3 Truck Driving Safety Tips

Posted on: 19 June 2017

When you're driving a truck, it takes more than adhering to the rules of the road to avoid accidents. Truck drivers log many more travel miles than passenger vehicles and the longer you're on the road, the more your chances of being involved in an accident increases. That's why it's crucial to employ smart driving to keep yourself, your cargo and other drivers on the road safe. Check out these three tips to reduce your risk of accidents.

Avoid Changing Lanes

No one likes slow traffic, not even truck drivers. When one lane slows down significantly, while another lane is whizzing by, it may be tempting to switch lanes. However, when vehicles switch lanes frequently, the risk of accidents goes up. That's why a smart driving tip for truck drivers is to pick a lane and stay in it. You may find that the cars around you are dodging and changing lanes frequently, but when you drive a large, heavy vehicle like a truck, it's best to stay put. If you do have to change lanes, do so cautiously and check your blind spots and mirrors constantly. 

Extra Spacing

Following behind another vehicle too closely raises the chances of getting in an accident. Because trucks are heavier, they require more room to stop. So if the car you're following stops suddenly, even if you have some space, if you haven't left enough space to come to a complete stop, you'll end up hitting the vehicle in front of you. The amount of space you need to leave depends on the size of your truck. A good rule of thumb is one second for every ten feet of your truck size. For example, if you're driving a 40-foot rig, you need at least four seconds of space to come to a complete stop.

Plan For Road Conditions

According to the Department of Transportation, poor weather is responsible for a significant number of truck accidents each year. Conditions such as fog make it difficult to see, while rain and snow make roads slick, wet and slippery. Before each trip, check the weather and plan accordingly. Adjust your driving to the weather conditions. This generally means driving slower than you would in better road conditions. For example, if it's raining, you need even more space between your truck and the vehicle in front of you and you'll need to drive even slower through turns and around curves. You'll need to be extremely alert of other vehicles on the road and may need to give drivers extra time to respond to turn signals.

Contact a law firm, like Lake Law Firm, if you are in an accident.