Truck driving, like anything, has its risks. A general rule, which can be applied to most things, including truck driving, is to not act on impulse, and give yourself a moment to think things through. Those few seconds of clarity could end up making a huge difference, whether it’s just to slow down for a bit longer than you intended, or stay in your lane. Bearing in mind, trucks are larger than most vehicles, the last thing you want is to have someone’s injuries on your conscience. With this in mind, this article looks at the dangers of truck driving and how to avoid them.

Driving whilst Tired or Distracted

Aside from mechanical difficulties, most truck accidents are caused by driver error, including fatigue, not knowing where they’re heading, or aggressive driving. The truth is, most driver-caused accidents could have been prevented if truck drivers had adequate sleep, or weren’t distracted. Let’s face it, without proper focus, accidents will inevitably occur.

Having regular breaks and maintaining a decent sleep schedule is vital. If you find yourself involved in an accident because of being tired or distracted, the first thing you should do is contact a truck accident lawyer in St Louis, Missouri, if you’re in that state, because you’ll need representation. They’ll be able to investigate the exact cause of your accident, which may bring other mitigating factors to light. But more than this, they’ll be able to provide impartial advice about what you should do next.

Driving too Fast in Bad Conditions

Any driver will know that weather affects driving conditions, which will ultimately impact on their driving. In fact, everyone is affected by the weather, regardless of being pedestrians, cyclists, tram or tube users. We all take precautions in extreme weather conditions, and truck drivers are no different. Although, they most probably have to take more care than most other road users because of the size of their cargo.

Truck drivers are often under time constraints, which can add an immense amount of pressure, but this shouldn’t be at the expense of causing an accident. Never listen to that little voice in your head telling you to constantly go a little faster because you might not make it on time. Other road users will not automatically know you’re running on a tight schedule, most of them wouldn’t care, and none would miraculously move out of your way. So although you’re unable to dictate the weather, you can control how you react to it.

Being Aware of Other Drivers

Any experienced driver will tell you that when you’re driving, you don’t have to just be aware of how you’re driving, but you also need to be aware of the other drivers around you. Knowing your blind spot is important, especially when driving a truck. In an ideal world, everyone would naturally be responsible, so you could focus on your destination, but the reality is it’s never going to be like this. So always be aware of who’s driving in close proximity to you and keep a fair distance between you and other drivers. 

You’re more than likely more aware of the responsibilities of driving, as a professional driver, unfortunately, not everyone has the same level of knowledge as you. Nevertheless, you have to watch for yourself as much as you’re inclined to watch out for others.

A Damaged Rig

No one sets out with a damaged rig because the repercussions on the road just aren’t worth it. However, damage can happen whilst on the road, and the only time you’re going to know this is if you cause an accident, or you check your rig every time you stop. Although this may be a pain to do, the peace of mind it brings is priceless. If you don’t do a circle check after each break in your journey, you could end up with problems later. Just 20 minutes going around your rig, looking for damage or potential maintenance issues on the road, could make the world of difference.

If you happen to spot any damage, and if it’s something you can fix, we’d recommend you use the buddy system and have someone with you while you carry out any repairs. For instance, if you’re pinning up, you’ll want someone on hand, just in case they need to quickly assist you. Of course, there may be things you can do without help, but it’s always good practice to have someone on stand by. Also, don’t attempt repairs you’re not mechanically qualified to do, like fix the brake chambers.

There are times that we just can’t help but end up being involved in an accident. The best we can hope for is that no one is injured, or worse, dead. Items can always be replaced, but people can’t, so if you’re familiar with, or have had experience in any of the above, then think about your life choices. Additionally, if you ever find yourself involved in a truck accident, make sure you get a truck accident lawyer pronto.

Published on Holr Magazine