If you have given any thought to getting behind the wheel of a commercial vehicle, you have already taken the first step to a great truck driving career.
Commercial trucking is a great way to make a good living for yourself and your family, but it is not without risk. In fact, as many as 600 drivers are killed on the job each year, leaving coworkers and families behind to wonder what could have been done to prevent it.
The good news is that trucking does not have to be a high-risk profession. Taking simple safety steps behind the wheel can go a long way toward keeping you and other motorists safe.
Take This Advice From Experienced Truck Drivers
Truckers who have logged many hours and many miles are a great resource for advice. They have experienced many of the most challenging scenarios that occur on the road and are better drivers as a result.
Learn from their experience by:
- Remembering to look at your truck after you park it; make sure all the lights, signals, and other equipment are turned off.
- Always be aware of your trailer. Remember, a trailer that is not handled safely is a deadly weapon that threatens the drivers you share the road with.
- Inspect your truck, trailer, and cargo before starting your journey; don’t let something as simple as a missing valve stem cover or burnt-out light ruin your trip.
Don’t Take Parking For Granted
When people stop and think about trucking accidents, images of jackknifed trucks on the highway probably come to mind. However, catastrophic accidents can occur in the process of parking a tractor-trailer as well. To avoid such scenarios, follow these parking tips:
- Always remember that big rigs require four times the space of the average vehicle.
- Park in parking spots that are designated for big rig use, if available.
- Always take the time to use equipment such as flares, safety triangles, and flashers when you pull over to the side of the road.
- Never park facing oncoming traffic or park in a way that blocks other motorists’ view of oncoming traffic.
- Don’t swerve to miss objects or animals in the road; it’s not worth placing other motorists at risk to avoid hitting a deer no matter how much you want to avoid it.
Never Stop Learning
It’s better to ask a “stupid” question than have to fix a stupid mistake. In fact, there’s no such thing as a stupid question. Whether you are in the midst of your trucking training or an experienced driver, you can always learn valuable tips from others who make their living as truck drivers.