Obtaining your CDL isn’t the only thing required to be a successful truck driver. You must keep your safety on the top of your priority list; as goes by the saying, “Safety first and always!”
In this article, you will learn five truck driving safety tips that will help you get a fantastic driving experience while being safe and sound on the road.
Know the legal driving hours
How many hours can truckers drive? You are required to know the answer to this question by law.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, truckers should drive only 11 hours a day and take a 30-minutes break after every 8 hours. If you drive more than this, you will overburden yourself and pose a danger to your health and safety. You might get sleepy while driving, which is risky for you as well as other drivers on the road.
Practice defensive driving
Truckers should practice defensive driving every time they are on the road. It means that a trucker should constantly be on alert to avoid potential hazards due to changes in road and driving conditions. Various defensive driving techniques can reduce your chances of getting into an accident, such as:
Follow the three-second rule
The three-second rule is exceptionally effective in avoiding rear and forward collisions. According to this rule, the driver should give himself 3 seconds to allow a car to pass entirely and reach a specific spot. This 3-second interval should increase to 5 seconds if there is heavy rain and 10 seconds on icy roads.
Be aware of blind spots
A blind spot refers to an area behind or next to a vehicle that the driver cannot see directly. Each area isn’t visible in the rear-view or side mirrors, so truck drivers need to look over their shoulders, especially when changing lanes.
Always be prepared for emergencies
Emergencies come unscheduled, so while you are on the road, you should be prepared for them at all times. For instance, if you are hauling cargo across state lines, you must always carry a first aid kit, extra blanket, snacks, medications, etc. in your truck. You may not be able to find a rest stop at all times, so it’s important to have these things with you at all times.
Slow down if you’re unsure
The habit of slowing down whenever you are unsure about the road conditions due to bad weather can take you a long way safely. It allows you to take the proper measures and avoid any collisions or severe accidents.
Whether you are driving on a low or high-traffic road, it is essential to give signals wherever you are changing lanes or exiting highways. Even if you don’t see any vehicle around you, you should do it.
Use a trucker’s GPS and map
A trucker’s GPS shows crucial information such as when to change lanes, the distance before the next exit, which exit to opt for, traffic reports, etc. These tools are handy when heading towards a new region or state for freight loading or unloading. However, it is also advisable to carry a map of the region, in case your GPS malfunctions, or you have connectivity problems.
Truck driving is a fantastic job if you love being on the road and exploring new places. However, it also comes with certain risks.
The tips mentioned above will help you drive safely even in bad conditions. Aside from knowing the answer to questions such as, “how many hours can truckers drive?”, “how old do you have to be to get a CDL license?”, It is also important to understand the significance of safety on the roads.
When you enroll in the right training program, you will be able to get answers to these questions, and many more by the time you complete your training.