Did you know that the US government estimates between 300,000 to 500,000 long-haul truckers in America today? It seems to be one of the most popular jobs out there.
If you are considering hiring a commercial truck driver for your business, or you are one yourself, then the primary thing you would need to worry about is getting into a truck accident. Not only can it be a substantial financial burden on you, but it results in lost working hours, which is not good for business.
Read on for some safe driving tips that can help you prevent those annoying trucking accidents.
1. Plan Out Your Route in Advance
It might be a bit of a hassle to do so and will take time away from your days off, but if you can spend some time every week planning out all your routes, that will be a huge godsend to your driving experience. That way, you can focus entirely on driving safely to your destination rather than worrying about planning out a better route.
2. Make Sure You Get Enough Rest
The scariest and most dangerous thing for a big rig driver on the road is to fall asleep at the wheel. It puts your life at harm, your cargo in danger, and endangers everyone driving on the road around you. That’s why you must get enough rest between your long drives so that you don’t get tired on the road.
If you feel tired or drowsy while driving, stop at the first truck stop you can find. Take a 15-minute nap or walk around outside if it’s cold, to wake you up.
3. Take Care of Your Nutritional Habits
Do not use too much coffee or energy drinks to wake you up. Also, avoid eating too many fatty or sugar items while on the road just because they are convenient and easy to grab at a truck stop.
Try to eat a balanced, healthy, and nutritious diet by including lots of green leafy vegetables, fatty fish, and whole grains. Keep fruit or nuts in your rig, so you can have those as snacks when you get peckish, rather than stopping for a doughnut.
4. Build Regular Rest Stops and Movement into Your Schedule
Even if you are not tired, you still need to stop regularly while driving to wake your body up. It also prevents you from being too sedentary. Try to stop every couple of hours for a 15-minute break, where you can move your body, do some pushups or lunges, and get that blood circulating.
If you are young right now, you might think everything is fine. But sitting for such long hours over time can wreak havoc on your health, and you don’t want to deal with those consequences later in life.
5. Avoid All Distractions, Especially Texting
It is perilous for a truck driver to be texting or be on their phone while driving. Driving a big rig requires much more care and attention than driving a smaller car. Avoid all distractions and focus your full brain power on the road to come home safe and sound.
6. Inspect Your Vehicle Regularly
Maybe your company takes care of vehicle inspections, or maybe not. Either way, you need to check your vehicle every time before you set out on the road. This way, you can catch any problems before they become serious, and you won’t get stuck on the road in middle-of-nowhere America.
7. Pack Your Vehicle with Care
A big rig can quickly get unbalanced if it’s not packed correctly. Ensure you pack your truck with care and if something feels like it’s unstable in your truck’s load, then correct it immediately before getting on the long drive. If your load isn’t balanced correctly, it can result in wide swings when making turns or going through curvy roads.
8. Obey the Speed Limit and Maintain Safe Distances
You might be on a schedule or even behind schedule, or maybe you are trying to hit a stringent quota. Whatever the reason might be, even if you wish to get to your destination faster, there’s no point in going over the speed limit. It’s too dangerous for you and all drivers surrounding you.
And if you are caught using unsafe driving tactics like driving too fast or not maintaining a safe distance between vehicles, you could be in big trouble if you get into an accident. You could even lose your license and get some jail time. Then you will need to contact a commercial accident lawyer to get you back on the road again.
9. Always Wear Your Seatbelt
Seatbelts save lives. And that’s why the US government and governments worldwide are so adamant that you should wear one. This is even more true if you are driving a big rig.
10. Don’t Get Complacent While Driving
If you’ve been a truck driver for a long while now, you might be feeling pretty confident about your driving skills. Don’t let this make you complacent, though. No matter how safe your long driving record has been, things can change in seconds, especially when driving a big rig on the long open road.
A Single Truck Accident Can Ruin Many Lives
It is much more dangerous for everyone involved when dealing with a truck accident than with a car one. Make sure you do everything you can to avoid a trucking accident by following all the driving tips listed above.
And if you are already in trouble, contact a truck accident lawyer to get you back to your everyday life.
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