Since the invention of roads and vehicles, more so trucks, our quality of life has been improved. Fast ferrying of essential goods by professional and passionate trucking companies like Extra Mile International has drastically enhanced our way of life over the years.
However, this life-enhancing invention can at times lead to the devastating loss of life and property due to fatal accidents. Since truck accidents can sometimes be caused by human error, it’s essential that truck drivers get equipped with straightforward yet vital tips on preventing truck accidents while on the road.
Below are some smarts tips that truck drivers can use to prevent accidents while in transit
Avoiding distractions while driving or parking
Getting distracted while on a job usually leads to unwanted results; the same applies to driving a truck. A basic rule that you should remember as a truck driver is to keep your hands on your wheel, your eyes on the road, and your mind focused on driving your truck.
Any distractions such as using your phone, listening to loud music, eating or drinking, adjusting your side mirrors or radio station may cause you and those around you, their lives. So, stay alert and focused while keeping in mind that a slight overlook or mistake can drastically escalate to a significant and irreversible occurrence.
Maintain a legal and sensible speed
In the USA, the legal truck speeds limits vary depending on a different state. Despite the different speed limit laws, a speed of 113KM/H(75MPH) in multi lanes,105KM/H(65MPH) in single-lane roads, and 96KM/H(60MPH) inroad with traffic ought to be observed. Remember that the amount of speed you use dramatically impacts the severity of a crash in case of an accident.
Most truck drivers tend to overspeed so as to deliver their cargo in time. It’s essential that you plan ahead so that you don’t get caught up in such a situation. You can prepare for transit by;
- Departing from your departure terminus an hour before the designated time (if your trucking company policy allows)
- Use a recently updated map of the route you are to use if you are unfamiliar with it. This will help you save on time as you won’t take the wrong exits or entrances during your freight
Regularly take your truck for maintenance services
Regularly taking your track for maintenances services, more so if you cover long distances, will substantially help you reduce the risk of causing or getting involved in an accident. Faulty braking systems, leaky brake fluids, worn-out tire rims( which may lead to a blowout or a flat tire), uncharged batteries, and broken cargo restraints can cause a devastating loss of life and property.
Give clear signals while on the road
Ensure that other motorists around you can easily predict your moves. This will help them adjust their driving to accommodate your maneuvers while on the road. Never turn or change a lane promptly unless it’s really necessary, and no motorists are on the lane you are about to switch to.
Have a sound-minded spotter with you
A professional trucking company should have a sound-minded spotter who acts as a second pair of eyes and ears to the truck driver. A spotter will help you safely navigate in blind spot areas as they act as your visual aid.
Ensure that you and your spotter are always on good terms before hitting the road. It would help if you also had prearranged hand gestures that are easy to remember and understand. Pro-tip; stick to the same hand signals to avoid confusion.
Be cautious where you pull over on the highway
Pulling over is sometimes necessary, and knowing how, where and when you should pull over is crucial as it will go a long way in preventing an accident. Extra tip; it’s safer to pull over when you are on the right side than the left side. The right side provides the much-needed space to get away from the traffic, unlike the left side.
What to do when pulling over;
- Stay calm and don’t rush yourself
- Make sure that your truck’s hazard lights are on (serves as a signal)
- Be aware of your surrounding (motorists and pedestrians)
- Safely pull over and drive as far away as you can from the highway
Be a road warrior! Drive safely
Preventing a road accident begins with you. As a truck driver, always ensure that you drive within the set speed limits, constantly maintain your truck, and avoid distractions. Having a sound-minded spotter with you and cautiously pulling over on the highway will go a long way in preventing road accidents.