In the US, there are over 3.5 million truck drivers. It’s a job that takes you on the open road, which is appealing for many, and it might be the ideal career for you.
While it can be fun and interesting, you’re driving a large vehicle, which means you have the full weight of responsibility on your shoulders.
To help you out, below are 5 tips for driving a semi-truck safely.
1. Keep Your Truck Maintained
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Before you set off, always check your semi-truck thoroughly. Commercial truck safety includes checking your tires and brakes, as well as ensuring your load’s balanced and secure.
If you notice anything wrong with your truck, get repairs promptly.
2. Use Your Signals
Don’t get lazy; always use your signals. Not only that, but give other drivers plenty of time to react to your signals before you act (such as turning or merging).
This includes when you’re stationary as well. If you’ve pulled off to a shoulder, put on your hazard lights and even put down road flares if it’s dark.
3. Be Alert
Never operate your semi-truck when you’re on heavy medications or on other substances. Sleep deprivation can have effects just as bad as being drunk or high, so don’t drive with very little sleep either.
If you ever feel tired or not very alert, pull over and rest. You might even want to consider taking some time off so you can bounce back.
Needless to say, don’t use your phone while driving. If you need to take care of something important, pull over. This includes using your phone, eating, drinking, or anything else that might distract you while driving.
4. Drive Defensively
Always assume that others aren’t paying attention or driving safely. You’ll want to look ahead (about a quarter-mile on highways) to check for any signs of distracted and/or erratic driving. Stay far away from these vehicles.
You’ll also want to check your mirrors every 10 seconds. That way, you’ll be aware of any cars that might’ve driven into your blind spot and you can adjust accordingly.
5. Have An Active Insurance Policy
No matter how much truck driver safety you practice, there’s always a chance you’ll get into an accident. Regardless of whether it’s your fault or another party’s, it can be devastating as you might suffer from injuries and your truck might be damaged.
This is why it’s important to have an active insurance policy. Make sure you know the difference between interstate vs intrastate policies and purchase accordingly.
Stay Safe While Driving a Semi-Truck
Driving a semi-truck can be difficult to do. But with our tips, you’ll be able to practice good semi-truck safety.
And should you get in an accident, a good insurance policy will ensure you don’t pay out of pocket and will get you fair compensation as well. So make sure you have an active insurance policy at all times.
Want to learn more about commercial truck driving? Then take a look at our other posts.