Being a new truck driver means that safety should be your top priority. According to Freightera, 15.5 million trucks are in operation in the U.S.; 2 million of them being tractor trailers. Operating a large commercial vehicle has its challenges and risks; the right knowledge and precautions can ensure a safe journey. Here are some important safety tips to remember as a new truck driver.
1. Always Follow Traffic Laws and Regulations
While on the road, it’s common sense to follow traffic laws and regulations. As a truck driver, you’re responsible for operating a large vehicle that can incur severe business damage if mishandled. Following traffic rules will greatly lower the risk of accidents and ensure the safety of everyone using the road.
How can you avoid being on the wrong side of the law? By obeying speed limits. Speeding is a leading cause of accidents in most states; trucks require longer stopping distances than smaller vehicles, so you can see the danger here with speeding. Driving at a safe and legal speed means you’ll maintain better control of your truck; there’ll be more time to react in unexpected situations.
Following traffic rules and regulations is a no-brainer to enhance your safety while on the road. These rules are in place for a reason – to protect drivers and prevent accidents. A responsible truck driver has the duty to respect and abide by these rules to ensure the safety of everyone.
2. Take Regular Breaks and Get Enough Rest
It’s a nerve-wracking experience to be a new truck driver just starting out in the business. An important tip you can utilize is to get enough rest and take regular breaks. According to Afonsecalaw, there were 13,825 motor vehicle accidents in Texas involving semi-trucks in 2020. Truck driving is demanding and exhausting, so you must prioritize your well-being to prevent accidents.
You might ask, how will doing this benefit me? Well, it allows you to rest mentally and physically. It’s common knowledge to take these breaks every 100 miles or two hours, whichever comes first. During these breaks, you can stretch your legs, move around, and do some light exercises to improve circulation – this reduces the risk of muscle stiffness.
Aside from that, getting adequate rest helps you to remain focused and alert while driving. It’s important to prioritize sleep and establish a consistent sleep schedule to get sufficient rest. Aim for – at the very least – seven to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep every night.
Prioritizing getting enough rest and regular breaks means you’ll stay focused while on the road. Remember, safety is the key goal here. If you’re a new truck driver, taking care of yourself ensures you achieve this and that you have a fulfilling career in the trucking industry.
3. Perform Frequent Vehicle Maintenance Checks
Road safety is the first thing that you should be on your mind as a new truck driver. One way you can ensure this is by performing frequent vehicle maintenance checks. These checks can help prevent costly repairs, accidents, and breakdowns.
Regular maintenance checks give assurance that your truck is in pristine condition. Inspecting key components like tires, brakes, lights, and tongue weight can identify any issues before they worsen. According to cars.com, the maximum allowed tongue weight is 10-15% of the allowable trailer weight – the weight of the trailer itself and the load it’s carrying. Checking if the truck has everything in order regarding this will put you in the clear. It’s easy to apply for a fuel card with iCompario.
Frequent maintenance checks is something you shouldn’t miss as a new truck driver. It ensures that your truck is in excellent condition and improves fuel efficiency – something that everyone can appreciate. Prioritizing this crucial task will mitigate the risk of accidents, breakdowns, and costly repairs; your journey will be more safe and enjoyable!
As a new truck driver, following safety tips can keep you and everyone else using the road safe. It’s an important part of being in the truck business, so keep these tips in mind. Check out our website for more useful information on a variety of topics!