7 Trucking Safety Tips
When you spend long hours on the road, it’s no surprise that you’re statistically more likely to face a variety of risks, including accidents. One of these risks that not many people think about is complacency. Driving for a living makes it easy to forget just how dangerous the task can be. Avoid complacency and other risks by following these seven trucking safety tips.
1. Sleep well: Did you know that staying awake for over 18 consecutive hours has similar effects to being intoxicated? Get at least seven hours of rest each night for improved focus and sharpness.
2. Wear your seatbelt: When buckled in, you have a significantly reduced chance of being thrown from the truck during an accident, which helps you stay safer and in control.
3. Maintain safe speeds: It goes without saying that you should always follow the speed limit. Additionally, during rain, storms and other bouts of poor weather, reduce your speed by one-third to provide more time to react to possible dangers.
4. Brake early: Trucks are large vehicles and they need more time than cars to come to a full stop. Leave plenty of space ahead of you so you can brake gradually and safely. Remember that trucks will take even longer to stop in poor weather.
5. Check your blind spots: Many truck-car accidents occur within a truck’s blind spot, also called the no-zone. Check and double check your mirrors before changing lanes, and always use the blinkers when doing so.
6. Stay off the cell phone: Doing anything with your hands—other than gripping the steering wheel—can distract you from the road. Using a hand-held mobile device while operating a commercial motor vehicle is prohibited by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Never check text messages or emails while driving. If you must take a call, pull over or use a headset.
7. Take breaks: Sitting for long periods of time can be tough on your body. Stop every two to four hours so you can get out, stretch and walk around for a few minutes. This is also an opportune time to use the restroom and grab a coffee or a bite to eat.