Important Safety Tips for Commercial Drivers
Being a professional truck driver, either company or owner operator, requires full concentration at all times while on the road. Not only do company and owner operator truck drivers deal with other motorists, wildlife and hazardous road conditions, they do this while operating a large tractor and trailer hauling heavy cargo. Even though the winter weather is now behind all of us, as we enter April, it is important to remember the wet, spring weather brings its own hazards. J.S. Helwig & Son always puts safety first, so we are here to share important safety tips for commercial drivers.
General Safety Tips for Owner Operator Truck Drivers
One mistake while on the road can cause a number of dangerous, even fatal, repercussions. Company and owner operator truck drivers are encouraged to review these safety tips:
- Always maintain proper following distance. Never tailgate another commercial truck or automobile.
- Minimize lane changes since trucks have a high number of blind spots. Check your mirrors once every 10 seconds or so.
- Signal early when changing lanes or approaching intersections. This allows other motorists to see where you are heading.
- Give the tractor and trailer ample space to slow down. Use brake lights early so other motorists are aware you are slowing down and/or stopping.
- Always use safety equipment when pulled over on the side of the road, including flashers, road flares and reflective triangles.
- Slowdown in work zones. DMV.org reports close to one-third of all fatal work zone crashes involve tractor trailers.
- Always, always, always remain well-rested. If you begin to feel tired, please pull over.
Spring Safety Tips for Commercial Drivers
The spring weather is always a welcome change, but do not let the warm weather fool you. Spring brings a lot of hazards for company and owner operator truck drivers. Always watch for these common hazards:
- Watch for animals. We know this is not the first thing that comes to mind, but many animals become more active and start wandering during the spring. The new plant growth on the side of the road attracts foraging animals.
- Pay attention and slow down when the roads are wet. The heavy spring rain brings flooded roads and slippery pavement. Begin braking earlier, keep a safer following distance and help avoid hydroplaning with appropriate tires.
- Be ready for severe storms. Severe storms often include heavy rain, hail, wind and tornadoes. Always pay attention to the weather and be ready to pull over to a safe place.
J.S. Helwig & Son hopes these safety tips for commercial drivers are a good refresher for all company and owner operator drivers. Remember to always remain safe!