Being a truck driver is risky. The reason for this is that you cannot control external factors while you’re out on the roads travelling from one destination to the next. But what you can do is reduce the possibility of accidents and injuries happening by performing the correct precautionary steps.
It’s easy to think that truck drivers don’t require very specific skills, but you will be pleasantly surprised. Besides spending long hours on the road and keeping focused, you will also need to be able to prevent injuries that crop up when you least expect them. Work-related injuries can arise from strained muscles, tendons and nerves which are caused by overexertion in your job. And these types of injuries are always possible as a truck driver because you’re constantly moving heavy items throughout the day.
You can look after yourself by performing the following:
Make sure you have proper rest
This is a factor that’s very much within your control. Many people don’t necessarily “care” about getting the correct hours of rest they need. But when your job requires you to work long hours, you will need to ensure you’re properly rested. It’s important that trucking companies do not have their drivers drive over a certain number of hours or in certain conditions like rain, wind or snow as this could easily lead to accidents and driver injuries.
If a trip is more than 12-hours long, be sure to make regular stops along the way. Take breaks to stretch your legs and body, as well as to take in some fresh air. If you feel tired during your drive, it’s best to stop and rest before continuing the last leg of your trip.
Sit with the correct posture
As you can imagine, sitting in an uncomfortable position with the wrong posture for a long period of time will not only affect your body but it will affect your ability to focus. When you’re travelling for long periods of time, you need to ensure that you are comfortable and not risking your health for your job.
Keep your lane distance
Because of the weight and size of a truck, it takes much longer to slow down and come to a halt if you’re driving fast and in the wrong lanes. Truck drivers are advised to stay in the slow lane for safety reasons for your own truck and the people around you.
Be familiar with your truck’s features and be confident in your ability to control your truck when and if need be. Regardless of what you are transporting, you need to keep your travel distance to avoid any accidents caused by harsh weather conditions or other reasons.
Know your truck fleet
When you have experience driving a variety of truck brands and sizes, you will gain a newfound respect for them. Knowing how much weight you’re transporting and how to drive with the amount of weight you have will dictate your driving speed. The latest engineering solutions used to transport heavy equipment or materials make use of the newest technologies and electronics that require you to have training in. Each brand’s transport solutions offer their own benefits, so be aware of what your fleet can offer you.
As briefly mentioned, it takes a while for you to brake, so make sure that you drive the correct speed for your fleet in order to reduce the chance of having an accident. It’s also recommended that you pay attention to your blind spots regardless of the size of the vehicle and the size of the load.
Perform regular maintenance checks
Driving for long hours at a time means that you will need to perform regular maintenance checks on your truck. During these checks, you should be able to prevent any equipment breakdowns before you experience it while you’re in the middle of a trip. It is recommended that you look at your tyre pressure and rotate them while you’re at it.
Also, keep tabs on your engine water and oil. Top it up if you see that it’s running low, and always make sure there is fuel in your tank. Should you need to do further maintenance which includes welding, make sure that you have access to the correct welding equipment. These are small, important checks you need to make every day to ensure that you feel safer on the road.
The above-mentioned tips will help to reduce your risk of accidents, and as you can see, there are preventative measures that you can take to make your truck driving experience safer and more convenient for you. You need to look after your health when you perform such a taxing job, otherwise it can lead to plenty of injuries that may take you long to recover from depending on your age and health. It’s important to have a clear understanding of the vehicle you’re driving and have control over the things you can control.