At US Transport, we pride ourselves on being leaders in transportation excellence and safety. For our drivers, part of that means taking a defensive approach to driving. Driving defensively provides them with a guide to avoid potential accidents, stay safe, and minimize damage as much as possible should anything go wrong during a haul.
It’s no secret that semi-trucks are the biggest vehicle on the road, so we make it our trucker’s responsibility to handle that size with care, responsibility, and attention towards other drivers. Check out these tips to keep in mind while you’re behind the wheel:
- Before you set off on the road, do a quick light check to make sure all of your lights work.
- If you’re not sure of the space between your rig and an obstacle while you’re reversing, put it in park, get out, and take a look.
- Stay aware of your surroundings while on route. Utilize your mirrors every 5 to 8 seconds so you have an understanding of what’s going on around your vehicle, and keep your eyes moving so you can constantly be aware, focused, and fresh.
- People speed through construction zones all the time, but that doesn’t guarantee you won’t get a ticket. And if you do get one, you’ll definitely regret the fine and the points on your license. Obey the speed limit. It’s safer than placing others at risk from driving too fast.
- Semi-trucks are big vehicles that require a lot of space, and if an accident occurs, you’ll need that space. Try to not let yourself get trapped or boxed in between several cars so you can have room to safely avoid a wreck should one occur.
- Always use your blinkers so people can know where you’re headed and respond appropriately.
- Apply your brakes early so you can come to a controlled stop without risking an accident to the front or rear end of your rig.
- Stay alert to the weather conditions and prepare adequately. Snow, rain, and wind can all greatly increase your risk of an accident if you’re not driving with attention on the road.
- Manage the distance between your truck and other drivers. Most accidents involve rear end collisions, and although you can’t always account for the actions of other drivers, you can maintain a safe space from them. A good rule of thumb to follow is to add 1 second of driving time between you and other vehicles per 10 ft of the truck you’re driving. So if your truck is 60 feet long, you should drive 6 seconds behind other vehicles. As a side note, you should also add another second of time if you’re going more than 40 miles per hour.
- When you’re turning, use your mirrors to keep an eye on your trailer.
- Take precautions to protect the rear end of your truck by using the slow lanes, and taking a cautious approach when changing lanes. If you’re being tailgated, slowly reduce your speed and allow the driver behind you to pass. When you reduce your speed, you’ll also allow space to open up between you and the car in front of you, making it safer for them to pass in front of you as they switch back in the lane.
At US Transport, we’re proud to operate within a family atmosphere that’s goal oriented, safety focused, and driven by excellence. Join a team with unlimited opportunity for growth and experience. Sign-on today.