Safety Guidelines for Truck Drivers

If you’re a truck driver or drive commercial vehicles, you consider safe driving to be part of your job description. Your job is not simply to deliver freight in the fastest possible time but to deliver it in the safest way possible. If the time of delivery is important for your client, then it is better to leave earlier rather than drive faster.  

What’s the Cost of Unsafe Driving?  

Obviously, you never intend to drive carelessly, but you will drive that way if you’re driving too fast, not paying attention to the road, or taking unnecessary risks when overtaking other vehicles on the road. Emotions like impatience, irritation, boredom, the use of psychoactive substances of any kind, or any reckless behavior can make you a careless driver. 

The annual accident rate last year for commercial trucking last year was about 20%.  Since each accident costs an average of $70,000, this adds up to billions of dollars in unnecessary expenses. In 2017, for example, unsafe driving cost fleets a staggering $57 billion.

Fleets not only have to pay for repairs and injuries but they also lose business because of lost productivity and have to pay far higher insurance if their drivers have accidents.  

What If It’s Not Your Fault? 

While truck drivers are often to blame for accidents caused by unsafe driving, it isn’t always their fault. Other drivers, damaged roads, and poor weather conditions also play a role. 

Sometimes, too, the trucking company itself is at fault, because it forces drivers to use poorly maintained vehicles or schedules them to drive without sufficient rest intervals. This situation is aggravated when fleet executives deny proper workers compensation for injuries sustained in an accident.

When Should You Get A Personal Injury Lawyer? 

You should get a personal injury lawyer if you have a serious injury from an accident and your employers refuse to honor your workman’s compensation claim. You may have a strong case if the accident was partly due to some form of negligence by your employer.

Hire a personal injury attorney familiar with the laws of the state you’re driving in. In New York City, for example, many frustrated drivers use firms like Schwartzapfel Lawyers, P.C. You can find out more about personal injury law on their website, which is located here: https://www.fightingforyou.com/practices/personal-injuries.

What Are the Most Important Safety Tips? 

While it may not always be your fault, you should do your part to drive safely. 

Here are four safety tips you should keep in mind when you’re on the road: 

  1. Blind spots. Large commercial vehicles have more blind spots than smaller vehicles on the road. Becoming familiar with these blind spots will help you make better decisions on the road. 
  2. Distractions. Driving thousands of miles can make you crave distractions. Unfortunately, while talking on a cell phone, texting or using a tablet are normally harmless activities, they can be deadly when used in a moving vehicle. 
  3. Braking distance. The larger a vehicle, the more distance it needs to come to a complete stop. For instance, a loaded truck that weighs 80,000 lbs will require more than two football fields to completely stop.  
  4. Emotions. Emotions like impatience and anger could offset your driving skills

If you have been on the road for a long time and are late for a delivery, it’s natural to feel impatient to get to your destination. Unfortunately, overpowering emotions can lead to irrational behavior, like accelerating in bad weather conditions, braking hard, or turning corners too sharply. Drivers who tailgate you and honk, drive recklessly to overtake you or do other reckless things could also infuriate you.

Staying safe on the road is in your best interest, but sometimes things that are outside our control do happen. Knowing what to do in these situations is important!

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