For many, commercial truck driving is a popular profession. Many drivers enjoy the open road and visiting new places. However, commercial truck drivers are also required to travel long distances under tight deadlines.
Despite knowledge of truck driving tips to avoid collisions, accidents are still a real risk. While every accident occurs under unique circumstances, remembering a handful of safety tips could help avoid a catastrophic accident.
Read on to learn 5 commercial driving safety tips that could help commercial truck drivers avoid truck accidents and protect those around them.
1. Avoid heavy traffic
Surprisingly, fatal truck crashes happen more often on rural roads, than on highways. Despite there being fewer cars, there is also less safety infrastructure in place, such as guardrails, proper lighting, and median dividers. Additionally, rural roads may encounter more drivers speeding because they are less populated and have limited law enforcement compared to highways.
While a highway may be safer, one of the best safety tips for truck drivers is to avoid traffic during peak commute hours. Accidents are more likely to occur when there are more vehicles on the road. For most locations, these hours are between 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
2. Avoid driving at night and in inclement weather
Driving at night greatly decreases your visibility, making it difficult for you to spot hazards that may exist on roadways and creating less time to react to those hazards. Additionally, driving at night naturally makes you feel fatigued based on our natural circadian rhythms. If you must drive at night, maintain a slower speed than the limit posted. If you feel tired, safely pull over to rest until you feel more alert.
Inclement weather also poses a serious risk to commercial drivers. Research the weather conditions before traveling. Inclement weather, such as heavy rain, snow, freezing temperatures, and high winds, creates dangerous conditions for even the most skilled driver.
If you can postpone your trip to avoid driving in this type of severe weather, it may help you avoid an unfortunate accident. If you are unable to postpone your trip, travel slowly and give yourself extra time to make it to your destination.
3. Make yourself seen
It’s a good idea to let the driver know you’re passing. If you’re coming into a blind spot, make sure the driver can see you in his mirrors first. Then, pass quickly out of the blind spot. You should always be able to see the driver’s mirrors, and if you can see him, he can see you.
If possible, minimizing lane changes can also provide greater safety when traveling. Weaving in and out of lanes increases the likelihood of being in a trucker’s blind spot and being involved in a collision.
4. Avoid short stops and do not speed
If you drive in front of any cars and throw on your brakes, there’s a greater chance that a driver won’t have time to stop. It’s important to give all drivers plenty of warning before you put on your brakes. If it’s necessary to pass a slow driver, be sure to do so carefully.
It’s important not to pass too close in front of any cars to give them plenty of time to react to your large truck entering the lane. Traveling too closely gives a driver little to no time to slow down or stop for you. It’s important to remember that commercial trucks can’t stop quickly. Travel at the speed limit or slower when necessary to protect you and everyone around you.
5. Look for signs of danger
Whether it’s slowing traffic up ahead or a tire that doesn’t look quite right on the car in front of you, look for signs of potential hazards while you’re on the road.
If you think the driver’s tire is shredding, flash your lights, call the police, and stay back far enough to avoid the debris. If you see traffic slowing ahead, slow down and stop with plenty of room in front of you. Leaving space helps prevent serious injuries from secondary collisions if you are struck.
Additionally, if you witness a driver operating their vehicle in a dangerous manner, call the police. Maintain distance from the driver to keep yourself safe in the event they are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Another great tip is to keep track of changing conditions by using GPS to provide you with up-to-date maps and current road conditions. This technology assists commercial drivers in finding safe and efficient routes while avoiding hazards, existing accidents, and other potentially dangerous conditions.
Of course, in any case where you’re hit by a dangerous driver, your attorney can help you seek out a settlement to cover your expenses and financial needs. Your responsibility is to keep yourself and others safe on the road, and irresponsible drivers should pay for their actions.
Trucking accident cases are complex and require the help of qualified personal injury attorneys with experience handling these lawsuits. Trucking accidents can create catastrophic injuries for all parties involved so it’s vital to protect your rights and recover the damages you deserve.
At The Zimmerman Law Firm, we provide compassionate advocacy for our clients and fight for justice on their behalf. Our experienced attorneys work tirelessly to recover the compensation our clients need and deserve after horrible accidents. We assist all types of personal injury victims in Waco, Texas, and surrounding communities.
With almost a century of combined legal experience, we put a wealth of knowledge and resources to work for you. We are there every step of the way and handle everything so you can focus on your recovery.
We offer a no-cost consultation and never collect any fees until we recover compensation for you. We aren’t afraid to take on big corporations and insurance companies to negotiate the just settlement you deserve. If a settlement is not possible, we are always prepared to take your case to trial. We know what it takes to get the job done for you.
Contact us today by phone or email to get a free case consultation and learn more about how The Zimmerman Law Firm can help you.