The Trucker’s Guide to Safe Driving

Driving a truck is a big responsibility and it requires you to have a lot of knowledge and skill in order to do the job properly. Safety is a number one priority. Whether you’re a trucking enthusiast or a professional Long-Haul truck driver, travelling long distances across the country to deliver important items, you want to make sure that you’re safe and that you’re not a danger to anyone else out on the road. So if you’re planning to get behind the wheel, take some time to read these safety tips before you hit the road:

Keep Your Health in Check

Truck driving is a very demanding and challenging line of work. You’ll find yourself out on the road for several hours at a time, which means a lot of sitting, lack of sleep and poor eating habits. This can lead to a lot of health problems including depression, fatigue, sleeping disorders, and obesity.

Therefore, it’s imperative that you take precautions. Before you leave home, stock up on enough food like crackers and canned soup (that don’t need to be refrigerated) to last the entire trip. This will help you decrease your dependency on fast food and could potentially prevent you from becoming overweight. In addition to food, make sure that you have enough entertainment. Maybe have a playlist of your favourite music to listen to while you’re driving and bring a book to read when you’re not.

Depression especially can be very common among truck drivers because of the long periods of time that is spent alone and away from friends and family. If you’re experiencing symptoms like constant fatigue, a general lack of joy and an increased tendency to get angry, consider getting a checkup from a doctor before you get behind the wheel again.

Limit Distractions

When you’re driving something as big as a truck, you want to be focused on the road. As a practice you want to avoid doing anything that either causes you to lift a hand off of the wheel, take your eyes from the road or get lost in thought.

Texting is one form of distraction that requires you to do all three. You should, under no circumstances, text or talk on the phone while you’re driving. You’re also very likely to miss important road signs warning of dangers ahead if you’re too busy looking at your phone.

Study the Route and Weather Conditions

Before you set out, take some time to pick the best route for your destination. As a general rule, you always want to opt for the safest route instead of the fastest one. If you have to drive to a place you’ve never been to before, it’s always a good idea to get advice from other truckers who have. Ask them about what the roads are like.

Weather is something that every truck driver should be particularly considerate about. If you have to drive in winter, make sure that your truck is in good enough condition to handle it. Pay special attention to the tyres, lower temperatures can increase the chances of under-inflation and blowouts.

Pay Attention to Your Driving

A successful truck driver is one who pays strict attention to his/her driving. Driving a truck is different from driving a car and you want to make sure you’re well aware of the differences. Consider making improvements to your truck to make it less of a challenge for yourself. For example, you can install a reverse camera for truck-type vehicles to make reversing a much easier task.

If you’ve checked off everything on this list, then you’re ready to hit the road again. If not, we highly advise that you take the time to adequately prepare before you set off.

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