Being a truck driver can mean that you have an incredibly fulfilling and fun career. However, it can mean catastrophe if you’re not careful while you’re out on the road. If you’re getting ready to get on the road, follow these tips to become a safe truck driver. Doing so will keep you safe, reduce your insurance premiums, and make your life a lot easier on the highway.
1. Stay Alert
This may seem obvious, but it’s incredibly easy to get lost in thought or zone out on the road. Truck drivers need to be able to respond quickly to all kinds of challenges. Safely doing so requires focus and alertness. You can help yourself stay alert on the road by checking your mirrors often, planning ways to escape dangerous situations, and taking regular breaks.
To that point…
2. Rest Up
You can’t be a safe truck driver if you’re asleep at the wheel. While efficiency is important for truckers, you also need to get enough rest so you can be as attentive as possible. This is why the FMCSA has rules about these kinds of things. Take the rest that you need to maintain your alertness so you can respond to any situation that may come up on the road.
3. Follow All Traffic Laws
Yes, we mean all traffic laws. Speed limits, right-of-way rules, and other traffic laws are there to protect you and other drivers. Speed limits are especially important for truckers because it takes them longer to slow down than other vehicles. Allow yourself enough time to respond to emergencies by driving within the speed limit. It can save you money on gasoline, too!
4. Check the Weather
Weather can play a huge role in how truckers drive their vehicles, and rightfully so. Driving as you normally do in rainy, windy, or snowy conditions can cause major damage. After all, major accidents happen pretty much every time the weather gets bad across the country. So, before you leave in the morning, check the weather and adjust your plan for driving accordingly.
5. Use Common Sense
Truckers are known for having a lot of common sense. Don’t be afraid to use this knowledge to get yourself out of difficult driving situations! If you’re unsure of what to do in a specific situation, it’s okay to slow down and let your brain process what’s going on around you. You’re a smart driver, and you know what your truck needs to stay safe. Use that knowledge to keep you and other drivers safe on the road.