—Emma, 4th Nov 2022
For American truck drivers, big rig trucks can be intimidating. They are massive, and they move fast. But if you follow a few simple safety tips, you can share the road safely with these large vehicles.
Due to technological advancements and societal shifts, there are more distracted big rig truck drivers as people are using cell phones for entertainment instead of paying attention to the road. It's also crucial to keep an eye out for aggressive drivers, particularly those that operate their vehicles in congested areas and disregard traffic safety regulations.
By following specific safety tips, many accidents and injuries can be avoided. As an American truck driver, there are a few safe driving tips for truck drivers that you can follow daily to protect your safety and the safety of other road users. RedTiger is pleased to provide some safe driving tips for truck drivers to make the roadways safer.
13 Safety Tips for Driving Among Big Rigs Trucks
The following are a few of the safe driving tips for big rig truck drivers:
Wear a Seatbelt Properly
In addition to being required by law in the US, seat belt use can increase safety in the event of an accident. The greatest approach to protecting oneself in the event of a big rig truck accident is always to wear a seatbelt. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that seatbelt use prevented 13,500 fatalities in 2017.
Seatbelts not only save lives, but they also shield wearers from major injuries. One of the easiest and most efficient methods to keep yourself safe on the road is always to wear a seatbelt. A seatbelt prevents you from being thrown from the truck after a collision. Additionally, seatbelt use lowers the likelihood of suffering injuries in an accident.
Truck drivers are encouraged to practice defensive driving, which involves being constantly alert for potential dangers and traffic or road conditions changes. American truck drivers are urged to lower their risk of collisions and injuries by recognizing potentially hazardous situations and making wise choices while operating a motor vehicle.
American truck drivers who practice defensive driving are less likely to get in collisions, which means you don't have to worry as much about exorbitant repair costs, claim settlements, and rising big rig truck insurance rates.
Practice Careful Passing
Careful passing is the most important safe driving tip for truck drivers. It is recommended to pass another big rig truck cautiously at all times. Nevertheless, since a big rig truck is a big, heavy vehicle that can't stop as quickly as a passenger car, it's much more crucial to pass carefully close to one. Changing speeds, applying brakes, and reacting to traffic requires time for truck drivers.
Carefully approach from the left side when overtaking a big vehicle, as it is simpler for the driver to notice you. While passing, maintain a constant speed and signal whenever necessary. Make sure you can see the vehicle in your rearview mirror before reversing into the lane in front of it to guarantee a safe distance.
Slow down when you pass a truck so the driver can make safe and efficient maneuvers in front of you.
Avoid Tailgating Other Big Rig Trucks
To tailgate, a truck is to invite disaster. One possibility is that big debris may smash your windshield after trucks. But more crucially, a rear-end accident with a big truck is particularly dangerous since your windshield is more likely to be impacted than your front fender.
Truck drivers mostly see things up front on the road before other drivers and can respond more quickly because they are sitting up high. It follows that they might apply the brakes and stop before you comprehend that you should as well. It's critical to allow them room to avoid colliding with them.
Additionally, be aware that trucks have a blind zone in the back, making it possible for them to miss vehicles that are following quite closely.
Be Vigilant About Drifting
Being careful of drifting is another safe driving tip for truck drivers. If a big rig truck is driving between lanes, you could assume the driver is intoxicated, dozing off, or texting. All of the things are conceivable, but it's also likely that the wind is simply blowing them about.
Big Rig Trucks can be dragged around because of their top-heavy design, particularly those that are not fully loaded down at the back. They could topple down in strong windstorms. Giving trucks room is always a good idea, particularly in windy weather.
It's wise to give a truck plenty of room if you notice one by the side of the road during a windstorm. Due to their weight, these vehicles can be challenging to manage in strong gusts.
Avoid Driving in Bad Weather
Road conditions can be hazardous due to snow, ice, strong gusts, and heavy rain. These circumstances might make it challenging to see and challenging to steer or stop your vehicle. If you must use the roads, drive cautiously and attentively to your circumstances.
Avoid the roads if driving is not necessary during bad weather! Accidents can be avoided by choosing not to drive in these conditions. Remember, understanding the difficulties faced by the big rig drivers will significantly improve your safety when traveling on the road with them.
Installing dashcams is a must to follow safe driving tip for truck drivers. Dashcams have many advantages for big rig truck drivers and fleet managers who daily deal with several financial and legal concerns. Big Rigs vehicles are costly to buy and keep up; therefore, owners and operators need to secure their assets.
We advise investing in a high-quality dashcam to guard against false charges, legal repercussions, elevated big rig truck insurance rates, and possibly dismissal by your employer. Since they have a dash cam and video evidence proving they weren't at fault in an event, thousands of truck drivers are exonerated of any culpability on their part in an accident every year.
