Safe Bet Logistics has some easy-to-follow truck driving tips to help increase safety and make your next delivery that much smoother. Because just hopping into the cab and cruising the open road sounds simple — and impressive — enough to some drivers. The deal is, very few jobs require more expertise, caution, and nearby stress toys.
Here is a fact, according to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration in 2012. Over 300,000 accidents and 100,000 injuries involved big rigs. Time ranked “truck driving” number eight on its 2014 list of the “Ten Most Dangerous Jobs.”
Watch Your Blind Spots
The average motorists may not be aware of a truck’s “no zones” — those where crashes are most likely to occur. Standard or Common “no zones” or “blind spots” include:
- Just behind the side mirrors
- Off to the front side of the cab
- Directly behind your truck
If other motorists do not know about these trouble spots, they could drive dangerously close. Yes, though this is extremely frustrating, it’s up to you to exercise caution before turning or changing lanes and to keep a safe distance from the vehicles.
Slow or Reduce Speed in Work
Your delivery can wait. About 1/3 of all fatal highway or work-zone accidents involve large trucks. Take your time going through interstate or highway construction
Give your truck a thorough check each morning (fluid levels, horn, mirrors, etc.). Anything unusual? Report it to your dispatch service before attempting to drive. Your brakes are particularly vital, given how much weight is riding on them.
Load Smart Cargo
By stacking your load lower and spreading it evenly through the entire space of the trailer, your truck can stay more nimble and improve your fuel economy. The higher your cargo, the more drag on your truck.
Slow or Reduce Truck Speed on Curves and Turns
When it comes to heavy trucking, however, there are times when even adhering to posted signs is still too fast (confusing, we know). However, most of the time following the speed limit is a good thing.
Set your speed lower than the posted limit when going through any curve, to make up for your rig’s unique dimensions. Using exit/entrance ramps, the speed limits are meant more for cars; trucks have a tendency to tip if they take the curves too fast.
See other truckers pulling over? Maybe it’s best you do likewise
Why? You should allow yourself more time for truck maneuvers in lousy weather conditions. Run your blinkers for 5 blinks before you change lanes, and signal for turns before slowing down.
Bad or inclement weather causes around 25 percent of all speed-related truck driving accidents. Shorten your speed down by one-third on wet roads, and by one-half on snowy or icy ones.
Seriously… Take Care of Yourself
A large part of truck driver safety has more to do with you and less to do with your vehicle. Getting quality home time, eating right, getting enough sleep, exercising—these things will help you feel more relaxed and refreshed behind the wheel.