Although long-haul truck driving is an enjoyable occupation for many who enjoy the open road, it’s important for truckers to take safety precautions to avoid accidents and injuries. An estimated half-million trucking accidents occur in the U.S. each year, and 5,000 of those accidents result in death. Here are a few simple things that you can do to stay safe on the open road:
Get Adequate Food and Rest
Sure, you may be in a hurry to drop your load by the deadline, but truck stops are there for a reason. If your stomach is growling and you’re dozing off at the wheel, you aren’t going to be focused on the road. It’s important to pull over periodically to take a nap and grab a bite to eat. You can also keep bottled water and snacks in your rig to hold you over on long stretches.
Wear Your Seatbelt and Follow the Speed Limit
Following the speed limit and wearing your seatbelt are two basic safety tips for truckers and passenger vehicles alike that can help you stay safe on the road. Even if you are a seasoned trucker, a seatbelt can still save your life in the event of an emergency. Slowing down when you are approaching a turn and maintaining a safe stopping distance can also help you avoid an accident.
Avoid Alcohol and Controlled Substances
Most truckers have enough sense to abstain from alcohol when driving, but it’s still worth mentioning. Even certain prescription medications can cause drowsiness and affect your ability to drive safely. You should abstain from mood-altering substances when operating any type of motor vehicle.
Stay Up to Date on the Weather and Plan Your Route
If you know your route will take you through Colorado, for instance, check out the weather forecast for that area and plan your trip accordingly. You need to prepare yourself for unexpected events and severe weather ahead of time to remain safe on the open road. Occasionally, you may need to leave earlier or take an alternative route to reach your drop-off point.
Be Mindful of Blind Spots
If you are driving a rig and need to switch lanes, always remember that there’s a blind spot that may prevent you from noticing a vehicle in the next lane over. Every motorist needs to be aware that drivers of 18 wheelers have spots that they are unable to see. Always proceed with caution when passing a truck on the freeway.
These tips can help you to stay safe on your next haul. If you happen to be involved in an accident, you should reach out to a Colorado car accident attorney for a consultation.