Safety Tips For A Truck Driver In 2020
This year has presented a plethora of additional safety measures for every industry. But the commercial trucking industry is at particular risk for things like road failure, poor weather conditions, and COVID-19.
Trucking Safety Basics
Here are some best practices for truck driver safety. Hey, it never hurts to refresh your knowledge.
Good visibility: You’ve likely honed the skill of having eyes in the back of your head. But keep an eye on the horizon. Be mindful of the traffic far ahead of you to avoid possible trouble and find escape routes.
Leave plenty of space: You’ll need space and time to switch lanes, enter and exit ramps, and make turns. Wide spaces are best for safe maneuverability, but you may need to slow down so speedsters can get by without getting too close during rush hour.
Always check your mirrors and gauges: Commercial trucks have large blind spots, and you always need to be aware of your cab and trailer. Check your mirrors to watch for oncoming traffic, flat tires, and smoke. Your gauges will alert you to any mechanical or electrical failure, so check in often.
Traffic volumes: During the past six months, highway traffic decreased due to many statewide state-at-home orders. Now that some of those orders are lifting and with the change of seasons, cooped up drivers are anxious to get where they want to go. Some states are reporting fewer car crashes but increasing fatalities often due to speed. Large trucks accounted for 8 percent in fatal accidents; of these, 71 percent were semi-trucks.1
Fall Hazards For Truckers
Leaves: The colorful foliage of fall can present a severe hazard to truckers. Wet leaves can prove almost as slippery as ice and cover obstructions like potholes and debris.
Ice: Fall’s fluctuating temperatures can turn wintry in a flash, changing puddles into sheets of ice. Pay careful attention to ice around bends in the road and on bridges.
Deer: Deer mating season begins in fall and continues through early winter, meaning these animals will be more active. Where there’s one, there’s several, so be mindful of deer eyeshine along the side of the road
Early nights: It’s getting darker earlier, and the lack of daylight can throw even the most experienced night driver. Stop as soon as you feel drowsy.
Keep Yourself Safe During COVID-19
Commercial trucker drivers have been highlighted as one of the most indispensable workforces in the United States during the pandemic. Here are some tips to keep yourself safe on the job.
- Frequently disinfect high-traffic objects like door handles, steering wheels, dash buttons, credit cards, cellphones, and radio equipment.
- Wear gloves when you refill at the pump.
- Limit interaction with others and stay in the cab as supplies are loaded and dispensed.
- Wash your hands as much as possible and keep hand sanitizer that’s at least 60% alcohol nearby.
- Wear a mask whenever you go into a crowded area and maintain a 6-foot distance from others.