Safety Tips for Truckers
Truck drivers are vital in delivering the goods and materials necessary to keep our country running. But while trucking is a crucial and rewarding career, it can also be dangerous. From long hours on the road to unpredictable traffic and weather conditions, truck drivers need to take extra precautions to keep themselves and others safe. Here are some safety tips for truck drivers that can help them do just that.
Ensure Thorough Pre-Trip and Post-Trip Inspections
An essential part of staying safe on the road is thoroughly and regularly inspecting your truck. Before heading out on the road, you should always conduct a full pre-trip inspection to help to identify any potential problems that could cause an accident. After a trip, conducting a post-trip inspection is also important to address any issues that may have occurred during the drive. These inspections aren’t just a good idea — they’re required by law.
Check Delivery Locations
Truck drivers must be aware of their surroundings and prepared for any potential hazards. One helpful measure to take is checking the destination to ensure you are aware of any potential risks associated with that location. Check for weather advisories, traffic issues, and other known safety concerns in the area.
Do Careful Trip and Route Planning
Trip and route planning is an essential part of truck driver safety. Before heading out, drivers should review the route and its conditions. Take note of hazards such as sharp turns, bridges, weather conditions, or construction zones. Careful route planning can help drivers avoid dangerous scenarios and plan for necessary stops along the way. Additionally, resources such as navigation systems specifically for trucks can help drivers plan the safest routes and keep them informed of any potential dangers or road closures.
Maintain Space Between Vehicles
Keeping a safe distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you is critical to everyone’s safety. Following too closely can lead to a collision if the other car suddenly brakes — a collision that can prove deadly due to your truck’s size and weight advantage over other vehicles. Remember that a truck traveling at 65 miles per hour will take roughly 200 yards to stop.
Truck drivers must stay alert to remain safe on the road. Be aware of your surroundings, maintain a safe speed, and be prepared to react to unexpected situations. One of the best things a trucker can do to stay alert is to get enough sleep. Being well-rested helps keep your mind clear and focused, which reduces the risk of accidents and fatigue-related errors. Also, make sure you take breaks every couple of hours, or at least as required by FMCSA’s Hours of Service Regulations.
Speeding can have catastrophic consequences. Not only does speeding increase the likelihood of an accident, but it also increases its severity. Truck drivers should watch out for posted speed limits, especially when different limits apply to trucks. They should also adjust their speed to account for hazardous conditions, such as inclement weather or poor light.
Check Your Blind Spots
Big rigs have some of the biggest blind spots of any vehicles on the road. These blind spots extend 20 feet in front of the cab, 30 feet behind the trailer, one lane to the left of the truck starting just behind the cab, and two lanes on the right side of the truck starting at the front of the cab and extending half the length of the trailer. When driving a semi-truck, you can’t see anything in those areas, either with direct vision or in your side mirrors. Before changing lanes, always look over your shoulder to ensure no cars or objects are in the blind spot. Always use your turn signal to indicate your intention to switch lanes.
Develop Preventative Maintenance Schedules
Properly maintaining your truck is essential to staying safe on the road. Developing a preventative maintenance schedule can help you catch minor issues before they become big problems. Take the time to inspect your truck and plan for any repairs it might need. If you’re driving a company truck, check with the fleet maintenance manager to be sure they’re performing the required maintenance on time.
Call an Experienced Utah Attorney After a Truck Accident to Start Your Case
If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, you’re likely feeling overwhelmed and uncertain about what to do next. Filing an insurance claim or lawsuit against the at-fault party can help you recover compensation for your injuries and other losses. Unfortunately, the liable parties and their insurers might dispute your claim to avoid paying you the money you need and deserve. That’s where Swenson & Shelley can help.
Our truck accident attorneys can review the details of your case, provide sound legal advice, and fight for the full compensation you are entitled to. Depending on the circumstances, this could include money for your:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Diminished earning potential
- Pain and suffering
- Lost quality of life
At Swenson & Shelley, we firmly believe that no one should have to pay the price of someone else’s mistakes. However, time is of the essence after a truck accident. Crucial evidence can go missing, and there are important deadlines to meet. The sooner you contact us for help, the sooner we can get started on your case. Contact us online or by phone for a free consultation with a Utah truck accident attorney.