Owner-operator truckers deal with the responsibility of driving and maintaining their semi trucks. Access to quality semi truck parts are vital, because blown tires and brake problems can lead to serious accidents.
There will always be potential mechanical problems, but driver mistakes usually are the source for most semi truck accidents. Because big rig accidents are dangerous, expensive, and potentially fatal, avoiding them at all costs is extremely important.
Here are five tips that will help semi truck drivers save lives and lower the possibility for accidents:
Avoid Speeding. This is likely the most common cause of trucking related accidents, and it’s something that is easy to avoid doing. Speeding in a passenger car is unsafe; speeding in a rig that can weigh up to 80,000 pounds can have potentially deadly results. Trucks have a greater stopping distance than cars, which means they take a longer time to brake. When a truck driver loses control, he or she could potentially take out a large number of surrounding vehicles. Drive safely, don’t speed.
Don’t Drive While Intoxicated. It’s not unheard of for drivers to take stimulants to stay awake while driving. Others drivers may drink while driving for any number of reasons – addiction, loneliness, etc. Even prescription medication can have adverse effects on one’s ability to drive. By law, truckers must not have a blood alcohol level that exceeds 0.02. Despite this regulation, some drivers still get behind the wheel while drunk, high, or otherwise impaired. When driving, remember that you are not the only person on the road and driving while intoxicated endangers not only your life, but it puts your cargo at risk as well as the lives of those drivers around you.
Avoid Driver Fatigue. Even though there are federal regulations to prevent tired or exhausted drivers from getting behind the wheel, worn out big rig drivers still remain on the road. When driving is your job, the more you drive, the more you earn. However, this is no excuse for falsifying driving logs or staying behind the wheel longer than is allowed. Driving while tired is just as dangerous as driving while intoxicated. Make safe driving a top priority and don’t drive when fatigued.
Keep In-cab Distractions to a Minimum. Cross-country driving can be lonely, and many drivers have come up with interesting ways to keep entertained while on the road. Sadly, most of these are distracting to the job at hand – which is staying focused on driving safely. CB radios, in cab televisions, wireless phones, and other mobile devices are all needless distractions that can take a driver’s eyes off the road and cause accidents – accidents that should have been easily avoidable. Stay focused on driving and remove all unnecessary in-cab distractions.
Know Your Limitations. Stay Alert and don’t over-estimate your abilities. If you’re driving under suboptimal conditions (rain, fog, darkness, etc.) slow down until conditions improve. Never allow anyone or anything to pull your attention from the road. If you’re uncertain of what is happening around you in any way, slow down. Come to a complete stop if needed. Allow yourself time to think through your options, carefully analyze the situation, and come to a wise and safe decision.
While on the road, safety is your top priority. There’s more at risk than just your cargo. While you’re on the road, your life and the lives of those around you are in your hands.