With great power comes great responsibility.
Even a regular family car can turn into a dangerous weapon when mishandled—which makes a truck the Abrams tank of the highway. As a truck driver, you have an incredible responsibility to other drivers and to yourself, which starts with truck safety.
Here are five top truck safety tips to help avoid accidents.
1. Check Your Truck
Sometimes, an accident happens before you ever climb into a cab. Not literally, of course—but maintenance problems can almost guarantee an accident before it even happens.
As a truck driver, you need to be meticulous about your regular maintenance. Complete pre- and post-drive checks to keep your truck in working order.
2. Keep an Eye on Your Blind Spots
Due to their awkward shape, trucks have some notable blind spots that have been known to cause accidents. Extraordinary videos exist of trucks pushing cars sideways down the highway, wedged below the cab, without the driver ever being aware.
That’s why knowing your blind spots and checking them often is essential for safe driving in a truck.
3. Understand Inertia
An object in motion wants to stay in motion and, just as a truck is slow to reach speed, it’s also difficult to stop.
Understanding this basic principle is essential for avoiding truck accidents because inertia impacts a truck’s braking and total stopping distances. Both of these are capable of turning a near-miss into a total tragedy, so it’s vital you understand the principles at play and adjust your speed to suit the situation and the road conditions.
4. Never Drive Tired
A huge portion of all vehicular accidents involve fatigue. We humans routinely underestimate the effects of tiredness on cognition, and we’re bad at recognizing when we feel tired, too.
Yet studies have shown time and time again that fatigue produces effects similar to those of drugs and alcohol, which are such obvious risks they don’t deserve a section in this article. So why do we tolerate tired driving?
5. Install a Dash cam
Dash cams have changed the driving world by creating objective records of what happens on the roads. That’s a far cry from unreliable driver recollections and eyewitness testimonies.
A dash cam can help to promote truck safety in two major ways. The first is that you can record and report unsafe drivers, making the roads a safer place to be. The second is that knowing that your own driving is also being recorded can make you more aware of your own actions.
If you do find yourself in a trucking accident, your truck accident attorney will be able to use your footage in your case, potentially saving you from legal peril.
Truck Safety Made Simple
Truck safety doesn’t need to be complex. These tips show that so much of it comes down to basic common sense—now, if only common sense were common, we’d all be safer on the roads. Play your part by taking these tips to heart.
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