Updated: Oct 10, 2022
Intermodal truck driving can be a great career choice that pays off well. However, ensuring you are as safe as possible while on the road is crucial. Responsible driving benefits you as the driver but also everyone on the road around you. Read on to discover more safety tips and precautions to follow while driving a truck!
1. Check the Forecast
Harsh weather conditions can happen at any time. This is especially concerning when traveling in a vehicle, especially a truck. Before heading to your destination, check the forecast for threatening weather conditions. Consider taking detours if the weather obstructs your travel path. Even in the rain, you should take precautions and drive slower. If you are suddenly confronted with severe weather, pull to the side of the road and wait until it passes. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
2. Buckle up
This safety tip is simple but can also be the difference between life and death. No matter how far you travel, remember to fasten your seatbelt. Even if you practice safe driving techniques, you can never predict the actions of others. Wearing your seatbelt can reduce the chance of death in a car crash by 45%. A second “click” can save your life.
3. Keep alert
Long road trips can seem endless and may cause drowsiness if you’re not well rested. Do you have heavy eyes? Yawning too much? Don’t be afraid to pull over if so. Drowsy driving can be as dangerous as drunk driving. Always stay alert and make sure you are not fatigued. If you are, it is crucial to pull over and relax until you feel awake again. If you are a full-time driver, you probably drive 40-50 plus hours a week and sometimes more than eight plus a day. Make sure to get enough sleep before your trips to avoid drowsy driving.
4. Blind spots
Checking blind spots every 5-10 seconds is critical. Especially in a large vehicle like a truck, you have less visibility of your surroundings. Always be aware of others on the road. Unlike a typical vehicle’s blindsight, your truck's blind spots include behind your truck, along each side, below the cab of your car, and one behind. If you are changing lanes or turning, always check carefully before moving.
5. No distractions
Staring at the road for an extended period of time may seem tedious. Still, it is imperative to stay focused and not deter yourself from concentrating on your surroundings—distractions such as cell phones and eating while on the road can do just this. When 100% of your focus isn’t on the road, you are already putting yourself and others at risk of a possible collision. Taking a break can be good for concentration, so sit back and relax while pulled over instead of risking your safety on the road.
6. No need to speed
No matter the reason, don’t speed! Trucks are not made to be racecars or fast-driving vehicles overall. When approaching turns, ensure you are going at a safe speed to avoid losing control of your truck. Always be aware of the car in front of you when braking, and maintain a safe braking distance to avoid a collision. A truck’s stopping distance is equivalent to almost two football fields, nearly 200 yards. Driving at a safe speed can reduce the likelihood of losing control and posing a danger to yourself and others on the road.
7. Safety Checks
Last but certainly not least, before you get on the road, perform safety checks on your truck to ensure safe travel. Check your tire pressure before driving and ensure you have the proper tools for opening and closing your vehicle. Tools like the OPNbar can reduce injury and help avoid strain while opening and closing your doors.
Before you hit the road, think of these safety tips as an intermodal truck driver. They can save your life and others around you. Northstar is here to help. Visit our website by clicking here to view resources, including road regulations and fuel prices, and find general information on intermodal truck driving. Are you interested in joining our team? We offer steady year-round work and other great benefits for all of our drivers. Learn more information here!