[et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ admin_label=”section” _builder_version=”4.16″ global_colors_info=”{}”][et_pb_row admin_label=”row” _builder_version=”4.16″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat” hover_enabled=”0″ global_colors_info=”{}” custom_padding=”0px|||||” sticky_enabled=”0″][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”4.16″ custom_padding=”|||” global_colors_info=”{}” custom_padding__hover=”|||”][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” _builder_version=”4.22.1″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat” hover_enabled=”0″ global_colors_info=”{}” sticky_enabled=”0″]

 Ensuring the Safety of Your Truck Drivers: A Strategic Approach

The importance of safeguarding your drivers on the road extends beyond their individual well-being—it has a direct impact on the safety belts other motorists and your financial bottom line.

The Department of Labor (DOL) has identified the trucking industry as one of the most perilous sectors in the United States.

In fact, the transportation and logistics sector consistently reports some of the highest rates of on-the-job injuries and fatalities, and these figures show no sign of decline.

By elevating the safety of your drivers, you not only provide them and other drivers with protection but also mitigate the costs associated with accidents, insurance claims, and premium increases.

The encouraging news is that you can enhance your truck drivers’ safety by fostering a workplace culture that actively coaches, trains, and rewards the safest driving practices.

Continue reading for valuable trucking safety tips and driving tips and guidance on enhancing the overall safety of your fleet.

 

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” _builder_version=”4.22.1″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat” hover_enabled=”0″ global_colors_info=”{}” sticky_enabled=”0″]

Promote Defensive Driving Among Your Truckers

Defensive driving entails a proactive approach, encouraging truckers to remain vigilant for potential hazards and changes in driving or road conditions.

It empowers drivers to minimize the risk of fatal accidents and injuries by anticipating potentially dangerous situations and making well-informed, safe decisions while operating their vehicles.

By instilling defensive driving techniques, drivers become less prone to accidents, thereby reducing the potential hazards and concerns related to expensive repairs, claim settlements, and insurance premium hikes.

Here are some key defensive driving techniques, strategies safety tips and practices to instill in your drivers:

Watch Out for Blind Spots

Truck drivers operating tractor trailers or reefers face challenges due to the size and height of their vehicles, making it difficult to spot cars behind or beside them.

Blind spots, areas around a vehicle not directly visible to the driver, pose a significant risk.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that over 840,000 accidents annually result from blind spots, often occurring during lane changes.

Since relying solely on rear-view and side mirrors isn’t always sufficient, both truck drivers and bus drivers also should be encouraged to check blind spots by looking over their shoulders and out of the windows when changing lanes.

Additionally, stress the importance of leaving ample space around their vehicles when merging.

 

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_image src=”https://commercial-trucking-insurance.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/trucking-safety-1-scaled.webp” _builder_version=”4.22.1″ _module_preset=”default” alt=”hands of a trucker on the steering wheel for truckers safety” title_text=”trucking safety (1)” width=”75%” module_alignment=”center” hover_enabled=”0″ sticky_enabled=”0″][/et_pb_image][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” _builder_version=”4.22.1″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat” hover_enabled=”0″ global_colors_info=”{}” sticky_enabled=”0″]

Practice the Three-Second Rule

To prevent front and rear collisions, it’s advisable for drivers to adhere to the three-second rule, ensuring a safe distance between vehicles.

This rule dictates that truck drivers should maintain a speed limit and a three-second gap between their vehicle and the car ahead, measured from when the preceding car passes the truck driving a specific point on the road to when the truck reaches the same spot.

In inclement weather conditions or strong winds, drivers should extend speed limit and this following distance to five seconds. On icy roads, a ten-second gap is recommended.

 

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” _builder_version=”4.22.1″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat” hover_enabled=”0″ global_colors_info=”{}” sticky_enabled=”0″]

Be Prepared for Emergencies

Long-distance driving presents variable conditions, requiring drivers to be prepared for unexpected situations such as inclement, weather and road conditions, or breakdowns.

Encourage drivers to stock their cabs with essentials like water, snacks, a first aid kit and emergency kit, spare clothing, and blankets.

These provisions not only enhance the drivers’ comfort but also play a pivotal role in ensuring their safety during unforeseen circumstances.

These provisions enable drivers to navigate unforeseen circumstances comfortably and safely, especially when they need to pull over or await vehicle repairs for extended periods.

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” _builder_version=”4.22.1″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat” hover_enabled=”0″ global_colors_info=”{}” sticky_enabled=”0″]

Maintain Calm Composure

Road rage poses a substantial threat to safe driving.

When truckers encounter aggressive behaviors from other drivers, such as cutting off, honking, or harassment, the temptation many truck drivers to engage in retaliatory actions like tailgating or erratic lane changes can arise.

Drivers who allow anger to dictate their actions endanger themselves and others. Encourage drivers to de-escalate road rage incidents by increasing their distance from agitated drivers.   

 

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” _builder_version=”4.22.1″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat” hover_enabled=”0″ global_colors_info=”{}” sticky_enabled=”0″]

Always Use Turn Signals

Trucking companies and drivers covering long stretches of road or driving during less congested periods may be tempted to change lanes or exit highways without signaling.

However, neglecting to signal a lane change increases the risk of collisions.

