Every year, there are around 388,000 truck accidents in the US. This can be a scary statistic, especially if you’re often on the road.
Although we can’t control other people’s behaviors, we can certainly control our own. By driving defensively and smartly, we can lower the chances of collisions drastically.
So what can you do to avoid truck accidents? Read on to find out.
Maintain Your Truck
With any vehicle, you should regularly check that everything’s in working order. The pros at shorelinetruckparts.com say that the essential parts to check are the brakes, tires, and lights. If you’re ever unsure, bring your truck for service to get peace of mind.
Listen to what the technician tells you too. If they say you need to bring your truck back for maintenance in six months, don’t skip out just to save some money. Proper maintenance ensures that you can stay in good control of your truck and that it won’t have a preventable accident.
Check Your Load Before Driving
Even if you loaded your truck on your own, you should always check the load again before setting off. Everything might’ve been secure when you put the cargo in, but something may have happened while you weren’t around. So it’s vital that you don’t skip this step.
Not only should you make sure that it’s properly secured, but you should also ensure that the load’s balanced. If it’s not, then you might cause an accident. Plus, it’ll hinder your ability to maintain control of your truck.
Be Aware of Your Blind Spots
All vehicles have blind spots, but even more so on a large truck.
Before you start driving, check your mirrors and position them in optimal spots. While you’re behind the wheel, be ultra-aware of your blind spots. Double or even triple-check them to make sure you aren’t missing anything, especially when turning or switching lanes. And always use your turn signals; don’t get lazy!
Follow the Speed Limit
Speeding is one of the leading causes of truck accidents. Trucks are large vehicles that are heavy and cumbersome, so they take some time to come to a complete stop. If you’re going above the speed limit, then you can collide with a car in front of you if they stop suddenly, as you won’t have enough time to put the brakes on.
We understand that it’s important to make it to your destination on time. But speeding can backfire easily and slow you down or even prevent you from getting there.
It’s crucial that you follow the speed limit. And if the weather and road conditions are bad, slow down accordingly to ensure you can stop safely.
Avoid Distracted Driving
We get it: driving all day can be boring, and you’ve got stuff to do. You might call a friend or even eat while you’re going down the road.
However, anything that takes an ounce of concentration away from driving hugely increases your chances of a crash. Plus, it can affect your auto insurance rates if you have a collision and they find that you were driving while distracted.
Nothing’s worth taking your eye off the road; pay full attention while driving. Pull over if you really need to take that phone call or scarf down that sandwich.
Resist Road Rage
You might be a perfect truck driver who does everything right. But the driver in front of you is fiddling with their radio, so they’ve slowed down to a slow crawl.
You’re seeing red; your first instinct is to get in the other lane, honk your horn and yell at them while passing, then cut them off by getting back in their lane. Or you might feel like tailgating them to get the message across.
Taking out your road rage is never a good idea. It results in risky and dangerous behavior, which can get you and others hurt.
If someone’s being a bad driver, then take the higher road and follow regular traffic rules. If you need to pass them, then do so as calmly as possible.
Look for Erratic Behaviors
Unfortunately, not all drivers are sober when behind the wheel. They may also suffer from health issues that can randomly affect them.
Always keep your eyes peeled for erratic behaviors, such as weaving, riding the line, or constant and sudden stops. Give these cars a wide berth so that if anything happens, you won’t crash into them.
Get Plenty of Rest
Did you know that drowsy driving can be just as bad as drunk driving? It might be a hard ask, but for everyone’s safety (including your own), you should get plenty of rest every night.
It’s easier said than done though. And long hours on the road can tire you out, even with eight hours of sleep a night.
If you feel yourself getting tired, pull over for a brief break. Open the windows to get some fresh air, and drink water to stay hydrated.
It may put you behind schedule, but take as many breaks as needed to feel comfortable while driving. This might just save your life.
Plan Your Trips
Chances are, you’ll take plenty of long trips. Before you head out, take a look at the map and see where all the rest stops are. Determine which hotels you’ll stop at, and even book them in advance if you’re confident you can make it.
Knowing where and when you can take a break can help you fight fatigue and increase safety.
Practice Safe Driving to Avoid Accidents
There are tons of vehicles on the road every day, so there’s no escaping them. However, if you put our truck accident prevention tips to good use, it’s not likely you’ll have a collision.
As long as you maintain your truck, stay alert while driving, and follow traffic laws, you’ll stand a better chance. Plus, you’ll keep not only yourself safe, but everyone else around you too.
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