How To Reduce Risk While Driving Trucks
Being a professional truck driver means being a part of a lucrative industry, filled with opportunities for freedom and exploration. For gearheads, there’s nothing more inviting than the idea of being able to make money while on the road. The problem, however, lies in the fact that every time you go out on the open road, you’re risking your life and property. Sure, you may be the most careful driver ever but road conditions can sometimes be unpredictable. Mechanical malfunction cannot always be foreseen and neither can the on-road behavior of other drivers. So, how do you reduce risk while driving a truck? Let’s find out!
1. Stay focused
The first and the most important thing in reducing risk while driving a truck (and driving in general) lies in staying focused and alert at all times. This can be quite problematic for truck drivers for several reasons. Car drivers usually don’t travel the same mileages, except when they’re on a road trip, while truck drivers can spend hours and hours behind a wheel on a regular basis. There are several things you need to keep in mind. First of all, don’t allow yourself to be easily distracted. Second, pay attention to all the road signs.
In order to remain alert, you need to take care of your lifestyle, as well. First of all, your diet. Driving hungry is not a good idea but neither is overeating, seeing as how the latter is known to make people drowsy. Driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol is not just a bad idea but also completely illegal. Therefore, it goes without saying that this should be a huge problem. Getting a good night’s sleep can also be game-changing.
2. Look for expert courses
The first thing you need to understand is that the journey of a truck driver usually needs to start by getting a heavy rigid license. Here, the majority of essential truck driving skills will be developed. Over the course of years, you will adopt some safe driving habits intuitively but it’s essential that you act in the safest way possible. Furthermore, keep in mind that there are some defensive driving courses out there that might be worth your while. Also, try to remain humble despite your level of knowledge/experience. It’s far safer to underestimate your skills than to overestimate them.
3. Keep your truck in top condition
Trucks are massive vehicles that could, potentially, make a lot of damage if they went rogue. This is why truck service needs to be more frequent than car service and this is why drivers need to pay more attention to their trucks. Checking tires and fluids is something that every truck driver is supposed to do/know how to do. Also, you’re the person behind the wheel, which means that you’ll be the first one to notice if something’s off. Sure, some problems seem like they’ve appeared out of nowhere but, in the majority of situations, there will be some early warning signs that you shouldn’t choose to ignore.
4. It’s all about the distances
Keeping a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front of you is the right way to go. Ideally, you would stay at least one and a half-length of an average vehicle behind them. However, keep in mind that one of the first things you should do when you hop into a new truck is the test the brakes. This way, you will get a general idea of what is your stopping distance. You should definitely adjust the distance between you and the next vehicle according to this. Moreover, keep in mind that road conditions (dry, wet, slippery, etc.) will affect this, as well. Adjusting to the road conditions is incredibly important.
Trucks are huge mechanical monsters that could be a real threat to public safety when controlled by the wrong person. There’s no doubt about the fact that they’re harder to control, which means that this profession should only be reserved for the best of drivers. In order to master a skill, you need to spend 10,000 hours doing it. The problem is that there’s no safe way for you to get this many hours controlling a truck. Fortunately, the above-listed four tips are quite helpful.