Truck drivers have a huge responsibility in their hands. They control big and powerful vehicles to transport goods. They are an important part of the logistic system. With such huge and powerful vehicles, there can also be disastrous consequences when they meet accidents on the road. Truck drivers should be extra careful not only for their own safety but for the safety of other people on the road as well.
However, even if truck drivers follow the traffic rules, there can be other car owners or pedestrians that aren’t just careful. There are times when truck drivers really aren’t to blame when they get involved in road accidents. One way to help lessen the risk of truck drivers meeting accidents on the road is to practice defensive driving.
What Is Defensive Driving?
Defensive driving is a way of driving that isn’t only advisable for truck drivers but also for other drivers as well. It is driving while being on high alert and on the lookout for potential hazards or changes in road conditions because truck drivers shouldn’t only be careful when there is a hurricane. With this type of driving, the driver can better make decisions due to the anticipated dangerous situations. With this, truck drivers can lessen the chances of getting involved in accidents.
When truck drivers practice defensive driving, they do not only increase their safety while on the road. They also help lessen potential expenses by fleet managers due to repairs or claim payouts.
Defensive Driving Strategies
Truck drivers may already be practicing defensive driving without knowing that it is defensive driving. However, to make it more clearer and to give you better ideas on how to do it, here are a few strategies that truck drivers could practice.
Know Your Blind Spots
Even smaller cars have blind spots. With larger vehicles, there is also a blind spot and most of the time, accidents are due to drivers not seeing a car because it is in their blind spot. Knowing the blind spot area should be the first step. Next is to encourage your drivers to look over their shoulder or out the window in case they change lanes. This helps them see what’s in their blind spot.
Maintain Your Distance
One way to prevent a rear or a forward collision is to keep your distance from the car in front or behind you. It is recommended to have at least a 3- or 4-second distance when you’re traveling at about 40 mph. For every 10mph of additional speed, add another second to your distance from the car in front of you. Also, add more seconds when dangerous conditions are present. These would include strong winds, rain, or icy roads.
Use Your Signal Lights
Even if you are driving at non-peak hours,make it a habit to use your signal lights. Signal lights will help prevent collision because drivers will know where you are headed. Even if no one sees your signal light when you change lanes, you should still use them.
Maintain Your Cool
Road rage is dangerous and can increase the risk of road accidents. When you meet angry drivers on the road, it is best to keep your cool. Avoid tailgating them and keep your distance or increase your distance so you can better calm yourself. It is best to avoid such instances than regret it later on.
When driving, your focus should be on driving and on the road. It is best not to eat, smoke, drink, or use your phone while driving. If you are hungry, go to a stop and eat there. Fleet managers should give their truck drivers ample time to travel from one point to another plus additional time for breaks. Even with tandem driving, the drivers still need some time to eat, rest, and stretch.