If you’re driving a truck for employment or just on a long overnight trip, keep these tips in mind for your safety and the well-being of other travelers:
1. Buckle Up: It’s an old myth that good truck drivers don’t need to wear seatbelts. Everyone needs to wear a seatbelt. You could be the best truck driver in the country but when you’re involved in a crash caused by another driver, those skills won’t save you. Your chances of being killed are almost 25 times higher if you are thrown from your vehicle during a crash. Safety belts can keep you from being tossed out a window, from being dragged on the road or from being crushed by your own vehicle or another. Your chances of being killed are almost 25 times higher if you are thrown from your vehicle during a crash. Safety belts can keep you from being tossed out a window, from being dragged on the road or from being crushed by your own vehicle or another.
2. Pay Attention to Driving Conditions: Adverse weather conditions contribute to 25% of speeding-related large-truck fatalities. Drivers should reduce their speed by one-third on wet roads and by 50% or more on snow-packed streets.
3. Put the Brakes on Speeding: Curve and entrance/exit ramp speed limits are intended for small vehicles, not large trucks. Studies show large trucks often lose control or roll over when entering a curve at a posted speed limit due to their high center of gravity.
4. Check and Recheck Blind Spots: Never rely on other drivers to stay out of the way of your blind spots. Check your mirrors every few seconds as well as before you change lanes, turn, or merge.
5. Look Down the Road: To safely slow down, a commercial vehicle driver should look at least 15 second ahead, or a ¼ mile on a highway. Paying attention to what is in front of you is important and you need to be prepared to slow down.
6. Don’t Drive Drowsy: It’s extremely important to take frequent breaks as a truck driver. You are driving for hours and need the rest in order to drive safely. There are plenty of rest stops of big highways in New York. Research shows that being awake for 18 hours is comparable to having a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent. It’s vital to your safety and the motorists around you to pay attention to signs of drowsiness: frequent yawning, heavy eyes and blurred vision.