Truck drivers are exposed to plenty of risks while performing their jobs. Driving on the road carries risk and the large amount of miles they drive, means they’re exposed to increased risk. Truck drivers need to have safe driving habits to stay accident free.
It’s important that truck drivers aren’t distracted while driving. Truck drivers can be driving from 11 – 13 hours in a day and most of those hours could be on the highway and open road. It’s easy to get distracted or zone out and go on auto pilot.
Recently we had a driver traveling through Wisconsin on the I-94. In the summer, the I-94 can have unusually large amounts of traffic because it’s popular camping destination. Our driver was in a line of traffic, in the left lane, passing slower vehicles; campers and RV’s sometimes travel slower. In the distance, a slow moving car pulled into the left lane, cutting off a vehicle traveling faster, and nearly caused a pile up. Our driver saw break lights and almost everyone in front of him simultaneously take evasive action onto the shoulder to avoid a major accident.
Fortunately, our driver had maintained a proper following distance and was paying attention. He was able to immediately slow his vehicle down and prepare to take evasive action if needed.
Highway traffic patterns can change fast – blink of an eye fast. It’s important to be tuned into what’s happening at all times. Had our driver been texting, or had failed to maintain a safe and proper following distance, he may have wiped out multiple vehicles at highway speeds. If the big truck behind our driver had been texting or had failed to maintain a proper following distance, he may have rear ended our driver causing a major accident. Fortunately everything was fine and there were no accidents at all.
Drivers need to have safe driving habits. It’s important to maintain a proper following distance. A general rule is to stay 7 seconds behind the vehicle in front of you. It takes the brain almost a second to process and understand an emergency is happening and can take another half second for the body to react and get on the break to slow the vehicle. Trucks also need a long time to come to a stop if needed.
It may go without saying but texting and driving is dangerous. Things change on the roadway really quickly. The brief time your eyes are off of what’s happening in front you, a lot can change and you will lose needed response time. Not only texting, but any form of distraction such as the Qualcomm or reaching for something on the floor can cause an accident.
It’s easy to get into bad driving habits. It’s a truck drivers job to understand what’s happening around the vehicle and be aware of the traffic patterns – at all times. Drivers should always expect the unexpected and be in a position where they will have the time to slow the vehicle and take evasive action.
No one has ever made it to their destination faster by tailgating and no text message or phone call has ever been so important, as to risk a fatal accident.
Len Dubois Trucking is a family-run transportation and trucking company in Winnipeg, Manitoba. We are looking for quality Owner/Operators and company drivers. Join our team today.
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