
- KNOW YOUR VEHICLE
First of all, you must be familiar with the truck that you’re driving, how it operates, and how to troubleshoot problems. This is important because maintenance issues cause accidents.
Even if you think you are a good driver, trucks are way different, especially when you’re driving a semi, such as a Volvo semi truck or other similar types. Before heading on to your trip make sure to check your truck.
If you notice something wrong, have your truck checked and fixed by a mechanic. Make your own checklist of things to go over before the trip.
- AVOID DISTRACTIONS
Any driver should avoid distractions while driving. This includes texting, calling, navigating your phone, or maybe trying to reach over something. If you need to take a phone call or reach for something important, pull-over.
- KNOW YOUR CARGO
Of course, it is common sense that you should know what you have in your truck so you will be able to determine what kind of precaution you should take on the road in order to keep you and your cargo safe.
- PLAN YOUR TRIP
This is important especially when you deliver to new destinations. You must map out your destination and know which routes are shorter and safer. It would also be good to get a good picture of the road you are passing through. There might be tunnels or bridges where your truck won’t fit, so knowing ahead of time will enable you to plan a different route.
Truck driving takes a lot of responsibility and safety consciousness is vital. Even with years of experience, you will never know when accidents will hit you, so you have to stay focused, alert and put safety as your top priority.
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Bonus tip: Pay attention to traffic and weather warnings
Driving long distances can be dangerous, particularly if there is heavy traffic, or conditions are poor. Most accidents are caused by driver error and the risk of making mistakes increases when roads are slippery or wet or visibility is reduced. To reduce the risk of collisions and avoid having to seek advice from a car accident lawyer, listen out for weather warnings and keep up to date with the latest traffic reports. Avoid travelling if extreme weather is forecast and authorities issue advice to postpone journeys. If you need to travel, and conditions are hazardous, take your time, take regular breaks, reduce your speed and make sure you give other vehicles plenty of time and space. You will need to increase your stopping distance if the road is icy or wet.