As we are sure that you know, safety is vital in the transportation and logistics industry. Safety should never be an afterthought, in fact, it should always remain at the forefront of your mind, no matter your experience as a professional trucker.

Unfortunately, the nature of the transportation industry is that we always seem to be in a rush, but do not put your safety and the safety of your fellow motorist at risk because of a tight deadline. The white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland comes to mind, “I’m late, I’m late…” as trucking is a fast-paced environment, that requires skill, it also needs you to have an awareness and sense of responsibility about your safety, and the safety of other motorists.

You might have just finished your CDL training, or you are a trucking veteran, but your job as a truck driver has its risks, despite the experience that you may hold. Unfortunately, as a trucker, you can face a crash or dangers while you are on the road. These risks will be at no fault of your own, especially if you follow essential safety practices. We cannot avoid encounters with the aggressive drivers that are out there, and if you are operating a large truck remaining out of the way, and keeping your cool is sometimes easier said than done.

We want to keep our fellow truckers safe, so we have devised a list of key tips of the defensive driving technique for truck drivers. Here are three tips, which will help you to drive safely as well as remaining alert on the job.

1. Know your surroundings

Staying aware of your surroundings as a truck driver is of the utmost importance. Continually monitoring, and assessing your surroundings such as a change in traffic will keep you, and the motorists around you safe. Good defensive driving is to continuously check your mirrors, to help you locate if there is a vehicle in your blind spot. Awareness will also help you to identify if you will be faced with an issue or upcoming obstacle on the road.

2. Take a break if you feel drowsy

It happens to the best of us, and recognizing the key signs of drowsiness is essential. If you feel tired, or worse sluggish, please take a break. Pull over, and rest whether you are on a tight deadline of not – your deadline can wait. These signs and symptoms of drowsiness may seem obvious, but if you experience any of the following, please pull over and have a rest.

  • Frequent yawning
  • Blurred vision
  • Heavy Eyes

We know that there are tricks that you can use to try and keep yourself awake, like smoking or having a strong coffee. However, trust us when we say they are not effective ways to keep yourself alert.

3. Keep a safe distance

You should know that the average stopping distance for an ordinary vehicle which is traveling at 65mph is 316 feet. Moreover, a loaded truck traveling at the same speed will actually take 525 feet to stop safely. So, what would you classify as a ‘safe’ stopping distance when you are on a trucking job? The Department of Highway Safety advises that a truck should remain 8 seconds behind the vehicle in front, dependent on road conditions. The braking distance varies depending on weather conditions, so please assess the conditions and maintain a safe, consistent distance behind the leading car.

Essential Defensive Driving Tips for Truck Drivers (that Could Save Lives) was last modified: by