5 mistakes truck drivers should avoid
The number of truck accidents in our country is rising. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there were 4,588 crashes in 2020 involving at least one large truck or bus. And this figure hasn’t improved. Most truck accidents occur due to simple errors by drivers. Keep reading to learn more about these common mistakes and how one can avoid them to reduce the risk of fatal accidents.
Driving while drowsy
When a person drives a truck continuously for hours, it can cause tiredness and burnout. This can, in turn, lead to drowsy driving, where truck drivers struggle to stay awake. They end up pushing themselves to continue driving, which puts a lot of strain. Tight deadlines also force truckers to drive long distances without much rest, leading to accidents on the road. Federal law states that truck drivers can drive only 11 hours during a 14-hour shift. It also says they must spend ten consecutive hours away from the wheel after their shift before returning to the road. Unfortunately, these guidelines are often overlooked.
Ignoring blind spots
Blind spots, also known as “no-zones,” are specific spots around the truck where other vehicles aren’t visible to the driver. If the truck driver isn’t vigilant of a vehicle entering their blind spot, it may lead to a major accident. This mistake can easily be avoided by following road signs, adhering to regulations, staying attentive while driving, and, most importantly, checking the mirrors frequently to know if another vehicle is entering the blind spot.
Truck drivers are usually required to meet tight deadlines to keep their jobs. But delivering goods on time is challenging, especially during hazardous weather and unexpected traffic jams. Such situations cause truckers to decrease their speed. Later in the journey, many drivers resort to speeding to catch up and keep their clients happy. But this comes with its dangers, such as loss of vehicle control, which can increase the risk of accidents on the road. Speeding prevents drivers from reacting quickly and maintaining sufficient distance while maneuvering the vehicle.
Owing to long working hours, truckers sometimes get distracted and shift their focus away from the road. Some eat while driving, while others fiddle with the radio or music system settings, increasing the risk of an accident. Talking or texting is also a common distraction. While hands-free communication technology now ensures drivers don’t have to take their hands off the wheel, it’s still a cause of concern as the phone conversation can cause one to lose focus.
Failing to secure the load
Many drivers don’t load their trucks themselves and rely on someone else. If the load isn’t secured correctly, it can increase the risk of a rollover. This can not only damage the cargo but also injure the driver and passengers of nearby vehicles. So, even if the driver leaves this task to someone else, they should inspect the load before starting.
While driving long hours increases confidence and experience hauling heavy loads, it can also lead to potential errors. So, truck drivers should always be cautious and avoid these mistakes on the road.
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