As a truck driver, defensive driving is essential for your safety. When driving a large vehicle, you must be aware of your surroundings and take precautions to avoid accidents.
For example, harsh weather conditions like icy roads, traffic congestion, or poor visibility could all increase the likelihood of an accident.
Read more: 5 must-knows for truckers driving in bad weather.
Here are some defensive driving tips specifically for truck drivers to ensure your safety and the safety of other drivers on the road.
1) Look Out for Blind Spots
A blind spot is a place on the side or rear of your truck where you can’t see other drivers. When changing lanes, use your mirrors and look over your shoulder to check these blind spots before moving.
2) Watch Out for Other Drivers
Pay close attention to what other drivers are doing. Be aware of their speed and any sudden changes they might make. Be prepared to slow down or stop suddenly if another driver is not paying attention and makes a mistake.
3) Manage Your Speed
Adhering to the speed limit is critical, but adjusting your speed according to road conditions, weather, traffic patterns, etc. Always plan your route and know what speed limits you will be dealing with so there are no surprises.
4) Avoid Distractions
Eliminate any potential distractions while driving. This includes avoiding eating or drinking while driving, using a cell phone, adjusting the radio, or setting navigation systems. Pull over if necessary to complete these tasks safely.
5) Keep a Safe Distance
Truck drivers should always maintain a safe distance between their vehicles and those in front. This will allow them more time to react if something happens up ahead. For example, if another vehicle swerves suddenly or brakes hard, truck drivers at a safe distance can react and avoid an accident.
6) Scan Ahead and Anticipate Problems
Truck drivers should scan the road ahead for potential hazards and plan accordingly. This will help them avoid any accidents or surprises. Suppose, for example, that a car is swerving in the road. By anticipating this change in traffic, the truck driver can slow down and adjust their driving accordingly. This defensive driving will ensure they’re never caught off guard or put in a dangerous position.
7) Use Your Blinkers
Blinkers are essential to driving any vehicle, vast and heavy trucks. Let other drivers know what you plan to do next by using your blinkers when changing lanes or turning. This can help prevent collisions and make the road safer for everyone involved.