Safety is extremely important for long-distance truck drivers for several reasons. Not only could being involved in an accident compromise a truck driver's job, but accidents involving large trucks have a high fatality rate. In fact, one out of every 10 highway fatalities are the result of an accident that involved a large truck. It's important for all long-distance truck drivers to drive safely, but if you're new to the job, you need to know these safety tips before you hit the road, as well as what to do if you're involved in an accident.
When you're driving a big rig, you should always be aware of your blind spots. It's really easy for a truck driver to overlook a small car on the highway, especially when they are changing lanes. So, you need to check all of your blind spots frequently. Some of the most common blind spots for semi trucks include:
- Both the left and right sides of the semi, directly in front of the truck cab.
- Behind the truck, especially if a car is driving too close to you.
- Directly behind the truck's side mirrors.
Be Cautious When Backing Up
Unfortunately, when you're driving a large truck, there isn't a rear window that allows you to look directly behind the truck while you're backing up. You have to rely solely on your side mirrors. Because of this, you should always get out of your truck to see what's behind it before you begin to back up. Yes, it might take you a bit longer to pull into a loading dock, but you'll be less likely to have an accident.
Take Good Care of Yourself
Driving when you're tired is extremely dangerous, yet it's common for long-distance truck drivers to ignore what their body is telling them so that they can keep going. If you feel tired, you should rest, even if you only stop to take a 20-minute power nap, so that you're alert while you're behind the wheel.
You should also do your best to eat healthy and get some exercise when you're on the road. Developing poor eating habits and not exercising can make you feel overly tired. Consider packing healthy meals that will travel in a cooler so that you can get the nutrients you need while you're away from home. Also, make sure you take a break from driving a few times per day to get some exercise. A short 15-minute walk will refresh you.
What to Do if You're in an Accident
Even if you drive safely and take care of yourself, an accident can happen. If you're involved in a truck accident, you need to call the proper authorities and get any medical treatment needed before you do anything else. After you're treated for any injuries, you need to contact your employer so that the insurance company can be alerted. You should also contact a truck accident attorney. A truck accident lawyer can work with you to ensure any repercussions from the accident are fair. Not only can your attorney help you file any claims needed, a good lawyer can negotiate with your employer so that you might be able to retain your job.
For more information, contact Teresa P Williams PA or a similar legal professional.