Every truck driver knows that driving a truck for a living is a dangerous line of work, considering that truck accidents rank high in motor accidents in the United States. Every driver is expected to follow the basic road safety rules to ensure that everyone on the road is safe. When a car-truck collision occurs, it is usually the people in the smaller vehicle that suffer the worst injuries. In addition to this, it can take months, maybe even years to recover from these fatal accidents. This can also lead to endless court sessions in order for the injured party to get compensated. So, it is best to avoid this altogether with simple precautionary steps.
Here is how you, the truck driver, can avoid accidents on the road.
Perform a Safety Inspection
One of the first things you should do before you hit the road is conducting a safety inspection to ensure that your truck is safe. This is important, especially for people living in Kentucky, where semi-truck accidents are more than a natural occurrence. This goes along with what personal injury specialists at https://www.kentuckycourage.com/truck-accident-attorneys/ say about standard safety inspections, like inspecting the oil, the pressure of air tires, headlights, turn signals, emergency signals, wipers, the windshield, and the horn on a daily basis. These are crucial factors that investigators look into whenever a crash happens, and not properly doing this could inflict negligence to you as the driver. You must also carry a spare tire with you in case of emergencies. Truck brakes should also be in perfect shape to be ready for the road. You must make sure that your truck is well-balanced, as overload at only one side can lead to fatal accidents.
Be Mindful of Your Stopping Distance
If you are new to truck driving, then you might be more accustomed to the stopping distance of a regular car, so driving a truck for the first time with this mentality can lead to gross miscalculations and, eventually, accidents. So, it is best that you try driving the truck in a safe road first before you take it to a busy road. Knowing your truck’s dimensions will enable you to maintain a proper distance between you and other vehicles. Make sure you avoid any distractions, like food or your phone, and keep your head up. You don’t have to stress yourself out over being attentive to the road, you only have to be mindful of your surroundings.
Try Defensive Driving
Many truck drivers like defensive driving for multiple reasons; you will obviously maintain safety for yourself and others on the road, you are likely to encounter unfocused or inexperienced drivers, and you might even come upon road accidents. For these reasons, you might want to follow these measures:
- Look out for work zones and traffic congestions ahead of you.
- Always check your mirrors for vehicles coming from behind your truck.
- Maintain the speed limit.
- Be careful of road conditions and the weather.
- Respect the laws and other drivers who you share the road with.
Make Sure that Your Truck is Safe for Loading and Unloading
Truck drivers do a lot of loading and unloading while on the job, so they must be careful while doing this. The truck should be well-secured while loading or unloading, meaning the engine should be turned off, and the truck has its parking brakes engaged. These simple procedures can prevent serious collisions, so always follow them. You can use chock blocks for maximum security while you’re loading or unloading, so carry these blocks with you and use them whenever you see fit. After the job is done and all is settled, you can safely turn the engine back on.
Always Wear Your Seatbelt
Your first priority as soon as you get inside the truck is putting on your seatbelt. Almost 40% of injuries caused by truck accidents involved truck drivers who didn’t wear their seatbelts. In 2016, more than 10,000 people were fatally injured due to not wearing seatbelts. While it is a very simple action, it can reduce injury and even death rates significantly, so you must always make it your first safety precaution before you’re on the road. If the seatbelt does not fit you, consider getting a new one as soon as possible. Also, make sure that the shoulder belt is placed over your rib cage and the lap belt is fitted across your pelvis or hips.
If you’re a truck driver, never skip on any safety measures. You are driving a heavy vehicle, which makes you prone to fatal accidents if you’re not careful enough. The death rates caused by truck accidents are decreasing due to drivers complying with safety rules, but one can never be too sure of what might happen on the road, so make sure to always follow these steps.