According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there were 5,096 trucks involved in fatal accidents in 2018 alone.
The freedom of driving a truck on the open road comes with the responsibility to stay safe. Your life and thousands of others that you cross on the interstate depends on it!
Whether you’re learning truck driver safety for the first time or the hundredth, you need straightforward advice.
The good news is that what you need to get started is in the paragraphs below. Keep reading to the end and put together your safe trucking checklist today!
Inspect Your Safety Equipment
Keeping the items meant to keep you safe in good working order can keep risk down and reduce operational costs in the long run. Some of the essentials for smart trucking to have and maintain include:
- Road flares
- Flashlights with extra batteries
- Fire extinguisher
- Reflective vests
- Red Cross First Aid Kit
Depending on where you’re employed, state and federal laws can apply to trucking safety. You also may have to keep records to document looking after this requirement.
Complete a Pre-Trip Truck Inspection Checklist
Your employer may provide a pre-trip inspection form and explain its importance. If you’re an independent trucker, that doesn’t make this any less crucial. Among other responsibilities, you must prove that you examine the following before rolling out:
- Brake Lights
- Head Lights
- Turn Signals
- Emergency Flashers
- Windshield Condition
- External Lights and Reflectors
- Coupling System
Ensuring that this happens is part of staying in compliance with federal legislation and ensuring interstate safety. Failure to comply with the rules can lead to costly and annoying fines, among other legal complications.
Follow Best Practices
Each truck driver can benefit from following simple but powerful best practices. Some of the most essential to include in your checklist include the following.
Wear a Seatbelt
After spending enough time on the road, it’s tempting to cut some corners. When you feel confident and safe cruising for hours on end, you may not feel like certain measures are necessary.
A survey from the FMCSA found that truck and bus drivers in the Northeast only wore seat belts at a rate of 71%. Refusing to follow this simple while trucking can lead to hefty fines and losing your license eventually.
Being in the transportation industry can involve long hours driving and weeks away from home. The monotony of the road alone can make you complacent, so you should always have healthy ways to stay frosty.
Any level of drinking before heading out in your truck can lead to severe consequences. No matter the temptations, avoid alcohol at all costs while you still have miles to go before reaching home.
Need Truck Driver Safety Tips?
Knowing truck driver safety trips and creating a checklist is a great start, but what if you need more help? Non-profit organizations, government departments, and your employer are appropriate resources to contact.
Did you learn something that helped in your career as a trucker? We’ve got more content that any road warrior may need. So, check out more of our blog before you go!