Tips To Avoid Frequently Occurring Trucking Accidents
Even the most careful truck drivers can get into accidents. Although you stand a better chance of surviving the accident and avoiding serious injuries than a car, you still want to take every precaution to keep yourself and others safe on the road. Here we list the most common accidents and how you can avoid them.
Frequently Occurring Accidents
Here are some of the most common commercial truck accidents:
- Head-on and rear-end collisions
- Jackknife accidents
- Blindspot accidents
- Roll-over accidents
- Underride accidents
- Tire blowouts
All of these accidents can cause serious harm to yourself and other drivers but can be avoided with some smart driving tips.
Statistics about truck crashes
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published its most recent statistics about truck crashes:
- 57% of fatal crashes involving large trucks occurred in rural areas
- 27% percent were on Interstate highways
- 13% were both—rural Interstate highways
- There were 13 fatal large truck crashes per million people in the U.S.
Tips for truckers to avoid accidents
Experienced drivers use the following safe driving methods to stay safe on the road:
Following Speed Limits
This is an obvious tip, but keeping an eye on speed limit signs is safe driving 101. However, adjusting your speed for bad weather is also important so you can still stop safely.
Know Your Routes
If you drive the same route every trip, then you are familiar with the roads and can anticipate turn-offs, etc. However, if you’re always taking on new jobs and the routes are unfamiliar, it can make it easier to miss an exit or encounter unexpected hazards. If you are suddenly veering to reach the exit in time, you put yourself and other drivers at risk. Plan your route, note exits and have a better understanding of the roads, so you are prepared for hidden exits, exits that come up fast, or even things such as bridge and trestle clearance issues.
Call Ahead to New Destinations
Once you’re off the main highway, you might encounter some unexpected challenges as well. Calling ahead to speak to your contact at a new destination can provide insight into potential hazards or unusual obstacles you might encounter. It could simply be a hidden entry, or something a little more troubling like low-lying wires or navigation challenges. When you know the dangers to look out for, you can take steps to avoid them.
Check Sight Lines
If you find your delivery spot has some challenges such as lots of traffic, pedestrians, or awkward angles that are difficult to back into, park your truck and assess the situation. If it seems especially tricky, enlist a spotter from your delivery site to look for things like overhead clearance, or that you’re aligning your back end. Just keep in mind you have to be hyper-aware of their location, while also paying attention to all the other areas they aren’t spotting.
Keep An Eye Out
Busy malls and other more public spaces are at higher risk for blindspot or pedestrian accidents. Be sure you have a clear sightline as you back in. Also, keep an eye out for the unexpected so you avoid blind-siding cars or hitting pedestrians.
Follow the Regulations
Never drive too many hours or when you are tired or under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Even something like being ill with a fever or common cold can interfere with your driving capabilities.
Stick to Maintenance Schedules
Ensure your vehicle is well-maintained and conduct full inspections before each trip.
Of course, you also always want to remain focused and avoid distractions such as being on your phone, fiddling with a GPS, or even eating. All of these tips will help you avoid accidents.
Some accidents are just that… accidents. You can’t prevent everything, and even the most cautious driver gets into scrapes sometimes. But by reviewing these tips for truck accident prevention, and always using common sense and careful driving techniques, you can hopefully avoid a deadly situation.