In trucking, the single most important issue that affects everyone (including those outside the industry) is safety.
Driving massive trucks for hundreds (sometimes thousands) of miles carrying heavy, valuable cargo, is a challenge in its own right. Doing it dangerously is can be lethal.
So how can drivers improve?
Here are 5 safe driving tips that all truckers can’t drive without considering.
- Getting enough sleep.
This might seem a bit obvious, but it’s really far easier said than done. Truckers know they need to get 6-8 hours of sleep (8 is ideal) every night to do their jobs well, but many truckers often fall short.
The truth is, this isn’t just about the truckers, it’s also about employers, clients, and the culture of the industry. Prioritizing the short term over the long term is the quickest way to sleep deprivation. Truckers and their employers have to overcome this.
- Slowing down.
Here’s a scary thought: a sleep-deprived trucker rushing through the highway in the middle of the night, sipping red bull and glancing over at pictures of his wife and daughter.
Suddenly, a deer walks out into the middle of the road.
I won’t tell you how this horror story ends, but I will tell you this:
The more risky variables that we force truckers to face, the more truckers will struggle to do their jobs safely. Encouraging safe, slow driving is a great place to start.
- Put your phone away.
Texting while driving is a nationwide problem, but truckers can’t afford to let it affect them.
The only thing scarier than a trucker flying through the highway at 90 miles an hour in the dark while sipping a red bull is that same driver sipping a red bull in one hand and texting or fiddling with their phone looking for their favorite podcast as well.
It should go without saying, but we’re going to say it: don’t text and drive.
- Take frequent breaks.
We’ve talked a lot about taking breaks on this blog, but the most important reason to do this is that time away from work allows drivers to do a better job while they’re driving.
This includes short-term breaks, like pulling over for lunch, a cup of coffee, or to sleep, but it also includes long-term breaks, like taking a week or 2 off for rest and recovery each year.
Whether you’re a new or experienced trucker is irrelevant, you need time away from work to get better at work. You need breaks to do your job more safely.
- Take care of your mental health.
Managing your mental health as a trucker is no easy task, but we’ve talked before about how important it is for drivers to have peace of mind.
Road rage is real, along with homesickness. Both of these feelings, along with other poor mental health habits can contribute to substance abuse and/or mental illness, both of which are increased risk factors for reckless driving.
Mindful living leads to safe driving.
These are just a few of the many ways that drivers can help make the roads a safer place. When drivers and employers focus on the well-being of their drivers, the roads become a safer place for all to travel.
Ironically, this is what will lead to more profits for trucking companies. Accidents aren’t exactly great for business.
Think you’ve got what it takes to be an effective, prolific, and safe trucker? Visit the link here to apply to join the Legacy team today. We can’t wait to hear from you.