Any time you get out onto the road, you are obligated to be as safe a driver as possible. Believe it or not, it is actually possible to be too cautious. As important as it is to be a defensive driver when operating a normal passenger car, you must take even more care when you’re piloting a truck.
Pull Over If You’re Tired
Being tired throughout the day can make it hard to concentrate. Imagine yourself at your desk job (maybe at the trucking company’s head office) and focus on answering calls and overseeing dispatch. Now place yourself in the shoes of a driver out in the fleet. When you are a truck driver, be sure to pull over as soon as you are tired. Fatigue is no joke. Even though you might think you can push through it due to your experience, in the end, it’s just unsafe. Stop somewhere safe to get some rest.
Be Careful When Changing Lanes
One of the most difficult things to do when driving any vehicle is changing lanes. Here, turn signals are your best friend. It’s relatively quick and easy to change lanes in an ordinary car, but bigger trucks are much more difficult to maneuver safely. Make sure you double-check all of your blind spots before making your move – any cars following behind you might decide to try and dart past you at the last minute. You might have to change your speed – either speeding up or slowing down – depending on if the lane shift is meant to get you closer to your exit or not.
Pass Other Vehicles Cautiously
When passing other vehicles, exercise extreme caution. This piece of advice becomes even more important when that other vehicle is another truck that is either the same size as yours or perhaps even bigger and heavier.
Follow All Posted Road Signs
Wherever you go, do your best to follow all of the posted road signs that you see. Take note of hazards and potential changes in the road conditions around you – it might be slippery due to rain or there is some kind of random obstruction on the path ahead. The signs will also warn you when you are approaching construction zones and overpasses.
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