Trucking accidents can have a significant impact your life as well as those of many others. If the accident involves a passenger vehicle, those inside of it are likely going to be hurt or killed. The same is true of any pedestrians who are hit by a large truck. Even if you're not a trucking company, these tips can help out any businesses that may be moving with a large truck at some point.
Don't Drive Drowsy
You could hurt yourself or others on the road if you drive when you're too tired to concentrate. Ideally, you won't drive unless you have slept for at least seven of the last 24 hours. Trucking accidents often cause more deadly consequences than crashes involving passenger vehicles. For everyone’s safety on the road, it’s more important that you get the proper amount of sleep than getting to your location on time. Driving while drowsy can have the same negative consequences as driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.10%. At the first sign of fatigue, it is a good idea to look for a hotel to stay in or simply pull over and take a nap. If you feel drowsy after getting seven or eight hours of sleep, you may have a sleep disorder.
Inspect the Truck Before Driving
An effective way to reduce trucking accidents is to ensure that the vehicle is functioning properly before making a trip. Ideally, this inspection will include an overview of the tires, brakes and lights. You should also check to make sure that there is no damage to the truck that could make it unsafe to operate. If you are carrying hazardous material, make sure that the truck has proper warning labels so that other drivers are aware of what you're hauling. Even if you aren't hauling the necessary weight to demand truck labeling, they are still recommended. Using an NFPA 704 label will make sure that in the case of an accident, emergency responders will know how to interact with the hazardous material.
Make Gradual Stops
It can be extremely difficult to stop a truck without a significant amount of lead time. Therefore, it is important that you learn how to stop your truck gradually. This can either prevent an accident from happening or reduce the amount of damage that it causes. As gradual stopping is an acquired skill, it is critical that you practice doing so as much as possible. Your employer may be willing to pay for training classes that can help accelerate your learning curve.
A trucking accident can weigh heavily on your mind for months or years after it happens. It can also have a negative, long-term impact on your career. Therefore, it is important that you understand how to avoid a crash or minimize the severity of an accident. Trucking companies can end up paying extremely expensive policies if they create a fleet driving record that has a lot of accidents. If you have a high mod rate already, working with an experienced risk management broker is a necessity for helping your company improve it's bottom line.
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