When you’re driving as a career, you have to spend more time than regular commuters on the road, and with daily driving comes challenges and safety concerns you must stay aware of all the time.
To stay safe on the road and keep others safe from the load you may be carrying, it’s important to think about truck safety. These safety tips will help you stay alert and stay safe.
The number one concern drivers have to face is other drivers. You must always be alert to your fellow motorists because often they are not aware of how long it takes a truck to come to a stop. They also might not know that trucks have several blind spots.
You can’t regulate other drivers, but you can be alert and aware of the potential for problems. Keep a clear eye on the distance ahead. As one of the tallest vehicles on the road, you can spot trouble before others. Be prepared for stops before they become emergencies.
Before changing lanes, double and triple check blind spots and use a turn signal long before making a lane change or a turn. It’s best if you stay in one lane as long as possible to reduce the risk of an accident, but if you have to change lanes, use the turn signal promptly.
It’s important to keep a truck maintained routinely before taking it out on the road. While repairs are being made, you could rent a truck, or find parts for trucks online. It can be tough to lose the revenue when your truck is in for repairs, but getting into an accident or equipment failure can be even more costly.
A full tank of fuel is imperative when traveling for long distances and over areas with inclement weather. Water condensation can cause trouble in the fuel lines, and brakes and wheels should be routinely checked for wear and repairs should be done immediately. Always have a good inspection done before long drives.
Before you start your run, think about fatigue. Don’t wait until you’re five hours into the run to worry you’ve only had four hours of good sleep last night. A good, healthy meal filled with lean proteins and energy foods will give your body nutrients it needs and provide energy for hours after it is eaten.
Many truckers think caffeine-filled drinks like soda and coffee as well as high sugar foods like candy will keep you awake on the road. That sugar high will only last for a short amount of time, and the sugar crash can send you into a spiral of sleepiness. Don’t give in to the temptation of these quick treats.
Take a nap before heading out on the road too. A quick power nap can provide you with all the energy you need to make that long haul with ease. A nap while on the road can’t hurt either. If you need to pull over, don’t hesitate. You should nap instead of fighting fatigue. The monotonous drive over boring terrain can become mind-numbing. Keep your brain alert and entertained with activities. You can listen to music, bring along audio books, or listen to podcasts. If you’re still sleepy while driving, open the window and let the fresh cool air revive you. This is especially good if it’s cold outside. The shock will get your pulse up, and your heart pumping.
Safety on the road is extremely important to you as well as to other drivers on the road. These tips should help with staying alert and staying safe. It’s easy to become lax when a long haul becomes a routine. Be alert and present each and every time you get behind the wheel.
This article is from Brooke Chaplan, a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.