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In honor of the upcoming safety week, Migway has prepared tips to help drivers prepare for the Operation Safe Driver week which will take place from July 11-17th. Every year, a safety week is held by law enforcement agencies to increase safety on the road and to educate drivers for safer driving. This week you will want to double check your paperwork and equipment to make sure everything is up to par to avoid fines or worse.
The Department of Labor has recognized driving a truck as one of the more dangerous professions that are widely accessible to the public. For this reason, it is important for your safety and for the safety of those around you to make sure that you are taking every measure you can in doing your part to prevent accidents.
Professional drivers do not consider their jobs as just getting from point A to point B, but instead make sure every precaution is taken that helps to prevent the chance of an accident happening. Because a driver’s eligibility to continue to drive as a career path relies heavily on their ability to remain safe while out on the road, we strongly encourage you to take a look at these tips for truck drivers and check the mark that you’ve prepared for them all.
Safety on the road
Taking the extra measures needed to prevent collisions on the road will help you to lengthen your career, allowing you to drive longer with your CDL. There are moments when out on a trip where you will need to be prepared for your safety other than just looking to prevent collisions. Even with your time spent at truck stops, you should know things to look out for to make sure that you are always safe at every hour of the day, such as parking near lighting. Our safety tips are not just to prevent collisions but are here for you to make sure you are safe during every aspect of your time on the road.
Read below for our favorite tips on truck driver safety:
Always wear your seatbelt
With 1 in 6 truck drivers not wearing their seat belts, this is enough reason to make sure that you are always wearing yours. Just like you tie your shoes every morning for work, make it a habit to always strap your seatbelt on because it will have the greatest impact in protecting you if something were to happen. In about 48% of fatalities, the passengers were not wearing a seatbelt. This a huge impact that comes from making a habit to just click the belt over your chest.
Refrain from using your cell phone while driving
When you are driving, it’s time to focus on the job and do work that you and your team can be proud of. It is not the time for checking Instagram to see what everyone is up to or texting. Every year, distracted driving is becoming more prominent and, when driving an 80,000+ lbs. heavy rig, the consequences of distracted driving can be costly and fatal. Not to mention, there is a federal law that prohibits truck drivers from using cell phones while behind the wheel, allowing a hands-free device only.
Drugs and Alcohol
You should be alert and focused to the best of your ability with plenty of sleep and rest when driving as a professional driver to ensure the safety of everyone you will cross paths with that day on the road. A night of heavy drinking can fog and impair your reaction speed, perception, and vision. Save the drinking for weekends and vacations when you will have time to properly recover for the workday coming up. Medications can also alter your senses and you should take heavy consideration and let your dispatcher know if your doctor needs you to take medication.
Keep a healthy stopping distance
With safety, the mantra better safe than sorry goes a long way. And you will go a long way as well if you keep ample amounts of stopping distance between yourself and the car in front of you. Even though braking technology advances each year, keeping plenty of distance in front of you will always be a surefire way to ensure you take all precautions for the safety of your life.
Follow the three-second rule to reduce your chances of an accident on the road.
Truck drivers who follow the three-second rule count in seconds where the car in front of them passes a certain point and keep a distance long enough that it takes the truck driver 3 full seconds to reach that same spot when driving from behind the vehicle. Increase this to 5 full seconds if there are heavy winds or rain and if the roads are icy, you will need to count and make sure that 10 seconds pass.
Take care of yourself and your health
We have one body and one mind and we need to make it a priority to nurture and care for both. Your concentration and ability to keep a cool head are majorly influenced by what you eat and how much rest you get. Depleting your energy tank from downing energy drinks and sugary snacks from truck stops will leave you drained and drowsy, which is not a safe state to be in for those around you on the road. Taking your health and rest seriously will do much more for your life, way past ranking you as one of the safest drivers on the road.
Keep Calm and Truck Along
Having a cool and clear head out on the road will greatly impact your experience on the road. Being able to detach yourself from your emotions during stressful situations out on the road, at a truck stop, or a consignee can help you to listen to logic instead of becoming angry during an incident of road rage or becoming frustrated when receiving poor treatment at a shipper or receiver. Having a positive attitude and an uplifting mood will help your chances to load and unload quicker much more than the driver that is yelling and cursing.
Like seatbelts, pre-trip inspections are a mandatory and fundamental aspect of the work of a professional driver. Knowing that you checked your entire vehicle and trailer for possible dangers leaves you much more at ease that day and confident that you will perform your work today uninterrupted and, most importantly, safely. Let your dispatcher know of anything that you are concerned about on the truck or trailer. It’s better to let the team know too much than not enough regarding the vehicle and your safety. Make sure your vehicle is routinely checked on by the shop.
Be aware of the weather
When planning your trip, always look up what the weather will look like for you that day. Professional truck drivers are prepared for all aspects of their trip and you give yourself more room to worry about the major details of your trip when the little things, such as checking the weather, are taken care of.
Take care of the small details
There is a large difference between the professional driver that is prepared for anything and the drivers that believe their job is to hold a steering wheel from point A to point B. Take care of the little things and the big things will take care of themselves. Making sure to do all of these small steps each day will greatly increase your safety on the road and those around you and will help you to be a safer and more confident driver. We hope you learned a new thing today and ask you to let us know which driver safety tip was your favorite!
Let us know if you have your own safety tips for truck drivers to share!
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