As a licensed driver, you know all about how to stay safe while you’re on the road: don’t speed, drive defensively, and so on. But when it comes to trucking, there are a lot of other personal safety factors that don’t always cross your mind. Here are a few safety tips that you may not have thought about before.
Park at Well Lit Rest Areas
Always keep an eye on your clock. Pushing your luck before your break might mean you get stuck in traffic and have to park by the side of the road for the night. This can be dangerous. You won’t be protected from other cars on the road, and a careless or drunk driver could veer off and hit your truck in the dark. You’ll also be alone for the night. If someone were to come along and bother you, you wouldn’t have others around to help. This goes for small, sketchy stops as well. Don’t park in any old lot that advertises truck parking– look for chains with lots of other trucks and plenty of light. While rest areas aren’t exactly four-star hotels, they’re far safer than the alternative. There are far too many stories of truckers hearing mysterious knocks in the night and having close encounters with those who are up to no good.
Use Caution When Exiting the Truck
If you have to pull over due to a flat or other issue, be careful when you exit the truck. Some drivers don’t move over one lane when they see a stopped vehicle. Always err on the side of caution and act as if other drivers don’t see you. If you call for roadside assistance, wait for them inside the truck until they arrive.
Anticipate Red Lights
If you’re driving a truck through an area with lots of red lights, it can not only be frustrating, but potentially unsafe as well. Drivers of smaller vehicles don’t always realize that you can’t stop a truck on a dime. This means that you have to anticipate what red lights will do, and what other drivers will do at them. Watch your crosswalk signs. If there’s a solid walk symbol, your light won’t change anytime soon, and you should be fine to run through. If they’re blinking, apply your brakes early so you can slow down in time. And don’t get up too much speed in these areas, even if you catch a string of green lights.
Safety is all-important so be sure you have all the information you need. Staying safe during these long-hauls is your main priority so be up to speed on everything you can do to get yourself and your load to the destination safely.