In 2013, truckers transported nearly 15 billion tons of cargo in the United States. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that by 2040, that number is expected to increase to 18.79 billion tons. It’s no wonder that truck driving jobs are constantly growing in demand. If you’re interested in getting your CDL class license and going to truck driving school, staying safe on the road is sure to be lesson number one. Here are just a few important tips for all new truck drivers to keep in mind when navigating America’s roads and highways.
Don’t ever drive while you’re distracted.
An 18-wheeler takes about 40% longer to stop than a car. Knowing this, it makes sense that trucks are much more dangerous on the road. In fact, there are few things in life more dangerous than a distracted truck driver.
That’s why it’s critical to never drive while you’re distracted, as even a few seconds of looking away from the road could prove to have fatal consequences. In the same realm comes staying energized and awake: According to a study by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, driver fatigue is a factor in 13% of truck accidents, and truckers are often required to drive many hours without stopping. Don’t ever hesitate to stop and take a rest if you’re feeling groggy.
Your health should always come first
Truck drivers face unique occupational health risks — if they don’t take basic precautions to look after their health. While common health problems like back pain, obesity, and sleep apnea can cause a number of problems no matter your occupation, they are especially dangerous for drivers. As you begin your career as a driver, it’s important to focus on maintaining a healthy lifestyle. For instance, while it may be tempting to survive on a diet of fast food while on the road, your diet has a major impact on your overall health and wellbeing. A good night’s sleep and a healthy meal can make all the difference on your level of alertness on the road.
Make sure you know the exact dimensions and weight of your truck.
The average weight of a semi-truck is about 80,000 pounds, while the average car weighs around 5,000 pounds. But regardless of your truck’s exact weight, it’s important to know these metrics so that you can accurately judge the spatial and stopping distances between you and other drivers. This knowledge will also help you avoid getting your truck stuck under an overpass, which happens more often than you’d think. Of course, many truck drivers will get accustomed to the dimensions of their truck more naturally over time.
Ultimately, understanding these essential safety tips is the key to staying protected on the road and minimizing your risk of injuring other drivers as well. For more information about how to get your CDL class license and start looking for trucking jobs, contact Custom Diesel Drivers Training.