The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reported that 4,714 people died from large truck accidents in 2021. These accidents involved various types of commercial vehicles, including tractor-trailers, semi-trucks and delivery trucks.
The sheer size and weight of these vehicles make them more difficult to maneuver and stop, increasing the risk of collisions. This is why commercial drivers should take proactive steps to ensure their safety and the safety of others on the road.
Stay rested and alert
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, a commercial truck driver can work for 60 hours within any seven-day period. This equates to long hours, which leads to fatigue, a major factor in the risk of accidents.
Commercial drivers should ensure they get enough rest before hitting the road and take at least a 30-minute break after driving for eight cumulative hours. Staying well-rested helps keep drivers alert while maintaining quick reaction times and sharp decision-making abilities.
In today’s technologically advanced era, distractions come easily. Phone calls, message alerts or GPS systems can take the driver’s attention away from the road. Avoid using mobile devices while driving, even hands-free options, to significantly reduce the risk of an accident. Drivers should plan their routes in advance and make adjustments to their navigation systems only when safely parked.
Invest in regular vehicle maintenance
A well-maintained vehicle is a safer vehicle. Regular servicing can prevent mechanical failures that could lead to accidents. Check tire pressure, fluid levels and brake systems to help the vehicle stay in good working condition.
Safety on the road is everyone’s responsibility, but for commercial drivers, it takes on even greater importance due to the size of the vehicles they operate. By following these guidelines, drivers can significantly reduce the likelihood of an accident, ensuring their own safety and the safety of others sharing the road.