CDL Safety Tips For Truck Drivers
According to FMCSA, truck accidents climbed by 20% over the previous two decades, with one truck driver out of every twenty engaged in an accident each year. Hence, following safe driving is a must for CDL drivers to avoid crashes and accidents. Our post today is about the CDL safety tips to help truckers avoid risky situations on the road.
1. Why should truck drivers follow safety tips?
Driving is a job that relates directly to people’s safety. If you get in an accident, not only drivers but also other drivers on the road are in danger. Thus, for your own safety, CDL drivers should follow strictly the road rules and regulations, as well as confer on the suggested tips in order to have a secure working day. In this article, we divided the CDL safety tips into 3 smaller branches, which are Pre-trip, On the road, and Post-trip tips. Let’s get to the main part to know!
2. What are the CDL safety tips for truck drivers before going on the road?
Truck driving safety starts before you ever push the start button. When it comes to trucking, pre-planning is key to making sure your trip is both productive and safe on the road.
2.1. Plan your trip
Whether you’re driving a single load from Point A to Point B or dropping off smaller loads along the way, it’s essential to plan your route. This not only helps ensure an efficient trip and keeps you compliant with driving hours and other regulations, but it can also boost the safety of your trip. You won’t be distracted by trying to figure out where to go, and you won’t risk encountering low bridges or other hazards.
2.2. Always have a preventative maintenance plan
The second note in CDL safety tips for truck drivers is to have a back plan. As an owner-operator, you will be in charge of creating your own preventative maintenance plan. If you work for a company, the timetable should be created by your carrier. But, in any case, you know your own truck, so don’t be afraid about weighing in. This strategy should be based on factors like miles, days on the road, and any past breakdown history.
2.3. Follow safe loading procedures
The steps you take will differ depending on the type of equipment you operate and the precise cargo you are transporting. In general, be sure you engage the tractor and trailer parking brakes, that all things are correctly fastened down, that you follow all directions from the shipper, that you have a clear route, and that the dock plate is removed before driving off. Note these CDL safety tips because it’s really helpful for you!
3. What are the CDL safety tips for truck drivers while on the way?
Obviously, most of the time CDL drivers are on the road, thus, the risks truckers face are on the road as well. However, if you are careful and take the safety tips below, the risks will be reduced substantially.
3.1. Always wear a seatbelt
Despite decades of data demonstrating that seatbelts save lives, one in every six truck drivers does not wear one on a regular basis. One of the simplest methods to increase your safety is to wear your seatbelt on a regular basis.
3.2. Check your blind spot regularly
All trucks have blind zones, and it is your responsibility to be aware of them and ensure they are clear before changing lanes. Set your mirrors properly to increase your visibility, and observe the ten-second rule for lane changes: use your blinker for three full seconds before changing lanes, and take seven seconds to complete the move. Only change lanes when necessary. One of the best CDL safety tips for trucker drivers!
3.3. Control your speed
It’s all too easy to let your speed creep up when driving, especially if you’re on a tight schedule. However, speed restrictions frequently vary without notice, and the faster you travel, the more difficult it will be to stop in an emergency. Check the current speed restriction as well as your speed on a regular basis.
3.4. Avoid distracted driving
Using a mobile phone while driving is not only dangerous but is also prohibited by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). You are not permitted to reach for your phone in a manner that causes you to lose your regular driving stance, press more than one button, or keep your phone in your hand. Though hands-free calling is legal, it is a much safer practice to make calls or check messages and emails only during a rest break.
Secondly, driving under the influence is both unlawful and hazardous. Commercial drivers are not permitted to have any measurable alcohol in their system or to ingest any alcohol within four hours of assuming control of a vehicle.
3.5. Stay calm
Road rage may cause unsafe driving habits and significantly increase your chances of being involved in an accident. Take a deep breath and slow down (but don’t slam on the brakes) if someone irritates you on the road. Allow that individual the necessary space to leave you alone and give yourself time to cool down. Drivers always ignore this factor and think that it’s unnecessary but following other CDL safety tips for truck drivers without this one, it’s hard to keep you safe.
3.6. Take regular breaks
Taking brief breaks every several hours is one of the best strategies to promote safety. Get outside and go for a walk or eat out. Then, before returning to trucking, inspect both your equipment and your load. When getting in or out of the vehicle, always use the “three points of contact” guideline, making sure that both hands and one foot are in contact with it.
4. What are the CDL safety tips for truck drivers post-trip?
If you think following the CDL safety tips when on the road is enough, truck driver safety doesn’t end when you get out of your seat. Read the following tips below to know the reason why:
4.1. Inspect the parking spot
It’s usually a good idea to double-check where you’ll be unloading your vehicle. Park close and stroll over to the unloading zone to view it. Check for adequate space to move safely, and make a mental note of any obstructions, such as fire hydrants or ditches.
4.2. Unload safely
Keep in mind that the goods may have shifted throughout the journey. Open the right side door just a bit, keeping your body close to the left side door. If everything appears to be in order, open each door with both hands to reduce the effect of wind gusts. Keep the doors open and utilize proper lifting techniques for each item. Before moving away, ensure that all persons and equipment are clear of the vehicle.
4.3. Check your truck
Don’t forget to conduct a post-travel check at the conclusion of each day or excursion. You must examine everything from the tires to the windshield wipers within 24 hours and provide a written report. When you’re done, shut the door and go get some well-deserved nutritious food and relaxation.
In brief, the best way to avoid accidents is not to create them. By following the suggested CDL safety tips for drivers, we believe that the number of crashes will be declined remarkably. Besides, if you want to be a truck driver, start your career by doing our CDL practice test, the shortest way to reach your goal!