When you drive a big rig, the sheer size and weight of the vehicle will create unique risks. If you do not know how to properly handle hazards that may arise, you could end up in a life-changing situation.
Your behavior behind the wheel will influence how susceptible you are to specific risks. The behavior of other motorists also influences your safety and your ability to navigate hazards with control.
Understanding the danger
Some of the hazards that could impact your safety include the weight of your cargo, the weather, the condition of your rig and road construction. Whether or not you get enough rest, your sobriety, your experience and how familiar you are with your truck’s large blind spots will also influence your safety. In a staggering statistic shared by Verizon Connect, truck driving ranks number seven out of 25 of the most dangerous occupations in the United States.
Without adequate experience, rest and attention, you may lack the capability to respond to hazards you encounter. This could result in a serious accident that jeopardizes your well-being. Your vigilance is also important because you never know how other motorists will drive around you. Knowing how to drive defensively can help you better protect your safety.
Mitigating the danger
There are a number of things you can do to improve your safety when you drive a big rig. Some of them include the following:
- Follow federal regulations for rest and breaks
- Never consume alcohol or medications that could make you drowsy
- Properly load and secure any cargo you transport
- Participate in safety training provided by your employer
- Ensure your truck receives proper maintenance and repairs
- Avoid all distractions
Your awareness of the risks of your job can help you stay safer. Implementing responsible driving habits will improve your control and response in unprecedented circumstances.