Every trucker knows the basic road safety rules, but obeying some simple but important safety messages for truck drivers can be significantly helpful to avoid sudden accidents.
Avoiding most important but simple driving safety tips is the main reason for crashes on the road. If the truck drivers follow rules which are not difficult to obey, lots of dangerous crashes can be prevented.
Keep Superb Driving Reputation
An accident can affect your mind very negatively and future career as well. If you violate any basic road safety rules, you can lose your CDL.
Moreover, getting an ideal truck driving job will be difficult for a certain time. To maintain an expected driving reputation, make sure that you’re not making any of the violations listed below.
- Do not drive a commercial vehicle without essential documents such as a permit, license, and endorsement.
- Do not cross the speed limit, 15 mph or more than the mentioned speed limit can be a serious violation.
- Do not change lane randomly in a wrong manner.
- Do not talk over the phone or texting while driving on a busy road.
- Reckless truck driving and following other vehicles closely are violations of road safety rules.
- Doing anything which leads to injuries and deaths should be avoided.
Important Safety Messages for Truck Drivers
I’m putting forward a few essential messages or safety tips for truck drivers below that can be helpful to prevent anything unexpected on the road.
1. Perform Safety Inspection
A safety inspection is important before a trip. Perform inspection basically for truck brakes and tires as they can cause dangerous accidents.
Truck load should be properly balanced and securely placed in the right place. The insecurely placed loads may lead to hazard.
2. Drive Defensively
Defensive driving or driving defensively will benefit you in various ways. It will help you to enhance the chances of safety for you and others on the road.
Commercial truck drivers face unfocused drivers, sudden road accidents, and drivers who have less experience. You will need to adjust with all the conditions to lessen hazards.
Some of the defensive driving procedures are:
- Closely look ahead of you for work zones and traffic issues which can be a distance of 15 seconds.
- Check mirrors on a regular basis, maybe after 10 seconds to check vehicles that are coming from behind of you.
- Control speed of your truck properly according to local driving laws.
- Be careful about weather and road conditions.
- Respect laws and other drivers who share the road.
3. Use 3 Points of Your Body
When driving, 3 points of your body should be used all times. If you cannot properly utilize any of them, possibly you are going to face a dangerous situation. These 3 points are your two hands and one foot or two feet and one hand.
Always keep these points in contact with the equipment to drive your truck safely. Make it a habit so that you can prevent falls and slips as well as crashes.
4. Stop Distracted Driving
Stop distracted driving is undoubtedly one of the most important safety messages for truck drivers. Distracted driving is a common thing among many truck drivers.
If you focus on a different task more willingly than driving, you actually commit distracted driving. Distracted driving occurs due to tech gadgets which include mobile devices and other electronic devices that hamper your attention for safe driving.
Texting is a common driving distraction. The results are crashes, severe accidents, and deadly incidents from this distraction.
Study shows that truck drivers lose attention for 4.6 seconds from the road for texting each time. They can travel more than 370 feet within this time if the truck runs 55 mph. Undoubtedly, this is an adequate amount of distance to make a bigger accident.
Texting is illegal for commercial drivers. In many states, using mobile phones for texting and calls are prohibited. You can only use a device if that is hands-free and you can dial with one button only.
A deadly accident can occur due to drinking, eating, using navigational tools, map reading, and allowing a pet with you while driving.
To avoid distracted driving:
- Keep the mobile device closer to you so that you can easily grab when you need.
- Get one-touch dialing device for easy and faster calling.
- It is good if you have a phone with speaker function.
- Do not keep your pet with you when driving a truck.
- Do not spend more time for eating or drinking anything, try to avoid this.
- If it is a must to contact someone or take a snack, you should wait somewhere for a while to do your task.
5. Leave Sufficient Space for Safe Stopping
Be alert about daily safety messages for truck drivers and follow them accurately. When you need to stop your truck, make sure you have enough stopping distance between your truck and any motor vehicles in front of you.
Be more attentive and apply your common sense and experience to reduce crashes. Utilize signal and brake for safe stopping. Another vital thing, be sure that you have 7 to 10 seconds to stop your truck.
6. Ensure School and Work Zone Safety
Follow carefully all school, work, and construction zone signs. If you do not follow signals, this may be dangerous for many people including you.
Work zones require more carefulness and you will need to follow extra rules. Sudden stops, lane shifts, confused vehicles, moving workers and many hazardous things can hamper your regular driving.
More than 10% truck crashes (among all vehicle crashes) occurred in working zone, a report says in 2016.
