One of the most important jobs for our economy is truck driving. American truck drivers work about 60 hr/week and cover more than 100,000 miles per year. In addition to being one of the most important jobs for our economy, this also makes it one of the most dangerous ones. In 2020, 4,895 were involved in fatal crashes. Having this data in mind, we can notice that truck driving comes with huge responsibility not just for the driver, but also for others on the road. By improving safety, not only do we ensure protection, but also reduce costs related to accidents, as well as rises in insurance premiums.
Unfortunately, the deadlines are usually tight, which means the drivers have to work when tired and during unsafe road conditions. The speed is ahead of safety, and the drivers are the ones who risk their lives. If timelines cannot change, what can we do to feel safe on the road?
Here is a list of some tips that could come in handy, depending on the weather conditions.
To drive during winter conditions can be dangerous and requires more skills, experience, and expertise to reach your destination safely.
Since we are headed towards a cold winter, it is important to follow safety precautions because the chances of encountering an accident during this season are quite high.
- Drive slow
This rule should be followed in every season, but the risk gets higher if the road is slippery. It would be for the best if you go slower than the speed limit and take your time to get to your destination.
- Leave space
When driving in snow you have to maintain distance. Always keep enough space between your truck and the vehicle in front of you. This will give you enough time to hit the break when needed because if the leader of the pack makes a mistake, you will too.
- Use a kitty litter
If you encounter ice, the kitty litter is great if you throw it under your tires. This gives you that extra friction you need to get your truck out and get going.
- Clean the windshield
Snow and fog on the windscreen is common problem when driving during winter. Pouring water is not the best option since it will freeze as you drive. So what to do? Use your defroster. It will help you warm up the glass and melt the snow residue. Extra tip: you can always use alcohol because it evaporates quicker than water and it cannot freeze the glass.
- Carry tools
Winter is dangerous because of the fog and snow, which is why we need the right trucking tools when heading out. If you are traveling for long hours, it would be best if you check the fuel tank and fuel lines, as well as the air system from time to time. Don’t expect that the engine heat will melt the snow underneath. The compressed air is colder and it will lead to freezing.
It might be early to think about spring, but there is no harm in checking what we should do to keep ourselves safe once it’s here with its floods. Some of the biggest risks you might face as a truck driver are heavy rains and flooding which might put you in grave danger. Having this in mind, let’s read some tips on how to stay safe when heavy rains and flooding are threatening your vehicle:
- Keep your brakes dry
If you go through water that might go up to your hubcaps, the breaks could get wet. To dry them off try using them when you find dry roads. However, make sure that it will be a long and flat stretch because if that’s not the case, you could increase the risk of accidents.
- Keep an eye on the referencing points
It is not easy to estimate the depth of the water. However, if there are other vehicles, you could use them as a visual guide. Also, there could be other items on the road that might impact your path, so be careful of those too.
- Drive slow
Yup, same as during winter conditions, driving slow during heavy rains and floods is highly recommended. Every inch of water you find on the road might be greater than expected, and every stream of water running across the road might be stronger. However, if you are driving slow, you’ll be able to have more control of the vehicle and stay on track.
- Have the right equipment
Whenever you travel somewhere, especially if you know that you might encounter some dangerous conditions, it’s vital for you to pack everything you need to keep yourself safe. Pack your trucker jacket, raincoat, galoshes, gloves, and trucker hats. However, it’s always a good idea to also have some nonperishable food and flares in case you get stuck.
- Make the right decision
Sometimes, if you have to travel during harsh conditions, it is best to not travel at all. If the weather forecast indicates that the conditions are dangerous or that they are worsening, pull over and remain parked until the situation is better and you can drive again without risks.
Trucking in summers and the heat can sometimes be looked over on how it can affect the truck drivers and the trucking itself. Driving for a long period of time while the sun beats down on you may have a serious effect on your body. Let’s have a look at what we can do to minimize its impact.
- Use sunscreen
I’m not trying to be a skincare guru, but applying sunscreen is essential while driving. You should apply it and reapply it every few hours, and not just during the summer, but also in winter. Cover your face, neck and arms, and any other body part that could be exposed to the sun.
- Drink water
The sun makes us all a bit fatigued so carrying a bottle of water is never a bad idea. As a driver, you should always have multiple large bottles of water in your cabin. The water helps us battle unwanted effects such as dizziness or fainting.
- Keep your cab cool
Following this tip will help you improve your working environment. Try to achieve this by using a sun shield and wheel cover. In addition, you can invest in ventilated seats because the seats retain heat.
- Invest in eye protection
Use sunglasses since it will reduce glare. The best ones would be polarized sunglasses with UV protection cause your eyes are irritated much quicker during summer.
- Keep an eye on your tires
Tire blowouts usually increase during high temperatures. You should check that your tires are inflated before driving, since under-inflated tires increase the risk of blowouts.
Bonus tip: Take care of your truck
This should actually be your number one priority regardless of the season. During winter, it’s extremely important to take care of your truck and ensure that it’s ready for reduced visibility, slippery roads, and terrible weather. In summer, however, even though you won’t deal with salt trucks and icy roads, you may be dealing with overheating vehicles. Check fluid levels regularly, change the engine oil and filter, clean the exterior, etc. Lucky for you, here at Road Legends, the trailer maintenance is paid for by the company, which includes normal wear and tear on tires and brakes to always keep your rides safe.
Truck driving is not just a job, but also a lifestyle. The lengthy drives and long hours can take their toll, but if you follow these safety tips, you’ll always return home safely. Some of the tips might seem basic, but paying more attention while on the road can have a huge impact on driving safely. Just remember that no matter how important that load of yours is, it is not worth risking your life for, and the life of others.
Road Legends Team
Post created: December 29 ,2021
Post updated: May 31 ,2023