5 Tips to Stay Safe When Driving a Truck at Night
It is very important that all drivers practice road safety when traveling. That’s why we see many traffic rules, signs, and guidelines set on the sides of the roads so serious accidents and injuries can be prevented.
For example, truck drivers need to be extra careful when traveling. Most of them prefer driving long distances at night because there are fewer vehicles around them. While this can be a great advantage to motorists, truck driving at night can also be very dangerous. In fact, the number one cause of truck driving accidents at night is fatigue as drivers can easily get tired and fall asleep at the wheel. Luckily, there are several precautions you can take to ensure your safety on the road and prevent unpleasant incidents from occurring. Here are five essential truck driver safety tips you should follow when driving at night.
Do a thorough pre-trip truck inspection
If you are planning on going on a long-distance journey, it is important that you do a thorough pre-trip truck inspection. This way you will ensure that your vehicle is in great condition and it is ready to hit the road in full force. A basic detailed inspection includes double-checking the brakes and tires as well as making sure all of your truck lights are working.
In fact, the latter is very important to do because your truck’s lights are the best and only way to communicate with other vehicles and passengers on the road. So, make sure your headlights, clearance lights, and even your led rotator lightbar are working properly so you can be visible at all times.
Don’t go over the speed limit
Although following the speed limit should go without saying, its importance cannot be stressed enough. The thing is trucks are often heavily loaded when on the road and if the driver goes even a little bit over the appointed speed limit, there is a greater risk of getting into an accident. This is especially important to follow when taking wide turns on the road. Driving at a high speed can cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle, so being aware of the speed limit can instantly reduce the risk. Besides, driving over the speed limit can also result in steep fines if stopped by the police.
Avoid driving between trailers
Avoiding driving between trailers is a safety tip that applies to all truck drivers. Failure to do so can be dangerous for two main reasons. For one, tractor-trailers need plenty of space when they need to make a turn. If you are driving your truck close to the trailer, you can increase the risk of collision between the two vehicles. Another reason is that the likelihood of a crash is much greater when the driver of the trailer applies brakes in an emergency and you are not maintaining a safe distance behind it. So, make sure you keep your eyes open for trailers, especially at night when visibility is significantly limited.
Be aware of the weather conditions
Extreme weather conditions can also increase the risk of a crash occurring when driving at night. Although you cannot control the weather, you can be extra careful and avoid driving in heavy rain, snow, or wind. If you happen to be on the road during such unpredictable weather conditions, there are ways you can practice safety. For example, if it’s raining or snowing heavily, lower your speed, keep your lights on at all times and maintain a safe distance between you and other vehicles on the road.
Be a responsible driver
Part of practicing road safety when truck driving is being a responsible driver. This doesn’t only include following the speed limit, but also wearing your seatbelt at all times and avoiding driving drowsy or under the influence. Driving at night requires staying focused and being aware and cautious of the potential hazards on the road. Also, because truck driving usually involves traveling long distances, you should take regular breaks to stretch and freshen up. Find a suitable rest area where you can park your truck safely and rest for as long as you need to.
There is no denying that driving a truck can be hard and dangerous. However, there are measures you can take to practice road safety and avoid getting into severe or fatal accidents. From doing a thorough pre-trip truck inspection to being a responsible driver, be sure to follow the basic guidelines of driving at night and always stay safe when on the road.