Commercial truck driving is a challenging and demanding job that requires a high level of skill and expertise. As solid as your skills are, even experienced truck drivers make mistakes that can have serious consequences. Are you making any of these common mistakes?
One of the biggest mistakes commercial truck drivers make is driving while distracted. Distractions include using a cell phone, eating, drinking, or engaging in other activities that take attention away from the road. Distracted driving is dangerous and leads to accidents.
Commercial truck drivers are under tremendous pressure to make deliveries on time, which often leads to speeding. But speeding is a major cause of accidents involving commercial trucks, and accidents can really slow you down. It’s important to obey speed limits and adjust driving speeds to the weather and road conditions.
Truck drivers work long hours and odd schedules make it hard to get enough sleep, resulting in sleepy drivers. Driving while fatigued impairs your judgment and slows reaction times, making it more difficult to avoid accidents. It’s important to take breaks, establish a solid routine, and get enough rest to avoid driving while fatigued.
Again, time pressures create temptations to skip important steps. But, as a commercial driver, you’re responsible for making sure your vehicle is in good working condition before hitting the road. Failing to perform pre-trip inspections can lead to mechanical failures and accidents.
Failing to Secure Cargo Properly
Cargo that’s not secured properly can shift during transport, causing the truck to become unstable and increasing the risk of an accident. You need to take the time to make sure your cargo is properly secured before hitting the road.
Tailgating is a common mistake. Following too closely makes it difficult to stop in time to avoid an accident. Yes, you’re in a hurry and maybe the driver in front of you is not keeping pace, but it’s always important to maintain a safe following distance from other vehicles on the road.
Ignoring Traffic Signals and Signs
All those signals and signs apply to you, even when you’re in a hurry, or you think you know better. Ignoring traffic signals and signs leads to accidents and puts other drivers at risk.
Failing to Signal
Your big truck makes it hard for you to see other drivers on the road, which makes it even more imperative that you communicate clearly what’s going on with your vehicle. Always use your turn signals and put those flashers on if you’re having a problem so everyone around you can act accordingly.
Driving a Worn-Out Truck
Semi-trucks are expensive, which is why many drivers hold on to old vehicles longer than they should. Driving a truck that’s in bad shape isn’t safe, nor is it profitable or good for your business. When your truck is past its prime, shop for trucks and semis for sale that will keep you and your cargo moving down the road.
The Bottom Line
Even experienced drivers make mistakes. Don’t become complacent; stay on guard against these common mistakes.