According to the American Automobile Association, an average American spends about 17,600 minutes on the road driving each year. In this case, they are exposed to different dangers of using the road, including a possible collision with a commercial truck. In most cases, some of the accidents usually occur due to preventable mistakes.
Abiding by the traffic laws and leveraging defensive driving techniques are some of the sure ways of preventing truck accidents. But there are even more ways to drive cautiously and ensure the safety of every road user.
1. Watch for Blind Spots
Blind spots are typically those areas that you can see while driving or looking through the mirrors. The larger the vehicle, the larger the blind spots. So, if you have an average car, you need to be careful when you’re driving near trucks.
Trucks have limited visibility at certain spots known as “no zones.” A typical truck is usually about 70 to 80 feet in length while others are up to 105 feet. With this length, it’s hard for truck drivers to get a clear view of the sides and behind the truck. As you’re driving a car, do not cut off trucks as they require much space to stop.
2. Have Enough Rest
If you’re a truck driver, it helps to take some time off for a rest. Truck driving is not a typical job, and some drivers spend most of their time driving and sleeping in the truck cabin. Such factors can incapacitate your ability to focus and concentrate. So, when you’re exhausted, take time off, have something to eat, and take a nap. Engaging in some simple exercises will also go a long way in relaxing your body and mind.
The federal government has instituted cap limits on the maximum amount of time truck drivers can work a given week. For example, a driver can work for a maximum of 11 hours in a day, and he or she must rest for up to 10 hours before beginning another shift. Adhering to these rules during work is vital for all road users. Also, remember to seek advice from a truck accident lawyer, should get involved in any kind of crush or accident.
3. Responsible Drug Use
Some truck drivers tend to self-medicate without seeking the attention of a qualified doctor. Keep in mind that some drugs have adverse side effects and might impair your focus if taken without the doctor’s recommendation and advise. Instead, you should use drugs that are prescribed by your doctor to avoid anything that will affect your driving ability.
Keep in mind that there are federal regulations that require drivers to have regular tests for alcohol and drug abuse. Also, when you get hired, most companies will request your medical history from your previous employer.
4. Proper Truck Maintenance
Another element that causes truck accidents is usually poor maintenance, especially the braking system. Some drivers usually depower their front brakes while driving. They do this to minimize wear and tear, but it can be dangerous to do so. Keep in mind that it’s almost impossible to prevent an accident using the trailer brakes.
Equipment failure due to a manufacturing defect or poor part replacement also puts you at risk of a road accident. A weekly or bi-weekly inspection of your truck helps to ensure lights, steering system, doors, and tires are in excellent condition. Also, only use original manufacturer parts to make replacements whenever necessary.
Safe driving is vital to ensure the safety of everyone and to prevent loss and destruction of property. Trucking companies should invest in training their drivers and using the latest technologies to track the trucks. Also, drivers should make stops for a rest whenever they’re driving for long distances.