Truck Driving Tips: 4 Ways to Keep You Safe on the Road
According to Statista, about 5,000 truck accidents happen each year. Several causes lead to this alarming rate, including negligence. Since truck drivers play a vital role in sustaining the U.S. economy, haulage company owners and authorities need to take active measures in protecting truck drivers on the job. Also, several ways exist for haulage drivers to prioritize their health and safety. Here are four driving tips to keep you safe on the road as a truck driver.
1. Get Insurance
Drivers experience different types of risks in their daily operations. Accidents might be inevitable, but truck insurance can be a good first step in protecting drivers on the road. Truck insurance can also be a cost-effective way for large truck companies to manage their fleet of trucks. You may need this form of protection more if you own your truck and are responsible for its maintenance. Not having insurance can lead to huge out-of-pocket settlements and medical bills in case of an accident.
Generally, insurance companies have different policies for truck drivers. Note that choosing a truck insurance coverage depends on several factors, including the premium and deductible policy options you choose. These specific insurance requirements can influence your truck insurance quote and the amount of coverage you enjoy.
You can compare multiple packages to ensure you get the best deal on the market. It helps to also enlist insurance brokers to make the entire process of choosing the best insurance package simpler. Comparing services and packages has become easier in recent years. You can find specific websites that help you through the comparison process.
2. Wear Protective Gear
In times of accidents, mandatory accessories like fire extinguishers and axes can help you provide quick and temporary solutions as you wait for proper emergency response. A huge part of protecting yourself on the road depends on wearing the right gear and having essential accessories in your truck. For this reason, some haulage companies make it a must for their drivers to have the right attire and workshops at all times.
You can adopt general gear standards to protect yourself, especially on long rides. For instance, jackets with long and thick sleeves can shield you from the cold. Wearing supportive footwear can also be a good idea. It’s essential to avoid flip-flops and wear closed-toe shoes and choose shoe inserts from trusted brands like PowerStep to cushion your feet. Some of these issues may seem irrelevant, but drivers who stock their trucks with water, snacks, a first aid kit, a change of clothes, and blankets can better manage unexpected conditions.
3. Practice Defensive Driving
Truck drivers can practice defensive driving as a safer way of using the road. It involves consistent efforts to identify potential hazards and detect abrupt changes in road conditions. Adopting this approach can reduce the risk of accidents and injuries by making well-informed decisions like making a list of multiple route options. That way, you can choose a safer route if you’re uncertain about a specific’s road’s condition.
Defensive driving techniques can actualize in several ways apart from anticipating blind spots. You can talk of practicing the three-second rule to avoid rear and head-on collisions. The rule demands truck drivers to always drive three seconds later than the car in front. The time can increase to five or 10 seconds when driving through heavy rain and on icy roads, respectively. Communicating and collaborating with other drivers without rage and inciting words can also ensure significant defensive driving results.
4. Take Breaks
Traffic safety studies by the AAA Foundation revealed that drowsy driving accounts for over 100,000 police-reported crashes annually. Truck driving sessions can last for about 14 hours, which many drivers nickname the 14-hour rule. This rule demands drivers take structured breaks after every eight hours, but they barely do. Many health experts have linked long driving hours to physical and mental health challenges.
All in all, sticking to these tips can improve your safety as a truck driver. It’s essential to also prioritize truck maintenance, avoiding accidents due to abrupt technical faults.