If you are interested in owning and driving a truck, there are plenty of used semi trucks for sale in the market today. However, driving a truck is a huge responsibility. It requires not only a great deal of skill, but also physical and mental preparedness. If you are a driver, safety consciousness is very vital.
Before drivers hit the road there are certain things that they need to keep in check. This not only pertains to the truck itself, but also on the driver’s comfort and safety while on the road. We have gathered a short checklist on the major things a truck driver should take note of before hitting the road.
Table of Contents
Make Sure You Are Physically And Mentally Fit
This is very essential even on short haul trips. Some drivers force themselves to go to work even when they’re down with flu or having a headache. You have to be completely well-rested and in good health in order to keep yourself alert on the road. Never hit the road hungry too. Load up some healthy meals before the trip, and it would help to keep some water and snacks in handy just in case.
Fasten Your Seatbelt
At all times, wear your seatbelt. It doesn’t matter if there is no police officer on the road. You’re doing yourself a favor by keeping yourself safe especially when you get into an accident. About 40% of crash-related deaths occur every year because of failure to wear a seatbelt.
Avoid Using Cell Phones
Keep yourself away from distractions while you are on the road. A cellular phone is a number one distraction. Texting, talking, or looking at your phone screen keeps your focus away from the road and may lead to serious accidents. If you need to take an important call, pull over.
If you plan your trip ahead, there is no need to rush. Be mindful of speed limits and slow down when passing through curves. Remember, you are driving a truck, not a Ferrari. Travelling at the right speed helps you maintain control over the vehicle. And avoid changing lanes too often. The odds of having an accident increase every time you switch lanes or increase your speed.
Check The Weather
Before departure, it is important to check the weather reports, and check it often while you are on the road. It helps you anticipate and prepare for bad weather conditions, and take extra precautions while driving. If the weather is so bad and unfit for travelling, you might want to discuss this with your employer and hold it off until the weather gets better.
Avoid Drugs And Alcohol
It is never advisable to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs when driving. This rule does not only apply to truck drivers but all drivers out there. It distorts your vision and judgment, and impairs physical faculties. Most accidents occur and a lot of innocent lives were sacrificed because of this.
Check Delivery Spots On Foot
When delivering goods especially to a new customer, it is important to scope out the place. Your truck can easily get trapped and unable to turn around especially in tight spaces. Park safely at a considerable distance, and check the area first for hazards to avoid accidents. Never rely on your customer’s judgment since they have no idea about the kind of truck you’re driving.
Take Extra Precautions At Night
Night driving is common especially for long-haul trips. Since your vision is limited, it is very important to take extra-precaution while on the road. Stay alert and aware of your surroundings, and most importantly, keep it slow so you can maintain control of your truck on the road. Watch out for road signs, lights, and other objects in front of you.
Avoid bumper to bumper spacing with the vehicle in front of you. Usually, if anything goes wrong, there’s a good chance that it’s ahead of you. If you give enough space in front of your vehicle, you will have plenty of time to take judgment calls and avoid accidents.
Take Breaks And Check Your Truck Before Hitting The Road Again
Don’t forget to make short stops in safe places while on the road when you need them. Stretch your arms and legs to keep good blood circulation and avoid cramps while driving. Go around and check your truck and your load. Check your wheels, brake lights, or any drippings of oil or coolant so you can fix it before you hit the road again.
As your profession calls, always take responsibility for your truck and yourself. Safety always begins with you.