Furthermore, one of the most typical types of fraud is insurance fraud. A driver or pedestrian might do this to hold the other party accountable and receive insurance compensation. If this occurs to you, there is little you can do to demonstrate your innocence, and this kind of fraud may be financially catastrophic for truckers and fleet owners.
Dashcams by RedTigers can defend you if you fall victim to this kind of scam by providing crystal-clear video proof of your innocence. It is the most reliable method of proving your innocence.
Sometimes, careless drivers go unpunished, but with a dashcam, you may give the police evidence that could help them catch them, making the roads safer for everyone, including truck drivers.
Drive Slowly and Maintain Control
The most crucial driving safety advice for truckers is to drive slowly and maintain control. Neither do big rig trucks are able to handle high speeds, nor can they take a speedy turn like a Ferrari. Always go extremely gently around turns and up ramps. There are speed limits for vehicles and big rigs on ramps. It makes no difference if you cause traffic delays. The primary focus is to make a turn around the corner while remaining "upright."
Go slowly and maintain control. This means you need to keep your body centered on the board and your weight evenly distributed. You also need to keep your eyes up and look ahead so you can anticipate the turn. As you approach the turn, start shifting your weight to the inside of the turn. This will help you keep your balance and make the turn more smooth.
Maintain a Safe Distance from Other Vehicles
The fact that you are in an 80,000-pound, a 72-foot-long truck should never be forgotten. To maintain everything, even yourself, intact, you must be conscious of how long it takes you to stop with the cargo weight and vehicle size you are operating. Keep attention to the state of the road and modify your speed and the following distance as necessary.
Using extreme precautions and giving yourself more room if the environment is hazardous is an important safe driving tip for truck drivers. Give attention to the area alongside you in addition to the area in front of you. To optimize the space surrounding your truck, it is safer to slow down more and let any vehicles that are still traveling alongside you pass by.
Try to Avoid Distractions and do Focused Driving
Everyone is at risk when a driver is inattentive. Cell phones, GPS, and other devices should not be used while driving. Avoid taking your eyes off the road by avoiding eating, adjusting the radio, or doing anything else that might distract you. Keeping your attention on the road will help you gauge the speed of trucks merging, turning, or changing lanes so you can react correctly.
At 55 mph, the average person takes their eyes off the road for 4.6 seconds, which translates to 371 feet of movement. In that amount of time, a child could cross the street, a car could suddenly pull out in front of you, or the truck in front of you could blow a steer tire and flip. Whether or not you keep your eyes on the road will determine how those circumstances turn out.
Be Careful Not to Cut off Big Rigs Trucks
Trucks require more time to stop due to their greater weight compared to passenger cars. It takes three football fields to stop a big rig going 60 mph with a full load. While they're trying to stop, they can plow into anything in their path, including your car.
Make sure you don't cut in front of a truck too closely to avoid getting in their way. Whenever possible, reduce the chances of driving directly in front of a truck. It's important to keep in mind that trucks have a blind spot in front, so they may not even be aware that you're there, making it more likely that you'll be hit from behind by one.
Operate your Big Rigs Trucks Predictably
Operating your big rig truck predictably must be taken as an important safe driving tip for truck drivers. It's simple to forget that others didn't interpret our minds and that most drivers on the road have no idea how to drive around a big commercial truck. Drive your huge vehicle predictably to keep both you and others safer.
Be aware of your surroundings and drive defensively. Use your turn signal at all times and drive more cautiously when turning. Consider the blind zones of other vehicles, and don't be afraid to beep your horn to let them know you're there.
Pay heed to their driving style and prepare for their next move. Honk to let them know you're there if they appear to be going to change lanes without using their turn signal.
Get Some Rest and Eat Healthily
Your ability to drive safely will increase with a healthier diet and enough sleep. Make sure you get enough rest, and if you start to feel fatigued, stop. Get a quick snack, take a quick walk, or nap. If you can, avoid eating junk food, drinking sugary beverages, or eating large meals because these activities can make you tired.
Try drinking green tea instead of coffee in the afternoon or choosing a light salad for lunch rather than a burger and fries. After implementing these easy modifications, you will likely notice an increase in your energy and concentration. You'll feel more alert and awake and be able to focus better on the task at hand. You may even find yourself more productive throughout the day.
Your top priorities should always be to follow safe driving tips for truck drivers by working safely, traveling safely, and getting home to your family safely. Drive responsibly and keep in mind that no cargo is worth your life. Slow down or halt if the road conditions are too dangerous.
If you receive an SMS on your phone, anything you need to do can wait till you stop since too many people's last 4.6 seconds have been spent reading that text. Make sure your big rig truck is in good shape, the brakes are functional, the tires are in good shape, the dashcams are functional, and you can steer safely. Drive defensively at all times, pay attention to your blind zones, pull over if you get fatigued, and keep your head up.
Follow the above-mentioned safe driving tips for truck drivers and enjoy a safe drive to your destination.