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10 tips to stay safe as a commercial truck driver

Safe driving should be important for all of us, but it’s vitally important when training to be a Commercial drive. As a commercial driver, you have deadlines, and sometimes, unsafe driving practices are adopted.

When you drive distracted, you not only put your own life at risk, but are endangering others on the road. As a driver of such large rig, your presence on the road is very imposing. Sometimes commercial driver’s will use this to their advantage which can lead to accidents, crashes, personal injury and even death.

Whether a refresher would be beneficial, or you are currently seeking a CDL license, the following safety tips will aid you during your next turnaround.

  1. Wear your seat belt: Studies have shown that one in six truck drivers don’t wear their seat belt. Seat belts are required and can greatly aid in preventing severe injury. As much as 40% of those killed each year in motor vehicle-related deaths were not wearing their seat belt.
  2. Put down the distractions: The main culprit is the driver’s cell phone. A breakthrough has lessened this distraction as many states have now made it illegal or passed one-touch laws in hopes to hinder the use of cell phones and lessen the amount of distracted driver crashes and deaths.
  3. Speed limits are posted for a reason: On certain roadways, speed limits differ for truckers. Be aware of changing speed limits and follow them to stay safe on the road.
  4. Plan your trip: Plan for expected driving hours and scout the weather beforehand to prepare to be ready hazards you may encounter. Doing so will allow you wiggle room.
  5. Do not ingest drugs or alcohol if you plan on driving: This is simple. Just don’t do it. Driving impaired significantly increases your chances of getting in a severe or fatal crash. If you expect to drink, be sure to allow yourself the correct time to sober up before getting behind the wheel.
  6. Understand the size of your truck: Your rig is big and takes up a lot of space on the road. Understanding its dimensions on all sides of the vehicle will benefit you and those you share the road with.
  7. Slow down for curves and turns: you’ve got places to be, but you won’t get there if you tip your trailer. Large vehicles require a wider turn radius.
  8. Allow yourself the correct stopping distance: As is the same with turns, you must be aware of the size of your vehicle. The larger the vehicle, the greater distance needed to safely brake. If their is inclement weather, your proper stopping distance will be even greater.
  9. Weather changes by region: Certain parts of the country are known for treacherous weather patterns. Being aware of this will increase your confidence.
  10. Take care of yourself: Being a commercial driver can be a grind. Long hours on the road in one or two positions can lead to many personal discomforts, like cramps, joint issues, arthritis and internal health problems related to extended sitting. Better your chances of a healthy life and sustained career by eating healthy, stretching before, during and after each leg of your trip, taking a short nap when able, getting enough rest during the night and any other beneficial alternatives.

Following these tips should increase your chances of a safe and productive trip, but if a more severe crash does occur and you need to pursue a personal injury claim, licensed attorneys are just a call away. 

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