All industries prioritize the safety of employees, workplaces, and assets. Trucking companies included. “Safety first” is Matrix Inc’s mantra and since this week is dedicated to CDL driver’s safety, we will give you several tips every professional truck driver should know. Some rules must always be followed by drivers, metrics to check, compliance to adhere to, and coaching sessions to conduct correct behavior.
How Do Truck Drivers Stay Safe?
- Know everything going on around you.
- Always look well ahead down the road and around your rig.
- Always plan an ‘escape route’ when rolling down the highway, especially in heavy traffic
- Be aware of who’s in front of you, beside you and behind you at all times. To act accordingly, be aware of everything if and when necessary.
- Being well rested keeps you at your best.
- The electronic logbook system potentially provides a system for drivers to be well rested, IF utilized properly by the carrier.
Be aware of the weather.
- Check the reports prior to departing on a trip. Do it as often as you are able while traveling.Modern mobile apps also do an excellent job of tracking rapid changes in volatile weather areas; another modern tool drivers can use to increase safety.
- Keep an eye on your outside temperature to watch for changing road conditions. What helps a trucker to be better prepared for bad weather is knowing what to expect while driving. This way necessary precautions can be taken. (Part of good trip planning).
- Whenever possible, avoid traveling at high volume traffic and peak traffic times. The more traffic, the greater the odds of an accident.
CHECK OUT DELIVERY SPOTS ON FOOT. (Of all driving safety tips, this one is most often ignored by truckers. )
- If you are delivering to a new customer, find a place to park safely, leave your rig for 5 minutes and scope out the place. The same you can do when picking up , but the shippers will too often say “Oh, we have trucks in here all the time, it’s ok”
- Check for yourself. A truck can easily get trapped and unable to turn around or the docking facility just isn’t suitable for big rigs.
- Take a meta picture of the area by getting out of your truck and looking around for yourself. You’ll see obstacles that may be in your way, such as low fire hydrants, posts, ditches, etc.
- Also remember that a large percentage of truck accidents happen when backing up into a dock. Accidents are costly for everyone and can seriously impair your driving record.
You should be extra cautious when driving at night
- Always exercise ‘extra’ caution at night, especially in tight maneuvering situations.
- Be alert, be aware, move slowly and cautiously especially at night.
LEAVE ROOM IN FRONT OF YOUR RIG.
- Even though It can be very frustrating if you are only traveling 50 mph, it can keep you out of trouble.
- This ‘buffer zone’ or ‘cushion’ in front of your rig will protect you and your truck.
- Usually, if anything goes wrong, there’s a good chance it will be ahead of you.
- The more empty space you have in front of you and your unit, the more time you’ll have to ‘correct’ and slow down, if necessary.
Minimize lanes changing
- Changing of lanes increases the odds of getting into an accident. If you do find it necessary to change lanes, move over very carefully,constantly check your mirrors and be aware of your blind spots. Don’t forget the turn signals!
- When entering a city from the freeway, take the 2nd lane from the right, to avoid merging vehicles.
USE A TRUCKER’S GPS.
- There’s a GPS designed especially for truckers that will show vital information such as which exit to take, distance before exit, when to change lanes, traffic reports etc.
- These units can be a huge help and can alleviate a lot of stress for the driver, especially when traveling in unknown areas.
- They are another great tool, but do not rely on them 100%. If you are a Matrix Inc’s driver, you can always rely on qualified driving directions, provided by our tracking team. If you want to become one, you can apply by filling out our online form or just simply contact us.
Take it Slowly!
- Big trucks don’t corner like a Ferrari, nor do they handle like one. Always take the corners and ramps very slowly
- Travel slowly and maintain control. Don’t drive as fast as you think you can get away with.
Take Breaks and do the inspections
- Take regular breaks as needed.
- Check your load. Look for soft tires, air leaks, check under the truck for any dripping coolant or oil.
The main truck driver problem is overconfidence. Those who have been driving for many years become complacent and bold over time. They begin to think that being an experienced driver allows for more risk-taking on the road. But driving professionally not only requires a great deal of skill, it carries a lot of responsibility for the safety of others. It requires a lot of common sense. Following our Safety tips for a professional truck driver, could reduce the risk of accidents.
Matrix team advises you to stay safe on the road. Remember, no matter how hot your load is, it’s always better to arrive safely!