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9 Safety Tips for Commercial Truck Drivers
The $700 billion US trucking industry is vital to the economy and the survival of most businesses. Incredibly it accounts for almost 6% of all full-time jobs in the US and moves 71% of all freight. Less impressive, however, are the statistics for deaths in the trucking industry. With 28 deaths per 100,000 people in 2018, it’s no wonder the Bureau of Labor Statistics labeled the trucking industry as the most dangerous.
With that in mind, it’s essential that all commercial truck drivers do their utmost to remain safe on the roads. We’ve compiled a handy list of nine safety tips for commercial truck drivers to follow.
Safety Tips for Commercial Truck Drivers
1. Buckle up
Amazingly, 1 in 6 commercial truck drivers does not wear a seatbelt. This spells disaster should the truck be involved in a collision. Putting on a seatbelt takes seconds and can save a life just as quickly. Without it, you’re completely vulnerable to injury.
2. Watch the Weather
Keep a close eye on local weather reports. You never know when conditions will turn nasty. Always be prepared for adverse conditions and carry any equipment you might need to navigate them. If the weather looks too bad, stop driving until conditions improve.
3. Maintain and Inspect
Commercial truck drivers should carry out a routine maintenance inspection before they set off. This includes checking the tires for wear, checking the oil and fluid levels, and testing the brakes. If anything isn’t working as it should, fix or replace it before heading out on the journey.
4. Scout New Destinations on Foot
Large trucks are not the most agile vehicles. Getting one stuck in a narrow or otherwise unsuitable area can spell disaster. If you’re en route to new or unfamiliar premises, it’s wise to park up on the road and check out the premises on foot. That way, you can see if there’s enough space for you to maneuver safely and take note of any obstacles or potential hazards.
5. Take Adequate Breaks
Lack of sleep is a leading cause of accidents on the highways. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration estimates that as many as 100,000 accidents annually are caused by drowsy or tired drivers. The bottom line is don’t drive if you’re tired. Stop, have a nap or a break, and only continue if you feel adequately rested.
6. Put Your Phone Away
When you use your phone while driving, your eyes leave the road. This makes you six times more likely to be involved in a collision. Only look at your phone if you are having a break and not driving. If you need to make a call, use a hands-free or voice-activated system that doesn’t require you to look away from the road.
7. Drive Easy
Your truck is not a racing car, so don’t treat it as one. Maintain a safe, steady pace. Go easy around corners and tight turns. When driving on a freeway, choose a lane and stick to it. Only change lanes if it’s essential.
8. Use a Truckers GPS
Using a GPS system specially designed for truckers will let you know essential information to keep you safe, especially if you’re driving to an unfamiliar area. They’re worth the investment.
9. Protect From Liability
Most commercial truck drivers are surprised to learn that their employer, business, or homeowners insurance policies don’t give them the liability coverage they need. Opting for full customized coverage for liability such as that offered by XINSURANCE can protect you from the cost of liability claims.
Insurance for Commercial Truck Drivers
XINSURANCE is powered by Evolution Insurance Brokers, LC (“EIB”), an excess and surplus lines insurance brokerage. We can provide comprehensive coverage solutions for an industry that many insurers are backing out of. Through our unique approach, we can offer coverage solutions even if you have a claims history or have been refused coverage in the past.
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The best way to avoid liability claims is to follow our safety tips for commercial truck drivers. If you’re doing everything you can to minimize the risk of an accident, you significantly reduce the likelihood of it happening. For the unexpected, there’s XINSURANCE.