Safety Tips for Trucks
Updated: Jan 2
Large trucks face a unique set of safety challenges that can be difficult to navigate. The following tips are helpful for those driving these larger vehicles on the road, pay attention to them as they'll help keep you safe and the rest of the vehicles too.
1. Check Your Blind Spots.
Check your mirrors every 8-10 seconds and scan ahead on the road about 15 seconds (equating to a quarter mile on interstates, or one to two blocks in cities). Be aware of vehicles entering into your blind spots as well as any traffic issues that may arise, such work zones with warning signs before they happen! Keep your eyes on the road for any other danger or traffic issue.
2. Be Aware of Long Stopping Distances.
It is important to be aware of the length needed for large trucks and buses when stopping, as they can be as long as two football fields. If a driver does not have enough space, they may end up crashing into something or other vehicle due in part from being too fast on their brakes while going through curves, which creates risks associated with rollovers as well making wide turns at higher speeds where there could easily cause an accident.
3. Make Wide Turns Carefully.
Trucks and buses have a difficult time making wide turns. This is because they are not as agile or responsive, so it's significant to exercise caution when turning them either direction. Also, these vehicles are especially susceptible to being sideswiped when making wide, careful turns. Make your move sooner rather than later also don't speed too much, it's the right pace, so you don't cause an accident by slowing down or driving too fast in the turn!
4. Drive at a Safe Speed.
Large vehicles, such as trucks and buses, can be a challenge to drive. These large machines have slower acceleration than cars or motorcycles, which means you must work harder when starting from stop signs with them on the roadways; they also struggle more while going up hills because of their size limitations- so always take your time! Finally, remember never exceed the speed limit unless absolutely necessary since this may cause an accident that could result in injury.
5. Stay Focused and Avoid Distracted Driving.
The best way to stay safe on the road is by not driving when you’re feeling tired or ill. It's also important that your medication doesn't make things worse, like putting us into a drowsy state of mind, which can be dangerous while behind wheels! Along with eating and drinking without looking at maps, taking care of business out there will keep everyone happy, including yourself, since no one wants an accident after they've had one already.
6. Buckle Up.
When you're driving, it's essential to always wear your safety belt. The buckles of these belts protect drivers from injury in case there is an accident and the vehicle crashes into something or someone else; however, they also allow people who have involved with this type of collision plenty of a time prior to continue on their way without being too concerned about which direction things go after a crash landing due largely because both front seats (and some middle ones) typically fold down during such events--giving them access right away!
7. Always Use Your Signal.
The best way to avoid crashing into other cars is by giving them plenty of warning. If you have an emergency and need space, use your hazards or flashers so that the people behind can adjust their speed accordingly before coming up on top off yours.
If there's no choice but to pull off at a busy intersection—which should always be avoided when possible-, then make sure everyone knows what they're getting themselves into with reflective triangles & flares prominently displayed from every angle possible!
8. Maintain Your Vehicle.
Make sure to complete a pre-trip safety inspection before hitting the road, particularly for tires and brakes. Check that your load is well-balanced, as it can cause an unstable ride or loss of control in cases where you have too much weight on one side (such as when carrying materials). You should also make certain no items are loose which might create hazards such as rocks sticking up from pavement; these things don't only happen once but often enough, so preventive measures would be helpful!
9. Plan Your Trip in Advance.
The best way to avoid possible complications on your drive is by staying up-to date with weather and road conditions. Be aware that non-commercial navigation systems and apps might not provide warnings about height or weight limitations, so make sure you take this into account when planning accordingly!
10. Practice Work Zone Safety.
Work zones present many hazards, like lane shifts, sudden stops, uneven road surfaces, moving workers and equipment, and more. Unfortunately, fatal work zone crashes continue to rise – so it’s vital to take work zone safety seriously:
Slow down, maintain extra following space, and be prepared to stop.
Obey all work zone signs and signals.
Scan ahead for changing traffic patterns, and be alert to vehicles entering your blind spots.
Keep a sharp eye out for road workers and flag crews.
What to do if you are involved in an accident?
If you are involved in an accident while on the job, it’s important to remember the key factors of the crash. No matter how severe your injuries are or who was at fault, you always want to make sure you follow these steps:
Call the police
Seek immediate medical attention
Contact your insurance company and file a report
Call an attorney
Regardless of the results of the crash, as a driver, you need to make sure you are protected from being accused of causing the accident. In many instances, small vehicle drivers can be at fault. They may hide in a truck’s blind spot, come to a sudden stop in front of you, or merge into your lane unsuspectingly. When this is the case, personal injury attorneys, who often deal with truck accidents, say your injuries could take years to heal, which could leave you without work long-term. It’s essential you are compensated for those bills and lost wages, either from your insurance company or from the party at fault. If you detailed all information about the crash, and it was caused by defective parts or other engine malfunction, you may be able to claim negligence. But again, making sure you detail every aspect of the crash is crucial for you to prove this. The quicker you do this, the more accurate your reporting will be.
How to deal with insurance companies?
If you are working for a trucking company, they should supply you with insurance, and they are responsible for the aftermath of your accident. You will need to contact them and report the incident as soon as possible so that the report can be processed. Now, this is where it can get tricky, the accident must happen “within the scope of employment” which means the employee must have been doing something related to the job when the accident happened. If the truck driver left work early and crashed while on the way to the store, then the accident would not be within the scope of employment, and the insurance company would not be liable.