Safe Trucking Tips

Trucking is a high-risk profession, as many as 600 truckers are killed on the job every year. The fatalities and injuries involved with trucking stem from vehicle collisions and fuel fires. However, long term health problems linked to fume inhalations and circulation problems also make trucking dangerous. Below are a few tips to keep truckers and other motorists safe.

Risk Assessment/Hazards Control Measures/Safeguards

  • Do not tailgate. Be patient. Maintain proper space with the vehicle in front of you. According to studies, the most common vehicle trucks hit is the one in front of them, due to tailgating. The bigger the rig the longer it takes to brake and stop.
  • Signal early when approaching an intersection, giving other motorists ample warning of your intended direction.
  • With so many blind spots on a truck, minimize lane changing. Check your side mirrors at least once every 10 seconds.
  • Use the truck's flashers when driving below the posted speed limit for an extended period of time.
  • Give your truck ample time and space when slowing down for a complete stop. Use brake lights early. Most motorists don't realize how long it takes for a rig to stop.
  • If you must idle the truck, keep windows closed to avoid prolonged exposure to fumes.
  • Avoid idling while sleeping, loading, or unloading.
  • When pulled off to the side of a road, highway, or Interstate due to mechanical problems, always use flashers, reflective triangles, and even road flares to alert approaching drivers.
  • Always have tire chains at the ready, especially when driving in mountainous regions.
  • Try to maintain a full fuel tank in winter driving to prevent water condensation from building in the fuel lines.
  • Maintain additional space with the vehicles in front of you when driving in rain or snow.
  • Operate below the posted speed limit when driving in wintery conditions.
  • Exercise caution when approaching bridges in wintertime. Bridges freeze faster than roads, creating difficult to detect black ice.
  • Slowdown in work zones. Close to one-third of all fatal work zone crashes involve large rigs. Plus, you could lose your commercial driver’s license if caught speeding in a posted work zone.
  • Take plenty of driving breaks, especially while driving cross-country, to help remain alert.
  • Don't fight eye-fatigue. Pull off the road and take a nap. The consequences of falling asleep at the wheel, far outweigh those associated with arriving late.
  • Strictly adhere to commercial driver hour restrictions. By law you cannot exceed 11 continuous hours of driving. You could jeopardize your truck driver career if caught violating this law.

Do not ever assume something. If you are unsure about anything use the resources you have at hand, contact your safety department, driver manager or ask another driver.

Need help backing in, ask another driver if available or use G.O.A.L.

One of the goals of the best truck driving tips is to teach you G.O.A.L (Get Out and Look). Every time you backup get out and look at what is happening behind you if you have any doubts.

Take one day at a time, one hour at a time and one minute at a time. Think everything through and do things right the first time!