In school area, you should be more careful as many students randomly walk on the road in front of the school. Always closely look at the road workers. Follow signals made by flag crews.
7. Follow Road Safety Laws
Among various safety tips for truck drivers, obeying local laws requires more carefulness as it can be changed place to place. Drive trucks within the exact speed limit that is recommended by local laws.
Generally, the speed limit is 62 mph and you should not travel more than the mentioned speed. You should be careful to adjust the speed in different driving conditions.
You may need to travel in various states. Each state comes with local laws and you should obey them properly for road safety. Stay safe on the road is more important than anything even reaching the destination quickly.
Local road safety laws and speed limit can be varied in different states. Such as, Georgia allows you to travel within the maximum speed 55 mph while South Dakota allows maximum 80 mph for semi-trucks and trucks.
8. Keep Headlights Clear
Are you obeying all safety messages for drivers? If you want to be a responsible driver and enjoy your job, you should be aware of various things, even a simple part of the truck.
Clear headlights will ensure safe driving at night. Keeping lights clean all times will make everything visible.
This is not only for your safety but also for other drivers as they will be capable to adjust their vehicles on the road to avoid any potential hazards. It is certainly important to notice everything on the road while driving.
9. Ensure Appropriate Loading and Unloading
Loading and unloading are common, and truck drivers should pay extra attention. Make sure that trucks are well secured when unloading or loading trucks. You should turn off the engine and use parking brakes.
Chock blocks provide excellent security. So, try to carry chock blocks with you and utilize them when required. Start the engine only after completing the task and ensure that nobody is working in the area.
10. Wear Seatbelts
Properly wearing seatbelts should get huge priority as a significant safety message for truck drivers. Some recent studies demonstrate that in 2014, more than 30% of truckers faced severe crashes.
Every year, about 40% of injuries occur due to driving trucks without wearing seatbelts. Only in 2016, above 10,000 people got fatal injuries which lead to death because of avoiding seatbelts.
Do not forget to use your seatbelts while driving. It allows you to stay securely in driving seat and thus, it saves you from crashes and reduces the risk of injuries.
More than 15% of truck drivers do not wear safety belts. But this simple habit can reduce the rate of injuries very significantly.
Consider the following guidelines while wearing seatbelts:
- A seatbelt is for the utmost safety, so make sure your seatbelt properly fits you.
- The shoulder belt should be fitted across your rib cage and the lap belt across the hips or pelvis.
- Do not try to wear shoulder belts under your arm or behind the back.
- In case of a roomier belt, you will need a safety belt extender.
11. Place Comfortable Cushions around You
An excellent cushion can offer a lot of benefits while driving towards the long distance. When you are on a comfortable seat and there are cushions around all parts of the driving area, you will enjoy truck driving and provide more concentration on the road. No doubt, comfy cushions can prevent injuries notably.
12. Monitor the Weather
Good weather can ensure safe driving. You should keep you updated with daily weather news. However, weather update will not work always for you because of unpredictable weather in many states.
The suggestion is to be alert. Do not try to prove that you are a great driver in hazardous conditions. Sometimes, this can lead you to unexpected incidents.
13. Get Healthy Foods and Sufficient Rest
It comes at the last of the list, but do not avoid this vital safety tips for drivers. As a driver, you will always need to maintain a healthy body. It will enhance your performance and keep you always alert on the busy road.
So, make sure you have a healthier diet and enough sleep daily. Also, get sufficient rest when you feel tired to do your driving job accurately.
Do not drive when you are sick or on the medications, because it can hamper your concentration and may lead to accidents. After a particular time, you can get a light snack.
Walking for a few minutes will make your body more active. It is nice to avoid sugary drinks, heavy meals, and junk foods during driving.
Another Vital Consideration
Are you prepared to face any unexpected incidents? I mean if an accident occurs, how you can prove that you were right? One thing you can do is installing any best dash cam for truckers in your truck.
It will record everything when you drive your truck on the road. If your truck is involved in any collision, the dash cam video will support you as an effective witness. Moreover, it prevents various types of fraudulent activities such as insurance fraud. So, it is simply awesome to have a dash cam in your truck.
You can read more here about the benefits of a dash cam.
Truck driving is more than a job, it’s a lifestyle. A good driver shouldn’t skip any safety tips when driving.
The above-mentioned safety messages for truck drivers will allow you to return home every day safely and happily after long hours of driving. Keep in mind, safety is the first, no matter what’s your job!