Driving large commercial trucks is a dangerous job that requires lots of skill and significant responsibility. As a truck driver, you must do things to ensure your safety that a regular passenger vehicle driver doesn't necessarily have to be so adamant about. It can sometimes be easy to forget the essential safety tips when behind the wheel of a large truck. Luckily, the lawyers at Shamberg, Johnson & Bergman have comprised a list of 10 tips every driver should always keep in mind:
- Always Drive at a Safe Speed
The large size and significant weight of large trucks mean there is often an increase in driving challenges such as braking. Maneuverability and acceleration. Driving at safe speeds and being aware of factors like acceleration may be slower uphill than it is going downhill will help protect you and others on the road
- Buckle Up
Not only is failing to wear your seat belt against the law, it also increases the chance of fatality in a collision. Wearing your seatbelt can reduce injuries, allow you to stay inside the truck if you lose control during a crash, or save your life.
- Avoid Driving Distractions
Driving for long periods can make distractions behind the wheel very tempting. Avoid using your phone at all costs, whether it is testing, calling, or surfing the web. The consequences are not worth it. Try your best to avoid other distractions, such as eating, drinking, or adjusting truck settings, like the air or the radio. If it's a dire need, be sure to pull over safely and take care of it when you are no longer on the road.
- Check Your Blind Spots
When driving your truck, you should frequently check your blind spots to ensure you are aware of any lingering drivers. Additionally, it is also important that you scan the road ahead to make sure you see any work zones or traffic issues with plenty of time to maneuver around them.
- Be Careful When Making Turns and Going Around Curves
It's important to take extra caution when maneuvering around curves and taking wide turns. Allow yourself the extra space and time needed to do this safely.
- Use Your Turn Signal
This is super important when sharing the road with other drivers. Signaling and braking early will allow others on the road adequate reaction time to anticipate your next move. When you need to pull over, use reflective triangles, flashers, and/or road flares to properly alert other drivers.
- Proper Maintenance
Maintaining your vehicle is a great way to ensure safety while driving. Ensure your workload is well-balanced and that your truck has been through any pre-trip safety inspections before hitting the road. Secure any materials that could be potential road hazards if they unexpectedly become loose.
- Plan Your Trip
Although it may not seem necessary, planning your trip can often be essential. This way, you are aware of things like weather, road conditions, or any detours that could affect your time while driving on the road.
- Do Not Use Drugs or Consume Alcohol
Even though it may seem obvious, it's important that you remember never to use drugs or drink alcohol before or while driving your truck. This doesn't only apply to recreational drugs, but any substance or medication that would cause you to become drowsy while behind the wheel should be avoided.
- Know Work Zone Safety
Driving past a work zone can be hazardous if you are familiar with proper safety practices. Taking work zone safety is crucial as it may require sudden stops, lane switching, or uneven road surfaces. A few things to remember the next time you are driving by a work zone may include:
- Look ahead to be alert for changes in traffic patterns
- Slow down
- Obey all signs and signals
- Keep an eye out for workers
- Maintain extra following room and be prepared to stop
If you have been involved in a truck-related accident, our team is here to help. Contact us today at (816) 542-5999 to get started with a free case review with one of our trusted attorneys.