The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration provides truck safety services and programs to reduce the high number of highway accidents involving over-the-road trucks. By some standards, truck safety ratings and highway safety are improving. However long-haul trucking remains a dangerous occupation with higher per-capita numbers of fatalities and injuries. All drivers – whether on four wheels or eighteen – need to continually review safety guidelines and remain safety-conscious at all times on the road.
These tips for drivers address five of the most common safety concerns that have contributed to highway accidents.
- Slow down in highway construction zones
As our Interstate Highway system ages and our traffic congestion increases, more sections of road will be under repair and reconstruction. These are common sites of accidents, which only compound the need for extra care in these areas. About a third of the crashes in work zones involve large trucks.
- Adjust your speed to weather conditions
About a quarter of all speed-related truck accidents are caused by bad weather. Snow, ice, rain, and wind require you to significantly reduce your speed. Give yourself much more time to change lanes, come to a stop, or execute other maneuvers. Pull off the road if you see other truckers doing so: the load can wait when roads become too treacherous to drive. Turn on your truck safety lights during storms.
- Slow down on curves
Often the posted speed limits on curves, entrance/exit ramps, and turns work fine for cars, but those speeds can be too fast for loaded trucks. Your loads add a completely different dynamic to every curve and bend on the road.
- Load cargo carefully
Maintaining balance is critical. Stacking cargo to the ceiling adds more drag to your truck and alters a trailer’s equilibrium. Spreading out cargo throughout the truck and stacking lower to the ground not only helps your vehicle stay more balanced on the road, but it can also improve your miles per gallon. . Professionals who are knowledgeable about truck safety services can assist.
- Maintain your truck and your body
Take care of yourself and your vehicle. Sleeping and eating right along with exercise and time at home can help you stay alert and focused. Take good care of your truck, too, with frequent maintenance and daily safety checks of brakes, fluids, truck safety lights, and other components. Keep equipment calibrated to truck safety ratings.
The staff members at FreeFreightSearch.com, the world’s largest free load board, urge drivers to be safe, first and foremost, as they travel across North America. FreeFreightSearch.com supports the trucking industry with freight matching and free credit reports on more than 10,000 freight brokers. To register now, click here.