Staying Safe on the Road: Tips for Long Haul Truckers

Long haul truckers face a unique set of challenges when it comes to staying safe on the road. From analyzing traffic patterns to understanding road signs, there are a number of steps that truckers can take to ensure their safety. Here are some tips for long haul truckers to stay safe on the road.

Practice Safety in the Work Area

The first step in staying safe on the road is to practice safety in the work area. This means slowing down, keeping extra space for followers, and being ready to stop.

Obey all signs and signals in the work area, and be sure to keep an eye out for vehicles that enter your blind spots. Additionally, take advantage of mobile apps that make it easy to monitor the weather and plan your route accordingly.

Maintain a Safe Distance

It's important to maintain a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. In good weather, this should be seven to eight seconds, while in bad weather it should be increased to 14 seconds. This is especially important for large trucks, which require a longer braking and tracking distance.

Take Regular Breaks

Truckers should try to drive with a minimum of pit stops.

However, it's important to take regular breaks every two or three hours to stretch and go to the bathroom. This will help you stay alert during long trips.

Avoid Stopping on the Shoulder

When taking breaks, avoid stopping on the shoulder as other cars may not be aware that you are stopped. Instead, look for a parking lot or hotel room.

Understand Road Signs

Understanding road signs is one of the best ways to increase confidence in driving on the road. For example, construction signs have an orange background and always win out over other signs.

You can check with the United States Department of Transportation for more information on traffic symbols and signs.

Reduce Speed in Inclement Weather

Inclement weather causes approximately 25 percent of all speed-related truck driving accidents. Reduce your speed by a third on wet roads and by half on roads covered with snow or ice.

Take Care of Yourself

A big part of truck drivers' safety has less to do with your vehicle and more to do with you.

Getting enough sleep, eating well, exercising and spending quality time at home will help you feel happier and more refreshed behind the wheel.