So many people die of road accidents every year. That can be worrying for a new truck driver. Trucks tend to cause more damage than smaller vehicles when involved in an accident. With bigger stopping distance, heavy load and other factors, a speeding truck can go through obstacles like a hot knife slicing butter. That is why as a truck driver, you must always be thrice as careful as a car driver. If you keep a cool head always and pay attention to the following 7 tips for safety, you should be okay. Following are some helpful tips for safe truck driving:
1. Distractions Are Dangerous – Avoid Them
Technology is the most serious form of distraction on the road. It captures all of your attention and holds your mind captive. What every new truck driver should know is that accidents occur when you take your attention off the road, even for just a few seconds. Eyes, ears, hands and legs of the driver should all coordinate perfectly. When the driver takes his eyes off the road to look at that text message from his girlfriend, this coordination is broken. If you must answer a message or an email, just find a safe place to stop the truck.
2. Belt Up For Personal Safety
Road accidents are bad, but what makes them even worse is that you can take all the precautions, yet have other people cause the accident. Thus, start with your personal safety check first. You must be fit to drive, sleep enough hours and most importantly, belt up. Never drive a faulty truck and most importantly, obey all the regulations on the road.
A seat belt can reduce serious injuries on your person by up to 50 percent, most likely more than that. If you carry anyone in your truck, make sure they wear their seat belt.
3. No Need For Over-Speed
If you need to get your load to its destination early, wake up early. If you speed, you might never get there at all. In fact, you will also cause delay, injuries and death to other road users because speed accidents are very serious. According to statistics, 31 percent of all road accidents occur because of speeding. At the same time, more than 11000 lives are lost annually because of speeding.
4. Know How Your Truck Behaves Under Certain Conditions
Learn how your truck behaves under different driving conditions. If it skids and loses grip when loaded to full capacity on wet roads, wait for rain to subside. Besides knowing your truck, you should also change your driving technique depending on the road conditions. Slow your speed in the rain or snow. The more rain there is the slower you should drive.
5. Load Correctly
It is very important that as the driver, you either load or oversee the loading of your cargo. That way, you will make sure the weight is distributed evenly. Loosely packed and unsecured cargo can be a big danger to you and to the other road users.
A computerized system to help in load and weight distribution in your semi-truck would be very helpful. Even when doing everything manually, you should be able to know when your cargo is correctly loaded. Use wedges and chocks to make sure that your cargo is tightly secured and that nothing budges an inch. Securing the cargo makes it part of the truck.
Never load more cargo than specified for your truck.
6. Monitor Your Blind Spots Carefully
Trucks have bigger blind spots. It is from the blind spots that danger usually comes. Blind spots are the specific areas that you cannot see clearly in the mirror. Such include the back of the truck, the near front side and any others. No matter how well you set the mirrors, it is just not possible to see these areas. However, with the knowledge in your mind, you can monitor the areas near them keenly.
7. Practice Road Courtesy
Courtesy is very important and the bigger the vehicle that you are driving, the bigger your heart should be. Roads are national resources, to be shared by all users. Thus, if there is someone who needs to be given way, kindly allow them right of way. When changing lanes, be extra careful, double check and most importantly, indicate that you are changing lanes. The most important thing is to be patient with other road users. Most accidents occur because the drivers involved were in a rush to go places.
Other than following these tips, you need to ensure you have all the best and well-functioning truck parts and accessories for safe driving. Say for example, having semi truck exhaust pipes can keep the noise level to tolerable limit and help you concentrate better on the road. Similarly, semi truck fenders can significantly lessen the impact of an accident on your truck. Look out for other accessories and parts that can less the chances and impacts of accidents.