Today’s blog post makes use of valuable information provided by insurance companies. Safety education is critical, and all members of the transportation industry need to work together to prevent crashes, eliminating unnecessary property damage and saving lives. Insurance companies identify four types of critical crashes: rear-end, run-under, lane change, and loss of control.  Rear-end crashes are known as the most frequent and fatal, and often result in extensive damage to property and serious bodily injuries. They are noted as being much more severe when a large truck is involved. Tractor-trailer trucks can be up to 40 times more heavy than other vehicles in traffic. They are also predictably less maneuverable, start more slowly, and take a longer amount of time to come to a complete stop.

There can be many causes that result in rear-end crashes; therefore, it is critical that the driver of the tractor-trailer be attentive. With so much going on around the truck, it can be difficult for drivers to concentrate on driving protectively. Testimony from drivers has noted that when a driver loses concentration, they greatly increase their risk of being involved in a rear-end crash.

Employing Protective Driving Techniques will lower a driver’s chances of becoming involved in a crash of this type. It is important for drivers to always follow professional, safe driving rules to prevent rear-end collisions and the following tips may help drivers reduce their likelihood of being involved in a rear-end crash:

1)     Maintain at least a 6 second following distance – under normal highway driving conditions, it is important to keep at least a 6 second cushion between the truck and other vehicles around it. However, sometimes, this 6 seconds is not enough such as in adverse weather or road conditions; in these conditions, more seconds will need to be added.

2)     Drive within or under the speed limit – in heavy traffic, reduce speed to 3-5mph below the speed of traffic. It is typical for cars to cut in front in these situations. However, as this happens the cars will continue to move away and this will increase the truck driver’s following distance.

3)     Check braking systems – probably the most important maintenance tip – test the brakes for proper stopping before starting a trip to assure that the brakes are adjusted properly. Determine if the air system is operating satisfactorily and make sure that low air warning devices are functioning correctly.

4)     Stay alert at all times – drivers need to avoid distracting behaviors, including but not limited to: talking on the phone, texting, eating, drinking, or day-dreaming while driving. Remember, it only takes a split second of inattention to rear-end the vehicle ahead!

Safety is everyone’s responsibility. By sharing knowledge and keeping alert, we can all work together to most importantly keep the roads safe, and ensure successful, on-time deliveries!

Let’s Talk Safety: Tips on How to Prevent Crashes was last modified: by