According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, trucker deaths continue to rise and are at their highest level in more than 30 years. In 2018, 885 large truck occupants died, increasing almost 1 percent compared to the previous year. It is the highest since 1988 when 911 occupants of large trucks died.
In order to keep our roadways safe and reduce the consequences and negative effects of an accident, it is recommended that truck drivers follow these simple guidelines:
1. Wear your seat belt
According to the NHTSA, 37,133 people killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2017, 47 percent were not wearing seat belts. Buckling up helps keep you safe and secure inside your vehicle, whereas not buckling up can result in being ejected from the vehicle in a crash.
2. Avoid using your cell phone while driving
According to the CDC, each day in the United States, approximately 9 people are killed and more than 1,000 injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver. Avoid risks associated with distracted driving, by keeping your phone out of reach while driving and keeping your eyes on the road at all times.
3. Be aware of local laws and speed limits
Always be aware of local laws and speed limits, as they vary by state.
4. Keep “Alert” and drive defensively
Always be aware of who’s in front of, beside, and behind you at all times. Check blind spots continuously and always keep looking well ahead down the road and around your rig.
5. Be mindful of braking distance and turning radius
Avoid close interactions by maintaining ample stopping distance between you and other vehicles ahead of you. Be careful and take caution when making turns or changing lanes to avoid collision with vehicles or other objects.
6. Plan your trip
Perform pre and post-trip inspections to ensure safe travel. Remember to double-check that driver log sheets and inspection reports are inside the vehicle during operation in case review is needed by the Department of Transportation (DOT).
Tip: Keep important items in your Permit Pouch (State Alcohol Permit, ELD Cab Cards, IFTA, etc.)
7. Be aware of weather conditions
Check the weather ahead of time for changing road conditions. Knowing what to expect can help you to be better prepared for bad weather driving conditions and take the necessary precautions to keep safe. The Weather Channe’s (TWC) app is free and available on Android, iOS, and Windows Phone.
8. Avoid fatigue by eating healthy and getting enough sleep
A healthy diet can help to increases alertness when on the road. Make sure to get enough sleep or pull over if you are getting tired. Following these precautions can help to ensure a safe and productive shift.
9. Expect the “unexpected”
Be prepared for the unexpected, keeping an eye out can prepare you from avoiding an accident that could in turn hurt you or another driver.
10. Avoid drugs and alcohol
Drinking and driving should be avoided at all costs. Drugs include anything that can impair your judgment.
Paper Transport, Inc., has built a foundation for safety, empowering drivers to be safety champions with an obligation to help one another by calling out and correcting unsafe actions or conditions. At PTI, we are committed to the safety of our drivers by making a point to invest in new technology to continually advance our safety efforts as a company.