Safety tips for every driver
Posted: April 29, 2021
From one trucker to another: safety tips for every driver
As a truck driver, safety needs to be the number one priority. You’re operating a powerful vehicle on the road and it’s important to ensure you have control at all times. If something goes wrong, it could have devastating consequences. When it comes to sharing important safety tips for truck drivers, we thought, who would know better than drivers like you who are on the road every day? We asked on our Facebook page and these are some of the safety tips drivers and fans had to share:
One of our Facebook fans wrote “Mirrors, always watch your mirrors and know what’s around you.” This is great advice because your mirrors are necessary for helping you see what’s going on all around your truck. Not checking them properly is a common cause of incidents. Make sure you’ve checked and adjusted them properly before you begin any trip and then throughout your trip as needed. While you’re driving, use your mirrors to see what’s happening on either side and behind you. You need to do this often to spot passing vehicles who may end up in your blind spot, whether a lane is clear when you need to make a quick lane change, and even to keep an eye on your own vehicle - this is one way to spot a tire fire, check for loose straps or a tarp that’s come unsecured.
Get into the right mindset
Another commenter added some humor to his comment, but made an excellent point when he said, “Put brain into gear before putting truck into gear.” Driving a truck takes a lot mentally to do the job safely. You need to make sure you have the mental energy to stay focused and alert. Before you’re ready to get moving, you’ll also need to make sure your truck is ready to get going, too. Make sure you’ve checked around the truck and are clear about what you’re going to do and where you’re headed.
In addition to thanking drivers, one poster also cautioned them to stay alert. Eating healthy, setting aside time to exercise, drinking plenty of water and getting enough sleep at night are all things you can do to help you stay more alert on the road. Other helpful things you can do to stay alert include taking a cat nap (10-20 minutes), going on a morning walk before you start your day of driving, and keeping your cab at a cool temperature. Stay away from sugary drinks, junk food and heavy meals - all of which can make you drowsy. If you’re feeling tired, it’s time to take a break. Get a snack or stretch your legs if you need to!
Getting enough rest is a huge part of staying alert and safe on the road. “Plenty of rest,” was one Facebook fan’s advice. Keep to a consistent sleep schedule to get quality, uninterrupted sleep at night. Watch your caffeine intake - especially in the hours before bedtime. Create a bedtime routine for yourself to get your body ready for sleep. Think about reducing your screen time or using blue light glasses during the evening. Take the time to stretch or meditate before bed. If you think you’re having trouble getting enough sleep at night, talk to your doctor about scheduling a sleep study.
Get some space
When you’re on the road, said another commenter, it’s important to “give yourself plenty of extra space so that when someone else makes a mistake, you don’t become part of it.” Keeping space in between you and other vehicles on the road gives you more time to react when something happens nearby. The distance length you need to leave between yourself and the vehicle in front of you for safe braking will vary depending on speed and the length of your truck and load.
A lot of civilian drivers on the road won’t give you the space you need, so it’s important that truckers ensure they’re making that space for themselves. This includes ensuring you have space next to you in the event you have to make a quick lane change in an emergency.
At CalArk, we pride ourselves in making safety a priority for our team. Feel free to reach out to us to learn more!