Long-distance truck drivers endure some of the most strenuous working conditions and while the weather conditions can host imminent danger in certain regions, following strict preventative measures can ultimately save your life and the lives of other on the roads.
While you cannot predict the cautionary action taken by other drivers, you can ensure that you are not a danger on the roads. Whether you are a truck driver, or you are searching for ways to protect your businesses long-distance drivers, the following preventative measures will ensure arriving alive is a priority.
Routine Vehicle Maintenance
Routine maintenance is absolutely crucial for all drivers, although it is even more important for truck drivers who travel long distances. This is because countless commercial vehicle collisions are the unfortunate result of failed brakes and other issues that stem from neglecting vehicle maintenance.
Truck accidents can be prevented if trucks are maintained correctly, and drivers are able to rely on confidence in knowing they are travelling in a vehicle that is regularly serviced.
Stopping Regularly To Rest
Far too often, long-distance truck drivers feel pressured to arrive on time and neglect breaks on route to achieve a timely arrival. However, drivers should stop to rest every two to three hours as fatigue is a common culprit of trucking accidents. Falling asleep behind the wheel is a definite mistake that can claim the lives of other travelling on the road.
While stopping every two to three hours is crucial, drivers should also be sure to make overnight stops at suitable truck stops to enjoy quality sleep that will ensure focus is possible the following day.
Never Snack On The Way
Stopping along the way to your destination is not only essential to ensure you are well rested as you should also utilize this time to enjoy meals. The decision to snack along the way is exceptionally unsafe as breaking focus on the road is a sure way to leave room for an accident.
Drivers should be sure to keep adequate liquids to drink while driving as hydration is vital, although, snacking should be sacrificed for safety. When stopping every two to three hours, drivers have the opportunity to stretch their legs, enjoy a quick snack or even a coffee.
A Safe Following Distance
Driving a commercial trucking vehicle is significantly different from driving a personal car, which is why drivers of trucks are required to have a specialized license. One detail that can often be overlooked when operating a large vehicle such as a truck is the recommended safe following distance. It will be a mistake to tailgate a personal car travelling ahead of you as an urgent stop may not be identified in time.
Therefore, drivers should be sure to double the general safe following distance to leave a 12-second space between the vehicle that is travelling ahead.
Showcase Courtesy On The Roads
Even though there is no doubt truck drivers are focused on arriving in due time at their destination, cutting in front of other vehicles on the road can be detrimental. When it comes to manoeuvring a large truck, it is far safer to be a courteous driver and allow the right of way to all other vehicles.
The decision to notably gracious means that other drivers will likely be considerate of your need to change lanes and make sharp turns on your route.
Keep Emergency Contacts On Hand
Even though the above mentioned preventative measures will keep you significantly safer on the roads, a vehicle collision that results from the negligence of another driver can be impossible to predict. Therefore, you should also be sure to keep emergency contacts on hand. Communications for the surrounding emergency services such as medical services and legal practitioners should be available at all times. Even if you are involved in a minor collision, you will still need to manage the situation with care as a driver to ensure you are not held liable for the mistakes of the responsible party.
In addition to keeping emergency contacts on hand, you should also uncover essential steps to take when involved in a vehicle collision. Such measures often include photographing the accident scene, remaining calm, seeking immediate medical attention to avoid whiplash and other delayed injuries, and contact the local police immediately. As a long-distance truck driver, you will need to be well-informed of your rights and responsibilities as they may vary when travelling to neighbouring regions or states.