For the average driver of an average vehicle, it’s overwhelming to navigate heavy traffic, unfamiliar roadways and adverse weather conditions. Yet truck drivers often face these challenges – and countless others – on a regular basis.
It’s easy to forget the many risks of driving truck. The sheer size, weight and limited maneuverability of a big rig can easily lead to dangerous situations. So, too, can factors such as:
- Fatigue: For truckers, long hours, vast distances and near-constant fatigue are just another part of the job. Even though federal regulations limit the amount of time you can spend behind the wheel, you still may feel pushed to your limit just to stay on schedule. Exhaustion can dull your senses and slow your reaction time. Whenever you start to feel overly tired, err on the side of safety by taking a break. Your life – and the lives of others – are more important than getting more miles behind you.
- Unsafe drivers: The roads are full of careless and inattentive drivers. Everybody has a cellphone these days, and far too many drivers can’t put them down. Many also aren’t aware that semitrucks are much different from passenger vehicles. They may haphazardly change lanes, cut you off or follow you too closely, giving you little time to adjust in the event of an accident.
- Difficult road conditions: Weather isn’t the only adverse condition truckers have to manage. You likely encounter numerous hazards on a regular basis, such as:
- Road construction
- Steep grades
- Sharp curves
- Unclear signage
- Uneven pavement or rough transitions
- Closed roads, dead ends and detours
These obstacles aren’t just inconveniences; they can also put you at greater risk of an accident.
As a trucker, your first responsibility is to stay safe on the roads. You can’t eliminate risks entirely, but by staying alert and proactive, you can help avoid accidents that would put an end to your career – or even your life.