15 Trucking Safety Tips Every Driver Should Know

Strong Tie Insurance January 7, 2021 Our Blog

The commercial vehicle industry is a difficult job, and driver safety is always a significant issue. While it may be easier said than done, following a set of safety standards can not only help avoid accidents but can also prevent a commercial truck insurance claim from being filed against your company.

Any driver who has been trucking for any amount of time understands the amount of responsibility that is required. However, every now and then, it’s easy for any driver to forget critical driving safety tips.

Truck driving requires a lot of responsibility, which is why it’s critical that your drivers are aware of their surroundings at all times. Luckily, there are several things you can do to ensure your safety, as well as the safety of other drivers on the road.

Take a look at 10 driving safety tips you can start using today to prevent having to call your commercial insurance agency.

10 Safety Tips for Truck Drivers

Every truck driver understands the basic rules of truck driver safety, but a simple refresher can be very helpful for truck drivers to avoid unexpected accidents. Here are 10 tips to improve the safety of your truck drivers today.

Eat Healthy and Get Plenty of Rest

Eating healthy and getting enough rest enable drivers to always prioritize their safety, as well as the safety of other motorists while on the road.

This means encouraging the drivers to get extra breaks if they feel tired or fatigued in some way while on the road.

Although this could entail extra time taken out of their pay period, this not only makes the drivers safer but also helps you reduce the costs associated with at-fault accidents and injuries.

Look Ahead While Driving

Safe truck driving training indicates that a driver should always look out for potential hazards that are at least 10 seconds ahead of where they are traveling. This means that drivers should scan the road ahead to predict and know where accidents might occur.

Drivers give themselves more time to react in the event of an accident by looking further along than you normally would during defensive driving. This is particularly important for large truck drivers who are unable to react as quickly as smaller passenger vehicles on the road.

Practice Defensive Driving

Defensive driving is a type of driving that enables truckers to always remain on the lookout for potential changes in driving or road conditions.

By predicting potentially risky conditions or dangerous situations, your truckers can make sure that they are making safe and well-informed decisions when behind the wheel, thus decreasing the risk of accidents and injuries.

Drivers are less likely to be involved in accidents with the use of defensive driving methods, allowing you to think less about expensive repairs and insurance claims, and premiums.

Watch for Blind Spots

Similar to the previously mentioned tips, keeping your eyes moving at all times is one of the most critical defensive driving tactics for truck drivers.

At a moment’s notice, driving hazards can pop out from any direction, which means that no matter how fast or slow you drive, your eyes should constantly scan the surrounding environment to make sure that all hazards are taken into account.

This also means that drivers may want to more regularly check rearview and side mirrors to ensure they can see potential blind spots while staying safe on the road.

Maintain a Safe Driving Distance

Another critical piece of advice when it comes to truck driving is keeping a reasonable and secure driving distance between the vehicle ahead of you.

According to the Department of Transportation (DOT), for vehicles traveling more than 40 miles per hour, drivers should always maintain at least five seconds or more of the distance between the vehicle in front of them. Furthermore, for every additional 10 miles per hour of speed, they should add another second to that traveling distance.

Go the Speed Limit

Although most drivers always set their speed directly at or slightly above the speed limit, defensive driving techniques might ask you to drive a bit slower from time to time. Depending on several things such as highway conditions, weather conditions, visibility, and traffic patterns, drivers may need to change their speed to slower than the posted speed limit.

While it can make the trip feel slightly longer, it’s a reasonable price to pay for additional safety.

Be Prepared for Emergencies

When behind the wheel, especially over long distances, driving conditions can change rapidly. Encourage your drivers to be prepared for a variety of hazards, such as unsafe driving conditions or vehicle breakdowns.

Drivers may want to consider stocking their trucks with water, food, a first aid kit, a change of clothing, and blankets in preparation for unexpected situations that may require them to pull off the highway for longer periods.

Stay Alert at All Times

It can be easy for the mind to wander while you’re on the highway for extended periods of time, especially if the transporting becomes monotonous. Try experimenting with different ways to keep your eyes moving and your mind engaged with the road in front of you to keep you focused.

Stay Away from Road Rage

Additionally, another major danger to driving is road rage. While it can be tempting to engage in road rage, drivers who allow their rage to regulate their driving put themselves and others at risk of injuries. Encourage drivers to de-escalate road rage situations in the event they occur.

Always Signal

For drivers who work on longer stretches of roads or at non-peak traffic hours, it can be tempting to complete lane changes and exit highways without signaling. However, the risk of collisions can be increased by failing to signal.

Remind drivers that it is required by law to signal before changing lanes or making turns, and they should always signal even if they don’t see any nearby vehicles.

Develop Preventative Maintenance Schedules

Your drivers’ safety always begins with the safety of the vehicles they’re in. Trucks are more likely to break down on the road if they are not up-to-date with routine maintenance.

Create a robust preventive maintenance schedule for each vehicle in your fleet based on mileage, days, and past repair history to ensure that your trucks are in peak condition before getting back on the road.

Scan Intersections

There may be occasions where drivers run a red light or engage in distracted driving. Although most drivers prefer to start driving immediately after the light turns green, a simple way to prevent accidents is to take an additional moment to scan the intersection and the surrounding area.

Contact Strong Tie Insurance for Your Commercial Truck Insurance Today

Truck driving isn’t just a job; it’s a lifestyle, which is why driver safety is a number one issue at all times. If your trucking company is looking to partner with an affordable insurance agency that will help keep your drivers safe, contact us today to learn more about how we can help.

For more than 20 years, Strong Tie Insurance has ensured the protection of our trucking customers. We understand the risks that your business faces every day, which is why we’ve worked hard to create trucking insurance that is designed to meet the specific needs of your commercial trucking company.

 

To speak with a customer service agent and receive a free quote on any of the various types of commercial truck insurance claims and liability coverage we provide, contact us at Strong Tie Insurance today.