4 Truck Driver Safety Tips You Should Never Forget

Tuesday, August 16th, 2022
18-wheelers pulled over in the snow at sunset

The transportation industry is known for being one of the most dangerous sectors in the country. Truckers should focus on safety not only for themselves and their cargo but also for everyone they encounter. Here are four tips every truck driver should remember.

1. Practice defensive driving

This is a safety practice that every driver should use, not just truckers. Because truck drivers are behind the wheel of much larger vehicles, they need to be extra careful. The following are some things to keep in mind to do defensive driving the right way.

  • Keep an eye on your surroundings: Being aware of what’s around you is vital for staying safe. Watch the vehicles around you, the weather conditions, and any hazards like road debris or animals.
  • Watch your blind spots: Every vehicle has blind spots and those on semi-trucks are much larger and higher-up. Truckers should remember they need extra room on the road, especially when changing lanes.
  • Use your signals: Speaking of switching lanes, always use your signals. Make sure to give others around you time to see that you need to get over, turn, or exit the highway before moving.
  • Avoid speeding: Speed limits exist to keep people safe, so always be sure to stay at or just below the speed limit. It’s important to note that if you are in doubt about conditions or emergencies, it is good to slow down.
  • Be prepared for emergencies: You never know when something can go wrong, especially if others on the road aren’t practicing defensive driving. Weather conditions can change suddenly as well. It is important to be prepared for all emergency situations and to be aware of your surroundings in case something does happen.

2. Do comprehensive pre-trip and post-trip inspections

These inspections should be done before and after every trip and are required by the DOT. Truckers should not attempt to skip checks or try to make them faster by skipping steps. Trucking companies should invest time into training and make sure their drivers have a solid understanding of the vehicles they drive. Preventive maintenance is important too, as your inspections will affect the maintenance schedule.

3. Take breaks and get plenty of rest

All truck drivers must get breaks and time off work at specific intervals. In fact, federal Hours of Service laws administered by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration state that they must! For example, CMV drivers must take a 30-minute break after a period of eight hours of driving. The maximum number of consecutive hours these drivers can have (with that 30-minute break) is 11 hours.

Truck drivers should not be afraid to pull over and rest when necessary. Your safety and that of others on the road are especially important.

4. Have the right tools and equipment on hand

Things can go wrong on the road when you least expect it. Therefore, it is important to have specific items on hand to help deal with emergencies. For example, if a tire blows out, you will need to have a spare and the tools to change that tire. If that is not possible, dispatch should be available to help you locate a mechanic. Other things you will need include an emergency medical kit, cleaning supplies for your lights and windows, and blankets and food rations for winter weather.

Working with Kimrad Transport, LP in Amarillo, Texas

At Kimrad Transport, we value our employees. Because of this, we offer many benefits to our truck drivers, including insurance (health, dental, vision, and HSA), retirement plans, training, updated equipment, and so much more. We have multiple locations as well to help keep drivers closer to home.

If you are interested in learning more About Us or Applying for a position, text or call 806-359-3882. You can also Contact Us by email for more information.