Truck driving can feel like a thankless job sometimes, but the United States depends on its truck drivers to keep this country going. In 2019 alone, 11.84 billion tons of freight was transported by trucks in the US alone (statista). Truck drivers can drive up to 14 hours per haul; this industry limit can be taxing on the most pro-active truck driver.
|What truck drivers should know
- Distracted driving is the number one cause of truck accidents on the road.
- Speeding is the second-highest cause of accidents. Trucks can be harder to manage when trying to adjust lanes or avoiding other dangers on the road at higher speeds.
- Drivers should pay attention to weather conditions and shifts; notice cloud cover and abrupt changes in temperature or quick moving storms. As you cover more surface area, these regular driving challenges can multiply under your rig.
- All truck drivers likely have their tips about staying awake on the road. Drivers should assess when they are too tired to drive and should stop for a short break, even if they are on the clock.
- Truckers need to be aware of blind spots; both theirs and other drivers. They should make adjustments when driving different sized loads to be aware of potential new obstructions in their vision.
- Most truckers know that maintenance of their rig is of the utmost importance. However, they should also look out for their own health. If you exercise regularly and take time off when you are sick, you will be healthier overall and have more energy to focus on the road.
|What other drivers should know
- Do not follow truckers too closely; you should give them more space than you would a car or van. They cannot know where you are behind them; if they have to stop suddenly or make other sudden adjustments on the road, you can cause an accident by following too closely.
- Always pass on the driver’s left; they cannot see you when passing on their right. When you do pass, make sure there is plenty of space between the truck and your vehicle. Again, this should be more space than what you would give a car that you are passing.
- Be aware if you see a truck driver swerving that they could be driving fatigued.
- If a truck has a flat tire, its debris can be very dangerous on the road. There is metal in larger tires that can shred your smaller car’s tires. Always avoid truck debris on the road.
- Be aware of any loose debris that may be on a truck in front of you. Most drivers are good about securing all items; however, it is always good to be aware of any potential danger. The most common kind of debris tends to be small and may crack your windshield.
We can all drive safely on the road together if we are aware of our limitations within our vehicles. Give truck drivers plenty of space, and they will thank you for it. If you drive a smaller vehicle, you may need to drive defensively to ensure you avoid minor debris or if a trucker is driving in unsafe conditions.