Whether you’ve been a truck driver for a long time or if you’re just starting out, safety should be one of your top concerns as you perform your job. You’re not only protecting yourself and your cargo; you’re ensuring the safety of everyone on the road alongside you as well. The best way to make sure that you are ready to hit the road is to take a few precautions before you set out. We’ll take you through some essential safety precautions all truck drivers should know so that you can keep everyone safe out there.
Take Care of Yourself First
You can’t do a job well if you’re not taking care of yourself. That means getting the right amount of sleep each night and not eating junk food just because it’s convenient. Your health should be your first priority when it comes to safety. All the precautions in the world won’t mean much if you start dozing off at the wheel or getting distracted while you’re driving.
Inspect Your Cargo Thoroughly
No matter whose goods you’re transporting, they’re trusting that you’ll do a good job of making sure the cargo is safe. One essential item you’ll need is a quality cargo securement system to make sure nothing slides around or falls during transport. Not only will this protect the cargo, but it also means that everything will stay in its place as you drive, reducing the effect your cargo has on your truck’s handling.
Always Be Aware of Weather
A spot of bad weather can easily turn what should have been an easy drive into a much more dire situation. It is always worth it to check the forecast for where you are and where you are heading. This information should then inform your driving habits—slow down during rain or snow, take caution over bridges that could be frozen, and keep a full tank of gas so that nothing gets frozen over.
Have the Right Tools for Emergencies
Emergencies can—and most likely, will—happen at some point in your career as a truck driver. If you find yourself stuck on the side of the road, it’s important that you have the necessary equipment to ensure your safety. Make sure you have cones and flashers, a spare phone to call for assistance, and possibly even road flares in case you run into trouble at night.
Plan Out Your Breaks
One safety precaution that truck drivers need to follow is to know where your breaks are—and to stick to those breaks. Driving for too long, along with sitting in the same position for all that time, can have serious health risks for a driver. Always be aware of when and where you can stop so that you take a break to stretch or exercise. You’ll be glad you did in the long run.