Driving a truck requires more skill than a passenger car. Apart from the large size, trucks have many buttons and controls which drivers need to master. Trouble comes calling when bad weather conditions and slippery roads are added to the equation. Experienced drivers know how to maneuver their trucks and have shared useful tips to help beginners. Check the tips below to help you avoid breaking truck accident laws the next time you take a truck out on the road.
What Makes Driving a Truck Risky
Trucks haul heavy loads across long distances and as a driver, you are required to see through the delivery of every single load from beginning to end. Due to the long working hours, your body is likely to get weary. Trucks also have more blind spots and stand taller than the average car. When all these factors play out at the same time, the possibility of getting involved in a road accident rises massively.
Useful Tips Drivers Can Use on the Road to Avoid Accidents
1. Stick to Your Lane
Some roads have dedicated lanes for heavy haulers while narrower roads force vehicles of all sizes to share the road. Always stick to your lane whenever possible. In case you need to switch lanes, ensure that the road is clear and use your blinkers early enough to warn the other drivers.
2. Punctuate Long Rides with Frequent Breaks
Driving for long hours can take a toll on your body and cause you to lose concentration due to fatigue. Take frequent breaks from driving to remain alert. Stretch exercise routines and hydrating also go a long way to keep your body in tip top condition.
3. Get Enough Sleep
If you are going to be driving overnight, your schedule should include a break to get some sleep. Do not underrate your sleep breaks. Get a good night’s rest and start out fresh the following day.
4. Break Early
Due to the large size of trucks and the heavy loads they carry, the momentum prevents them from making sudden stops. As a result, truck drivers need to start braking early and leave enough space between the truck and the vehicle in front to prevent accidents.
5. Plan for Unfavorable Weather
The weather may not always be the best for driving, but goods have to be delivered nonetheless. Since you cannot change weather patterns, you can only think ahead and make proper plans so as not to get caught unawares. For instance, driving in winter calls for you to limit speed. Also remember to keep the fuel tank filled to avoid stopping for gas.
6. Don’t Ignore Dashboard Warning Lights
Modern trucks come fully equipped with monitoring systems to assist in truck maintenance. Systems like tire pressure, engine condition, and the cooling system all have indicator lights that light up on the dashboard when something is amiss. Never take dashboard lights for granted. Take the truck for maintenance to get the issue causing the light rectified.
7. Say No to Alcohol and Drugs
Driving under the influence of alcohol or any other type of drug is a serious offence. Being on the road most of the time can tempt you to mix fun with work. Do yourself the favor of steering away from the driver’s seat while drunk. It will help you keep your job and avoid altercations with the law.
What to Do if You Get into a Truck Accident
The road is unpredictable and even after following all the tips above, you can still get involved in an accident. Calling an attorney who has experience in handling accident related cases helps a lot. The lawyer will assist you to file a case and get compensation for any losses that qualify you for reimbursement.