Commercial truck drivers have a very important job. They keep the economy moving by delivering goods to businesses and consumers all across the country. But this job can be dangerous if you’re not careful. Here are some tips to help you stay safe while driving your truck.
Adhere to the speed limit
One of the primary things you can do to stay safe while driving is to obey the speed limit. Trucks are much larger and heavier than cars, so they need more time to stop. When you’re going too fast, you’re not only putting yourself at risk but also other drivers on the road. Keep in mind that some of the most common causes of accidents involving trucks include overspeeding. In this case, it’s always better to be cautious about your speed.
More often than not, the speed limit for most trucks is 55 mph. However, there are some exceptions. For example, if you’re driving on a highway with a posted speed limit of 70 mph or higher, you can go up to 65 mph. Just keep in mind that you should also avoid going too slow unless you’re driving in a construction zone. This is because when you do, you are not only a hazard to yourself but also other drivers.
Watch your blind spots
Trucks have huge blind spots, and they are located in the front, back, and sides of the truck. These blind spots make it harder for you to see other cars on the road or even pedestrians crossing. To avoid a collision with another car while changing lanes or turning, regularly check all your mirrors to ensure no vehicles are nearby before making any maneuvers.
Hence, make sure that your mirrors are adjusted properly, so you can see as much as possible. You should also use your turn signals or your blinkers when changing lanes and turning, to give other drivers on the road a heads-up about what you’re doing. This will prevent other drivers from being surprised by your truck’s movements. It also helps reduce the number of accidents that occur when one vehicle suddenly changes lanes or speeds up unexpectedly. By using turn signals, you can avoid many potential collisions on the roadways around trucks.
Make sure your load is secure
Another important thing to remember when driving a truck is that you need to make sure your load is secure. This means using the appropriate straps and tie-downs to keep your cargo in place. If your load isn’t secured properly, it can shift around while you’re driving, which can lead to accidents. In addition, make sure that the load is appropriate for your truck. You don’t want to overload your truck, as this can also lead to accidents. It’s important to consult with your boss or supervisor about what is an acceptable weight limit for your vehicle.
Your truck should be in good condition
You should also see to it that your truck is properly maintained. This includes making sure the brakes are working well and that the tires have enough air in them. A blown tire can cause a truck to lose control, so it’s important to check on your tires regularly. You should also have your truck serviced regularly, to ensure that all the parts are in good condition.
Stay aware of your surroundings
Another important thing to remember when driving a truck is to stay aware of your surroundings at all times. This means keeping an eye out for other vehicles, as well as obstacles on the road. Truck drivers should also avoid all forms of distraction while on the road, especially cell phones. Driving requires your full attention at all times, so anything that takes it away from the task at hand can be extremely dangerous. This means no texting, no talking on the phone, and no eating or drinking while driving.
It can be tempting to drive for long hours without stopping, especially for drivers who are paid by the mile or trip. However, driving while fatigued is extremely dangerous and should never be done under any circumstances. Fatigue impairs judgment and reaction time and can lead to accidents. If you’re feeling tired, it’s best to pull over and take a break. Otherwise, you may end up hurting yourself or others.
These are only some of the tips that can help you stay safe while driving your truck. Remember to always be aware of your surroundings and take precautions when driving in a busy roadway. By following these tips, you can reduce the chances of having an accident while behind the wheel of a commercial truck.