Now although there are times when vehicle equipment malfunctions and causes a series of unfortunate events, many car and truck accidents happen because of driver error. From being distracted to rushing to get to a location, there are many ways drivers initiate costly accidents. Instead of driving offensively, you can take the defensive route to ensure you’re driving your rig safely. There are also a few other ways as a truck driver you can ensure you prevent accidents and arrive to your delivery location safely:
Take Your Time
Because you’re sharing the road with other vehicles, both small and large, it’s important to pay attention at all times. That can’t be done if you’re speeding through lights or rushing through stop signs. Instead, take your time and be careful when operating your truck. This could be slowly pulling in and out of a truck stop, or taking your time backing into a delivery location. The more careful you are, the better you’ll be able to respond to situations on the road.
Check Your Route
Before turning on the engine of your truck, make sure to plan your trip. Use web services like Google Maps to understand roads that may lead into residential or rural areas. You want to make sure you’re prepared and understand the street layouts in case you have to make any U-turns or block a road to back in your truck.
Contact The Delivery Location
Another option is to contact the delivery location’s receiving department to see if they can provide tips for entering the loading area. They should be able to let you know of troubling areas that are packed with traffic or lack enough street space. You can then use the information from your route research and the receiving department to determine how you’ll safely enter the loading area.
Pre-plan Your GPS
After all that planning it would be a waste not to pre-plan you’re delivery trip in your GPS! You’re able to see how long it will take to arrive at your location, and with newer GPS models, you can even include other stops on your trip. For example, you can pre-plan a truck stop along your trip that aligns with your break schedule and still have the GPS routed to the delivery location. This way you aren’t fumbling with you’re GPS while on the road.
Cover Your Bases
Before pulling out anywhere, make sure that you’ve have everything that you need for your trip. This could be your phone and phone charger, GPS system with charger, maps, delivery instructions, and travel pack. You should also check to make sure your truck is ready to hit the road. If needed, do a complete circle check, as well as check your blind spots while you’re leaving.
Texting and driving accidents are not exclusive to smaller vehicles, truck drivers can fall into the temptation as well! It’s important to decrease your distractions so you can focus your eyes on the road and pay attention to your surroundings. Only if it’s an emergency should you be using your phone while operating heavy equipment. However, if this is the case here are some following tips:
• Activate voice command programs (like Siri or Google Assistant) to read, reply, and answer messages or calls.
• Use a Bluetooth connection device to connect your phone with truck speakers for handsfree talking and listening.
• Or, use a Bluetooth headset to have handsfree communication.
• Wait until you’re in a safe location to use your phone (like a truck stop).
• Use an ear peace for handsfree talking and listening.
During your permitted breaks don’t forget to get refreshed and renewed. Stretch out your legs, visit the bathroom, get a bite to eat, or even take a 10-minute nap to re-energize your body. The more revitalized your mind is, the better you’ll be able to focus on the road, your surroundings, and securing your blind areas.
Understand Your Space
Last, but not least, make sure you are paying attention to your surroundings. The terrain changes when driving on turnpikes, highways, bridges, and residential areas. Make sure you are checking your blind spots and watching out for the other drivers on the road. Remember to drive defensively and not offensively. Your goal is to get to and from the delivery location safely and all in one piece.
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