4 Reasons To Drive Defensively In An 18-Wheeler

The U.S. trucking industry transports approximately 70% of the freight in the nation. These semi-trucks are typically 53 feet long and weigh up to 80,000 pounds. Taking about 40% longer to stop on average, an 18-wheeler has a higher potential for accidents than a car. Truck drivers are operating the longest, heaviest, and most dangerous vehicles on the road, which is why these drivers require extensive training. The fact is: defensive driving is incredibly important for semi-truck drivers.

While in CDL driver school most prospective truck drivers will get some form of defensive driving training. Whether you’re looking to go into truck driving school, you’ve just passed your truck driving test, or you’re an experienced truck driver, being aware of defensive driving and how it affects you will help decrease the chance of accidental injury on the road.

Why You Should Always Drive Defensively In An 18-Wheeler

  • Let’s be honest…

    There are a lot of really bad drivers on the road. And, unfortunately, many bad drivers are also really impatient when driving around a slower 18-wheeler. Unlike professional drivers, the average motorist doesn’t receive extensive training, not to mention drug screening, before getting their license. Because you can’t control the actions of other motorists, it falls on you to drive like the adult on the road. That means defensive driving.


  • Less nonfatal work-related injuries…

    Compared to any other industry, trucking jobs involve the most nonfatal injuries at work. Defensive driving is the first step to a safer work environment. Being aware of your truck’s limits (as well as your own!) and consciously changing the way you drive can have a huge impact. Defensive driving courses will educate you on the aspects of defensive driving that are typically overlooked, including vehicle safety inspections and emergency response training.


  • Save yourself a ton of money…

    Accidents caused by truck driving can cost up to $2 million dollars per incident. Though the company you work for will take the brunt of this cost, you could be held liable in some cases. One-tenth of $2 million is still $200,000. Driving defensively reduces your chances of having an accident and can even help improve your reaction to emergency situations. And, if you do get into an accident, your understanding of defensive driving tactics could help alleviate any liability you could have had in the case, depending on the situation.


  • Lower insurance premiums…

    Whether you’re driving a truck as an independent contractor or working full-time for a large freight carrier, insurance premiums will impact your professional career. Defensive driving training can lower your premiums if you maintain a clean driving record. In addition, a truck that is driving erratically could give the company you’re working for a bad image, which will ultimately affect your career. Lower insurance premiums and positive public image helps everyone in the end.

Trucking jobs are not easy, and truck drivers face unique occupational hazards. In many cases, defensive driving training helps you become a better driver. The better the driver, the less likely the accident.

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