Carriers are familiar with the huge responsibility that comes with having drivers on the road or being on the road themselves. As truck drivers, you spend most of your time behind the wheel with the weight of the country on your shoulders. After hours and hours of driving, some cities and towns start to blend together and because of the fatigue you feel, you unconsciously start engaging in a driving practice that can place you and others in danger.
There are a lot of ways to combat fatigue and things to do to stay awake. However, in this article we will focus on driving practices that allow drivers to enjoy the road safely:
- Know the speed limit and assess the driving conditions to adjust the speed when you need it. Always be mindful of traffic, the speed you’re driving at, and the road conditions.
- Scan the intersections carefully to avoid violating the right of way.
- Keep a safe braking distance from the cars in front to allow enough time in case you need to brake suddenly.
- Keep an eye out for debris or obstructions on the road. Sometimes, especially on local roads, you might have construction work being done, or debris from an earlier accident. Be extra careful if you notice any of these conditions to avoid having an accident yourself.
- Become familiar with your route before you leave. Planning ahead is a general rule of thumb for drivers, especially when driving to unfamiliar places. Planning the route in advance can help you be more aware of when an exit is approaching so you can be ready to take it and not miss it, or incur a last-minute turn that endangers your life or others’.
- Be mindful of the Hours of Service and do not exceed the limit to avoid feeling drowsy while driving. The best way to avoid any risky behavior is by being awake and alert. You can achieve that by regularly having enough quality sleep.
- Minimize any distractions while driving. This could mean setting your music and podcast queue before starting to drive, making sure you have something to drink and/or eat close, so you don’t have to look for anything while driving; just preparing everything beforehand to minimize distractions driving.
- Avoid driving under the influence of any substance, drugs, or alcohol. Even one beer can alter your ability to stay focused and aware while driving.
- Look out for distracted drivers. Part of having your eyes on the road includes scanning the surroundings and noticing if there are any drivers who are driving recklessly around you so you can take proper precautions and avoid running into them on the road.
Some of these suggestions are easier said than done but it’s important to keep them in mind and implement them to avoid any and all crashes.
Here at Simplex, we care about you and your journey. We are always here for you, on and off the road.