Top Trucking Safety Concerns and How to Avoid Them
Category: Equipment and Solutions
Driving a truck is a serious affair. There are many hazards on the road that can cause accidents in a split second. The best drivers are those who use their knowledge and experience to anticipate dangerous situations and safety concerns before they occur. We all know that careless, inconsiderate and dangerous drivers are all around us, so it’s important to be aware of the types of situations that can get us into trouble.
Here at NMC Truck Centers, we want our customers to make their delivery and get home safe. One of the key components of truck safety is service and maintenance. A well-serviced truck is more reliable, delivering adequate steering, acceleration and braking force as needed to flow with traffic at all times. While we can help you keep your trucks and trailers in top condition, there are other safety concerns on the road that you need to keep in mind.
Tractor Trailer Safety
Truckers face numerous safety issues every time they head out on the road. While certain things are out of our control, like the behavior of other drivers or weather conditions, there are steps you can take to increase road safety. Operating a truck is a complex task that requires concentration, awareness and skill. Proper prevention, awareness and response techniques can help you navigate the roads safely.
Despite rules governing what and how much we can load, it can be tempting to carry just a bit more to save money. Loading guidelines exist for a reason: they’re in place to ensure your truck can handle the cargo properly without adversely affecting handling or braking. You also have to secure your load correctly. Unsecured cargo can result in injury, vehicle issues or other damage. Always follow vehicle and state rules for loading to ensure safe trucking.
While truck driver error can occur, other drivers on the road may seem out to “get” truck drivers. We need to stay vigilant and aware and anticipate driver error. Always avoid tailgating, even if a car moves in front of you. While it might not seem fair, it’s better to increase your distance if someone cuts you off than to ride their bumper and risk an accident. Keep your eyes on the road to look for issues ahead of you, such as drivers exhibiting problematic behaviors, accidents or construction zones.
You probably know that tractor-trailers create massive blindspots! Part of truck driver training involves being aware of blindspots and staying mindful of what’s around you at all times. Cameras and detectors can help warn you when vehicles are in your blindspots, though old-fashioned diligence is still the best way to monitor your blindspots.
When you have hundreds of miles ahead of you, traveling above the speed limit sure can be tempting. The weight of a tractor-trailer, even unloaded, makes it significantly more difficult to stop than a passenger vehicle. Always follow posted speed limits to ensure you arrive at your destination safely. You will also consume less fuel, which can add up over the year.
If you’ve ever driven any long hauls, you know the feeling of getting sleepy and entering the “tunnel vision” phase. You may snap out of it quickly at first, but as your fatigue increases, so does the duration of your inattentiveness. At the first sign of fatigue, pull off and take a rest. Everything from inadequate sleep to diet and medications can affect your alertness. If you aren’t close to a rest stop, adjust your cabin temperature, open a window or take a drink to stay awake until you can stop.
Failure to Signal
Because a tractor-trailer is large, you’d think other drivers will see when you’re turning. However, although failure to signal may not seem like a big deal, it’s always important to let other drivers know what you’re planning to do. Many drivers you encounter on the road are distracted by a myriad of things and may not be paying attention to your truck. Always signal your intention before turning or changing lanes.
Parking Lot Maneuvers
High-speed roadway and highway maneuvers may be the riskiest, but slow-speed parking lot and city maneuvers can also create safety concerns. Always do a walk-around when you are parked to ensure no vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles are in your way, especially if you’re going to back up. Also, remember that your large truck can block the view for other vehicles.
You may have to drive on unfamiliar roads or during unfavorable weather conditions. Sharp curves, steep downgrades, heavy rain, and snowy or icy conditions significantly affect your truck. Knowing when to reduce your speed is an important part of responding to these conditions. Weather can affect the way other vehicles operate on the road, cause traffic jams or flood roadways, among other things. Modifying your speed, considering alternate routes and staying alert can help you operate a truck safely in these conditions.
Transport trucks are loaded up with more and more telematics, guidance and entertainment options these days. While these can all help you stay informed and alert, they can also be a major source of distraction. Don’t let onboard technologies or handheld devices (like phones, tablets and computerized watches) distract you from your job of driving.
Get in Touch With NMC Truck Centers Today
Driving a transport truck can be a pleasant and rewarding experience, despite the possible safety concerns. Keep in mind all of these potential trucking issues and stay alert at all times. You owe it to yourself, your family, your company and the general public to drive in a safe and responsible manner to avoid accidents and other issues.
We offer truck repair services at several locations throughout Nebraska. We provide engine services, preventative maintenance, oil changes and more. Our attentive customer service team can help you keep your truck running in top condition to increase your safety while trucking.
If you have any questions or want more information, we invite you to contact our team here at NMC Truck Centers. We’re proud to be a part of the Nebraska trucking industry and look forward to discussing your trucking safety concerns, purchase and service needs with you