Truck Driver Safety: How to Protect Yourself on the Road
Truck drivers are an essential part of the transportation system in America. While out on the road, they face many challenges that can affect their safety and well-being. Drivers may be affected by heavy traffic, inclement weather conditions, or even mechanical problems with their vehicles, but with proper training and preparation, accidents can be prevented before they happen. In this post, we’ll discuss what you need to know about truck driver safety and how to stay safe while on the road.
Pre and Post Trip Inspections
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), one of the most important things a driver can do to protect themselves on the road is perform pre and post-trip inspections.
The purpose of a pre-trip inspection is to ensure that your CMV (commercial motor vehicle) is in safe operating condition before getting into the driver’s seat. Upholding industry safety standards means completing a “walk around” inspection every time you stop during your shift. You should inspect all lights, brakes, tires, mirrors, windshield wipers, and fluids such as oil and coolant. A post-trip inspection takes place after you return from your route, at which point you should inspect all lights again and check for any damage on your CMV, such as scratches or dents in the fender or bumper.
If you find any issues during your inspection, contact your operational manager immediately so that you can minimize the risk of getting pulled over by law enforcement and injuring yourself on the road.
Practice Defensive Driving
Truck drivers are often the target of angry and sometimes aggressive motorists. This is because many people don’t understand the unique skills required to operate a CMV. However, there are some things you can do to protect yourself on the road:
- Drive defensively: always assume other drivers aren’t paying attention or driving safely. Avoid tailgating other vehicles and leave plenty of space between your truck and others when following behind them.
- Be aware of your surroundings: keep an eye out for blind spots in your mirrors and on the side of your trailer. It can be easy to get distracted while driving a big rig for long hours, so always be aware of your surroundings.
- Signal: always use your turn signals when changing lanes or slowing down so other drivers will know your plans before making any sudden moves themselves.
Keep a regular preventative maintenance schedule
It’s important to keep a regular preventative maintenance schedule to ensure your CMV is safe, reliable, and ready when you are. This includes oil changes, tire rotations, and other routine tasks that can help you avoid accidents.
The fleet at Warrior Logistics is second to none, and massive continuous investments ensure that our entire Cascadia fleet is less than two years old. In addition, our rigorous 3-tiered maintenance program provides fleet readiness at all times, including weekly onsite truck inspections and prep work, local technicians, and dealer warranty. These efforts ensure our Truck Warriors have everything they need to set themselves up for success while on the open road.
Always look up the weather forecast for your entire route
Road conditions change constantly and can be dangerous to all drivers, especially truck drivers. Examples of hazardous truck driving conditions are:
- Wet Roads
- Ice, sleet, and snow
- Foggy weather
- Flash flooding
Never drive into areas with unknown weather conditions. Doing so puts you at serious risk. Always contact your operations manager if you are concerned about unsafe driving conditions.
Don’t forget about driver fatigue — even if you don’t think you’re tired, taking breaks when necessary is important so that you don’t drive while tired. When you start your truck driving career, a great tip for new truck drivers is to take frequent and routine breaks during your shift to lower fatigue like driver’s knee pain.
Drive with Warrior Logistics
Safety is Warrior Logistics‘ highest priority. We are committed to ensuring a safe and sustainable work environment for all our drivers and strive to create an environment that empowers each driver to thrive. That means ensuring all our Truck Warriors are equipped with everything they need to achieve their fullest potential. Our rigorous safety training investments in the newest technologies and trucks enable us to be one of the industry’s largest transportation companies.
Ready to grow your professional truck driving career? Land your dream job by applying today!