With the amount of time most commercial truck drivers spend on the road, it’s easy enough to spot other drivers’ bad driving decisions. Some drivers may think they would never make dangerous mistakes or create bad outcomes, yet, these bad decisions can be helpful reminders to other drivers of what not to do. As a fleet manager or owner, these are some of the most important safety reminders to provide to your drivers.
Share These Reminders with Your Team
Safety is always priority #1 in fleet management. While you cannot entirely control what your drivers do on the roadways, you can provide simple reminders on what not to do.
#1: Consciously Avoid Distracted Driving
Distracting driving accidents in the U.S. took the lives of 3,142 people in the U.S. in 2019, according to NHTSA. Distracted driving includes any activity that results in the driver taking their attention or eyes off the road. It’s common to notice drivers eating, putting on make-up, talking on the phone, having a non-hands-free mobile call, texting, reading email, updating GPS data, or engaging in an activity that is dismissed as “it will only take a second or two”. Unfortunately, a split second of neglect has often taken lives and left families in shock and grief.
#2: Resist the Temptation of Speeding, Even On Empty Roads
Speeding increases the risk of accidents. If an accident occurs, high speed can also worsen the outcome of those incidents, putting more lives on the line. Speeding is one of the worst driving decisions drivers can make because it makes every part of driving, from changing lanes to stopping quickly, far more difficult, and more likely to cause significant damage.
#3: Don’t Engage in Unsafe Lane Changes
Making sudden lane changes or failing to signal before switching lanes can make others unsure what the trucker is intending and create significant risk for every other driver on the road. . Drivers need to check mirrors, signal, wait a minute or more, and then ease into the other lane. It’s against the law and far too risky to move over several lanes at once.
Lane discipline is also important. If the state the trucker is driving in does not allow commercial trucks in the outermost lane, there’s a reason for it! Some states require that a commercial truck driver change lanes if there is a vehicle parked on the shoulder, but only if the driver judges that he/she can do so safely.
#4: Never Forget to Perform a Pre-Route Checklist
Once a driver is ready to start their day, they should do a visual inspection of the vehicle (both cab and trailer), including their commercial tires, tire pressures (including the inner wheels), engine, and safety equipment. It’s easy for drivers to avoid this step in the routine hurry of getting on the road faster. Doing so puts them at risk for roadside breakdowns or more serious episodes.
#5: Always Avoid Following Too Closely
In rush hour traffic, when deadlines are approaching, it can be difficult for your drivers to keep enough distance between the truck and the vehicle in front of them. Yet, truckers who follow too closely, especially at higher speeds, are at a greater risk of causing an accident. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration states that it takes 196 feet for a fully loaded tractor-trailer traveling at 55 miles per hour to stop safely. Putting more distance in front of the vehicle is critical.
#6: When Driving Conditions Are Poor, Pull Over and Wait
Driving in difficult conditions puts a driver at risk of being involved in an accident. Snow, ice, wind, and fog are some of the most worrisome, but even a hard rain can create slick conditions and create low visibility. In these conditions, drivers need to adjust to minimize risks or terminate their route when roads are not passable. Pulling over safely on to the shoulder with hazard lights on until the visibility improves, is a good practice.
Keep Your Vehicle on the Right Path
Give your drivers what they need to remain safe on the roadways. Let our team help you with any commercial tires you need, ensuring the best traction and durability on every trip. We also offer 24/7 roadside assistance when you need it.
Give us a call now at 610-954-8473 or contact us online for an appointment to check, service, maintain, repair or replace your commercial tires and keep your fleet vehicles and drivers safe on the road.