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7 Dangers You Need to Be Aware of if You’re a Truck Driver

— November 1, 2021

Before you start driving, look at the weather forecast for the day so you can be prepared for inclement weather.

Truck driving can be a particularly stressful occupation. You may be trying to meet strict deadlines while you’re on the road, which can make you more anxious and exhausted. And since you’ll be carrying freight that can be as heavy as 80,000 pounds, you have to be attentive, accurate, and patient while you travel. 

As a trucker, you are responsible for making sure that you and other drivers on the road are safe. Therefore, it’s essential to know what to do to keep your truck in the best condition possible and drive safely no matter how far you have to drive and the dangerous areas you travel in, what time of day it is, and what type of trucking service you provide. Here are some tips to keep in mind to make sure you stay protected during your commutes. 

Keep Your Truck In Good Condition 

It’s important to inspect your rig each morning to ensure that the mirrors are in the correct position. Check to see that the horn is working to properly alert people when you need to change lanes or make a turn. Test your brakes as well. Remember that your truck weighs several tons, and if you’re unable to stop in time, the results could be tragic. 

If you notice any issues with your truck, get in touch with dispatch right away. Then, don’t start driving again until your truck is in the safest condition. 

Be Alert

When you’re driving, always be on the lookout for any issues or hazards. Keeping watch on the road will give you enough time to avoid certain problems. For example, make sure you stop well ahead of time if you see a traffic stall ahead, brake for road damage, and give yourself room and time to swerve and avoid objects on the road. Also, be especially alert at night and drive slower than you normally since the darkness can impact your vision. 

Be Careful in Bad Weather 

Before you start driving, look at the weather forecast for the day so you can be prepared for inclement weather. If you run into snow, hail, or rain, slow down. No matter how fast you need to get to your next destination, you must make time for bad weather and dangerous road conditions. If you’re having trouble seeing or maintaining control of your rig, pull over.

A salt truck seasons a snow-covered road to prevent ice buildup and keep drivers safe.
Road salt spread in the winter means contaminated water later. Photo by Thomas Brueckner, via Flickr. CC BY 2.0

Watch Out for Your Blind Spot 

When you’re turning or changing lanes, be extra careful. Some drivers know how to operate their vehicles safely next to a semi-truck, but others may be nervous or careless. Look at your mirrors regularly and check the front and back of your rig and the area behind the mirrors. These blind spots can hide a car easily, and it can be challenging to make sudden movements to avoid another vehicle on the road if you’re not vigilant. 

Take It Slow

Even if you’re in a hurry to make your delivery on time, follow the speed limit, especially when you’re going up hills or making sharp turns. If you’re in a particularly challenging area, turn carefully on every curb and pay attention to your surroundings. Slow down in work and school zones to make sure that you keep yourself and others safe. 

Avoid High-Traffic Areas 

Avoid areas in cities and towns that have congested traffic as much as possible and the backroads when you can. Stay a safe distance from the car in front of you as you make your way through traffic. All these can help you avoid a serious accident. 

Use Proper Turn Signals 

For every turn and lane change, use your blinker and signal at least 100 feet before you need to make a move. If you’re going slower than the flow of traffic, turn your hazard lights on to alert other drivers.

What to Do If You Get Involved in a Truck Accident

You should hire a truck accident lawyer if you’ve been involved in a truck accident and want to know the best way to get the settlement you deserve. When you have an experienced attorney working for you, you’ll have a better chance of getting proper compensation for medical bills, time missed from work, and the pain and suffering the accident has caused you and your family. 

When you talk to your attorney, always be open and honest. Did you violate the Hours of Service rules? Were you feeling a bit sleepy behind the wheel? Did your truck company ignore your warnings regarding some vehicle malfunctions? The answers to these questions will make or break a potential claim you file or one that another party files against you. 

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