Safety Tips That Every Truck Driver Should Know
Truck drivers encounter many different hazards while on the road. There are other drivers, varying road conditions, and other potential dangers that you must consider. In most cases, these hazards lead to road accidents. Over the years, truck accidents have become one of the most common causes of motor vehicle accidents, and a large number of those have been fatal. Therefore, every driver must know how to keep themselves safe while driving. To stay as safe as possible behind the wheel, every driver should adhere to the following safety tips.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
When you are driving, you must understand your surroundings. You should know what is around you at all times. This might seem like an easy task, but it can be challenging for truck drivers to do if they are not used to it. Since their cab does not have windows on every side of the truck, there will be times that they cannot see what is directly surrounding their vehicle. Therefore, you must make sure that you check your mirrors constantly to ensure that you can see what is around your cab. Also, if there are blind spots on the road, make sure that you stay out of them.
Truck drivers have a lot to keep track of when they are on the road. However, it can be easy for many truck drivers to get distracted from the primary task at hand. This is why you must make sure that you avoid all distractions while driving. It might seem as though other people on the road are responsible for your safety, but in many cases, the driver is responsible for his or herself. If someone sustains injuries in such a case, Trollinger Law states that they can file a claim against you to pursue compensation. Therefore, you must make sure that you do not text while driving, check your social media accounts on your phone, eat behind the wheel, or engage in any other distracting behavior that could cause an accident.
Become Familiar With Your Truck
You should also be familiar with the size and shape of your truck. For example, you will want to know if there are any blind spots around your driver's side window. It is also vital that you know the exact location of all controls in your cab. This way, you can focus on the road without having to spend time searching for the right switch or knob. If possible, you should even take your truck to a big, open lot so you can practice driving it.
Always Maintain Your Grip
You mustn't let go of the steering wheel while you are driving. If your grip becomes too loose, it will be harder for you to control your truck. You should try to hold onto the steering wheel tightly at all times. Even if you get tired, you must keep a tight grip on the wheel. However, you should also know how much pressure you are putting on the wheel. The best way to do this is by keeping your fingers away from the rim of your steering wheel.
Do Not Rely Too Much on Technology
You should only use the technology available to you if it can keep you safe. Many truck drivers rely too much on the cruise control function of their trucks. However, this function might not always be enough. As indicated by Forbes in the blog post about driver-assist features, if they do not work or will not engage for some reason, then you could lose control of your truck. Therefore, you should not rely on this function as a crutch.
Be Aware of Road Conditions
Many truck drivers do not consider the road conditions before they drive. However, this is a huge mistake that can lead to severe injuries or even fatalities. You must make sure you understand what kind of road you are driving on. If the weather is terrible, you must slow down and leave more room between your truck and other vehicles on the road.
Use Signals Appropriately
Truck drivers should always use their signals when they change lanes. However, some truck drivers do not understand how important it is that you give a signal before you switch lanes or turn off signals after completing a maneuver. If other cars on the road cannot anticipate your actions, then you might cause an accident. For example, if you have been driving in the right lane, and then you move into the left lane without a signal, other drivers might not be able to brake in time.
In summary, truck drivers must be aware of their surroundings at all times. They must also act responsibly and with an appropriate level of caution. If you are a truck driver, then you must always drive defensively. This means taking responsibility for your actions and understanding how they affect other people.