Highway Safety Tips for Truck Drivers

Posted on 19 December 2014 by Tony Santos


Heavy vehicles are a common sight in cities and towns alike. Their drivers are not only company and brand representatives, but they play a critical role in road safety and further reducing accidents and fatalities. Given the amount of time spent highways and freeways, this article outlines some invaluable safety tips for heavy vehicle drivers.

Avoid Fatigue

Did you know that fatigue causes about 10% of all heavy vehicle fatalities? This is why log books and rest times are so important to make sure drivers aren’t imposing unrealistic and dangerous expectations on themselves. The only true and effective cure for fatigue is sleep. No cargo or deadline is more important than lives.

Drive Defensively

Next to fatigue, defensive driving is one of the most important factors of preventing accidents involving heavy vehicles. Drivers need to have the skills to deal with the unexpected, such as a motorist cutting them off, tyre blowouts and driving in slippery conditions. Defensive driving is all about avoiding problems before they occur. Having these skills is essential for staying out of trouble and arriving safety at your destination. There are numerous accredited defensive driving courses developed specifically for heavy vehicle drivers, and if you haven’t done one, you should. It might also be a good idea to have a chat to experienced, ‘far sighted’ drivers who are better able to ‘read the road’ through observing and judging road angles, gradients and corners.

Be Prepared

Being prepared as a heavy vehicle driver means not only preparing yourself; but your vehicle. Before you set off, make sure you check out the weather and get the ‘heads up’ on any problematic weather and road condition that you may encounter down the line. This is very important when travelling through low-lying areas or during ‘wet seasons’ when roads can easily become flooded and access blocked.

For your vehicle – make sure you do a pre-trip inspection on your rig to make sure there are no fuel, water or oil leaks and that your lights, steering, brakes are all in working order. Make sure you also know your load width, height and weight.

Vehicle Design

Design plays a critical factor in the overall safety of heavy vehicles. With the use of on-board warning systems and crash avoidance technologies, the overall stability and control of a vehicle can be significantly improved. If you’re serious about safety, look into the possibility of fitting after-market devices to your vehicle or have these safety features built-in if you’re purchasing a new vehicle. For more information, be sure to take a look at a world leader in designing and building custom-made heavy vehicles, such as Western Star Trucks

Regular Maintenance and Inspections

While you can have the most sophisticated new rig on the road, if you don’t maintain it well and regularly, you’re sitting on an accident waiting to happen. While the obvious vehicle parts to focus on are wheels, tyres, and braking and steering systems, the best policy is to have the whole vehicle regularly inspected and serviced.

Highway driving can be challenging, particularly during wet weather and staying alert on long stretches of road. Stay safe by driving defensively and pullover when you start feeling tired. Vehicle design and maintenance are also critical factors in reducing crash risks, making sure you and your cargo arrive safely at your destination.

Categorized | Car News, Car Tips

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