When people think of truck drivers, they think of long hauls, road trips, and weeks away from home. Some think of accidents, as well, and for a good reason. Truck accidents often result in serious or fatal injuries.
Many truck drivers make dangerous mistakes that could lead to an accident. The errors may cause serious harm to the drivers or to the people around them. If you want to avoid such an outcome, read on to find out the most common mistakes for truck drivers and how you can avoid them!
1. Driving Under the Influence
Driving under the influence is one of the most common mistakes a truck driver can make. Drunk driving is illegal in many countries, and even if a truck driver comes from a place where it isn’t illegal, they should always remember that they are often driving long distances and will be in charge of heavy goods.
To avoid driving under the influence, truck drivers should ensure they are always planning ahead. If truck driver needs to take a long journey, they should ensure they plan points to take rest stops and plan to only take the journey when they are well-rested and alert. Furthermore, they should ensure they always have a designated driver or alternative transport option when they don’t feel confident driving.
Truck drivers should also be aware of the legal alcohol limits in the areas they are driving in and should never exceed that. Finally, if all else fails, truck drivers should always keep a breathalyzer at hand so they can make sure they are below the legal limit if need be.
Speeding is one of the more prominent mistakes and can land you in a lot of trouble. To avoid this, drivers should pay close attention to the posted speed limits, use cruise control when appropriate, and obey the speed limit in construction zones. This can help keep you safe and avoid getting a ticket.
Additionally, drivers should stay aware of their blind spots and look twice before transitioning lanes or merging with other traffic. Before starting and stopping, drivers should also use their brakes gently to prevent quickly decelerating or skidding. Knowing your brakes and their stopping distance can also help avoid potential accidents.
3. Not Following the Rules of the Road
The rules of the road are the laws regulating how drivers must operate their vehicles. Practicing driving safety is essential on the roads. Truck drivers should always follow the rules of the road, including checking their surroundings and being aware of the speed limit. Drivers should also keep a safe distance from other vehicles to reduce the risk of being involved in a collision.
Common mistakes such as not using turn signals when turning, not checking blind spots properly, and driving aggressively should be avoided. Other mistakes can include improper lane changing, ignoring weather and traffic conditions, and more. If drivers are aware of the rules of the road and take the necessary steps to observe them while driving, they can help create a safer road environment for all.
4. Poor Truck Maintenance
One of the most common mistakes made by truck drivers that can easily be avoided is poor truck maintenance. When a vehicle is not maintained properly, it can break down when the driver least expects it. This often happens in the middle of a long haul and without the proper maintenance, the costs associated with breakdowns and repairs can become costly.
The truck driver must commit to making regular safety inspections of the truck and its components. The vehicle should be serviced according to the manufacturer’s recommended service schedule and any repairs or replacements that are needed should be done as soon as possible. Drivers must also check the tires and fluids, including oil and fuel, regularly.
All lights should work properly, and any mechanical issues should be addressed before they become catastrophic. Making sure to stay up to date with the vehicle’s maintenance will help the driver avoid costly breakdowns, maximize business efficiency, and save on fuel costs.
5. Travel Without the Correct Paperwork and Cargo Load Weights
This omission can be costly and lead to emergency breakdowns or delays which can result in the loss of delivery time and a lot of money. It is essential for truck drivers to be aware of their cargo load weight to ensure they are following legal guidelines. It is also important they check the necessary paperwork, such as a Certificate of Title, Driver’s License, and Bill of Lading, before any trip.
Having the right documents can save drivers time and prevent penalties, as each country has different requirements and limitations. Furthermore, drivers must only take items that are legally allowed, in the right format, and verified by the border patrol.
6. Driving with Fatigue
Being a truck driver has many benefits, not the least of which is the potential to make a living from something you are passionate about. Before looking for truck driving jobs, make sure that you are healthy and fit enough.
There are many potential dangers that come with the job; however, driving with fatigue is one of these. Truck drivers are often on the roads for long periods of time, and this can lead to fatigue, impairing their judgment and reaction times.
To avoid this issue, drivers should schedule regular rest periods to remain alert and healthy. Sticking to a schedule and allowing for adequate rest and sleep are essential for truck drivers to remain safe on the road.
Drivers should also consider taking short breaks throughout their route to refuel or reduce fatigue. Furthermore, staying mindful of your sleep cycle can help prevent fatigue-related issues while driving.
Eating healthy, engaging in physical activities, and getting regular exercise can help ensure that you are well-rested and energized while on the road. Following these recommendations can help ensure that truck drivers stay safe and alert on long-haul routes.
Avoiding These Mistakes for Truck Drivers
Driving a truck is a serious responsibility. To ensure everyone’s safety, it is important to minimize any preventable mistakes for truck drivers. By avoiding speeding, taking proper breaks, and keeping distractions to a minimum, truck drivers can cut their risk of making common mistakes.
To become a better, safer driver, make sure to stay informed on the latest trucking safety tips.
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