Emphasize to drivers that signaling before lane changes or turns is not only a legal requirement but also a safety practice that should be followed even if no other vehicles are in close proximity when changing lanes.

When in Doubt, Slow Down: While drivers should always adhere to posted speed limits, it’s equally vital to instill in them the habit of reducing speed in response to changing road conditions.

This includes adverse weather, poor visibility, or navigating construction zones.

Slowing down affords drivers more time to react to unexpected events, such as animals on the road or rain-slicked surfaces.

Slower speeds can prevent accidents altogether or mitigate their impact and severity if they do occur.

 

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” _builder_version=”4.22.1″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat” hover_enabled=”0″ global_colors_info=”{}” sticky_enabled=”0″]

Establish Preventive Maintenance Plans

The safety of other vehicles and your drivers fundamentally hinges on the condition of the vehicles they operate.

Trucks and tractor trailers that fall behind on routine maintenance, such as oil changes and brake pad replacements, are at a higher risk of experiencing breakdowns while on the road.

Establishing preventive maintenance plans is essential for ensuring the safety of both other road users and your drivers, as the overall well-being of the vehicles they operate is paramount.

By proactively addressing potential issues through scheduled maintenance, you enhance the reliability of your fleet, contributing to safer roads and more secure transportation operations.

 

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_image src=”https://commercial-trucking-insurance.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/trucking-safety-2-scaled.webp” _builder_version=”4.22.1″ _module_preset=”default” alt=”trucker investigating his truck on a sunset” title_text=”trucking safety (2)” width=”75%” module_alignment=”center” hover_enabled=”0″ sticky_enabled=”0″][/et_pb_image][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” _builder_version=”4.22.1″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat” hover_enabled=”0″ global_colors_info=”{}” sticky_enabled=”0″]

Enforce Comprehensive Pre-Trip and Post-Trip Evaluations

In tandem with enhancing driver safety through maintenance, it is imperative to conduct meticulous vehicle inspections to certify the safety of all trucks before drivers embark on their journeys.

While the Department of Transportation (DOT) mandates pre-trip and post-trip inspections for commercial motor vehicles, it’s essential to recognize that not all inspections are created equal.

To safeguard your drivers’ well-being, employ tools that guarantee thorough and precise inspections, along with accurate documentation.

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” _builder_version=”4.22.1″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat” hover_enabled=”0″ global_colors_info=”{}” sticky_enabled=”0″]

Instruct Drivers on Steering Clear of Distractions

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has pinpointed distracted driving as the primary factor behind accidents involving truck drivers.

Distracted driving encompasses any activity that diverts a driver’s attention away from the road or their hands away from the steering wheel.

Distractions may encompass activities like eating while driving or gazing out the window at a billboard.

However, the most prevalent form of distracted truck driving is cellphone usage, notably texting while driving.

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” _builder_version=”4.22.1″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat” hover_enabled=”0″ global_colors_info=”{}” sticky_enabled=”0″]

Employ Measures for Adapting to Altered Road Conditions

Road conditions can be highly variable, particularly for long-haul drivers traversing extensive distances across diverse regions and states.

Among the factors that can significantly affect truck driver safety on the road, two stand out: traffic congestion and adverse weather conditions.

Heavy traffic forces vehicles to frequently stop and start, elevating the risk of truck accidents.

Meanwhile, inclement weather phenomena such as snow, ice, hail, or rain can impede a driver’s visibility and render roads treacherous, collectively amplifying the likelihood of accidents.

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” _builder_version=”4.22.1″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat” hover_enabled=”0″ global_colors_info=”{}” sticky_enabled=”0″]

Promote Adequate Rest and Breaks

Under the Hours of Service (HOS) regulations, all commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers are obliged to observe specific rest intervals before resuming their journeys.

For instance, within the HOS truck driver limits, CMV operators are mandated to take a 30-minute break after eight hours of driving and a substantial 10- to 11-hour rest period before returning to duty, ensuring they receive sufficient rest.

Beyond complying with these mandatory breaks, it is crucial to encourage drivers to consistently prioritize their well-being and the safety of fellow motorists while on the road.

This entails motivating your drivers to take additional breaks if they experience drowsiness or any form of impairment during their journey.

While this may entail additional time deducted for bus drivers from their “on-duty” period, it can significantly contribute to reducing fatigue-related accidents and traffic fatalities fatal crashes for which they might be at fault.

This not only enhances driver safety but also aids in minimizing accident-related expenses.

 

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” _builder_version=”4.22.1″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat” hover_enabled=”0″ global_colors_info=”{}” sticky_enabled=”0″]

Establish Proactive Coaching and Incentive Initiatives

A fundamental aspect of fostering a culture prioritizing safety involves recognizing and rewarding drivers who exemplify exemplary driving habits and behaviors.

One of the most effective approaches to enhancing safety within your fleet is the implementation of proactive coaching and incentive programs.

By integrating dash cams into your fleet, you can utilize actual dash cam footage to visually guide drivers on ways to enhance their safety while driving on the road.

 

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” _builder_version=”4.22.1″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat” hover_enabled=”0″ global_colors_info=”{}” custom_padding=”||0px|||” sticky_enabled=”0″]

 Request a Quote 

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]