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6 Truck Driving Safety Tips

On Tuesday, July 10th, 2018

The skills needed to drive a car do not translate to the ability to drive a truck. It is an entirely different animal and one that requires specific training. In general, trucks are much more challenging to operate than cars because:

  • They are much larger
  • There are more blind spots
  • Trucks are much harder to drive in reverse

Driving a truck requires specialized training to keep yourself and other drivers on the road safe.Truck safety is so important because when accidents occur, they can have devastating results. “The large size and power of the vehicles enable them to be very destructive against passenger vehicles,” saysa Fall River truck accident attorney from the Law Offices of Ronald J. Resmini.

Truck Driving Safety Tips

Stay Alert

Truck drivers are required to drive long distances for long periods of time. It is not uncommon for a driver to get drowsy.

To counter this, do everything you can to stay alert. If necessary, pull off the road and take a quick nap to refresh yourself. Keep an eye on everything going on around you while on the road.This includes watching who is behind and who is in front of your truck.

Take Extra Care When Turning Right

Turning a large vehicle is much more difficult than turning a smaller one like a car. Truck drivers have to exaggerate their steering to avoid driving off the road when making right turns.

What this means is that you will need more room to turn in the opposite lane. Or you will have to take up both the left and right lanes in order to turn on a multi-lane highway.

Regular Maintenance

Tominimize the risk of accidents, below are some safety precautions you should check before starting to drive:

  • The front and rear lights of your truck
  • Signal lamps
  • Reflectors
  • Tow joints
  • Tires and tire pressure
  • Hydraulic lines
  • The glass and body of the truck itself

Regular maintenance includes periodically checking fluid levels for windshield washer, motor oil, brakes, coolant, fuel, and power steering.

Make sure that the interior of your truck is inspected including seat belts, mirrors, brakes, clutch, horn, gauges, and the heater. Your vehicle should always have a working fire extinguisher, tire replacement tools, and a first aid kit.

Watch Those Curves

It goes without saying that you should follow the speed limit. However, you should reduce your speed when turning and getting on and off ramps. Going too fast can cause your truck to tip over.

Take Special Care When Passing

Before deciding to pass another vehicle, make sure you can see the driver in your rearview mirror. Use your signal before moving into the left lane, quickly get in front of the vehicle you are passing, and don’t linger in the blind spot.

If a bus or truck is trying to pass you, slow down, stay to the right, and give the driver the necessary room to pass you safely. Don’t forget that buses and trucks need a lot of space when merging in frontof you, changing lanes, or coming off ramps.

Use Extra Caution in Bad Weather

Driving in inclement weather is always risky. Truck drivers don’t enjoy the same luxury car drivers do in that they have to drive under any weather conditions.

Strong winds, ice, snow, and rain can make driving a truck very dangerous. It affects driver visibility and can make it more difficult to stop your vehicle. Check the weather forecast before heading out on the road so you can prepare yourself. Make sure you know about emergency procedures should something go wrong.

When faced with dangerous weather conditions, you should reduce your speed to be safe. Experts suggest slowing by 30% for rain and 50% for snow or ice. If the conditions are severely dangerous, you might just have to pull off the road and wait it out. If you see other truckers pulling off the road, it is probably a good idea to do the same.

In order to be safe when driving a truck you have to pay attention to both your truck and yourself. Being aware of the challenges you face, and keeping safety tips in mind will go a long way in increasing your own safety and the safety of others on the road.

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