One of the most important jobs in the United States is long-haul trucking. The men and women who perform this job make sure that just about every commercial, chemical, medical and other important good is delivered and available on time. It is also one of the riskiest jobs one can perform. Here are some tips to help keep your commercial drivers safe on the road.
Regular and Thorough Maintenance
Maintaining your fleet of trucks is the most important thing you can do to keep your drivers from having accidents. Be sure there is plenty of tread on the tires, the oil is changed regularly and the brakes are solid and new. Check all of the fluid levels, the mirrors and the horn every day to make sure everything is in good, working order. If anything seems out of sorts, have it thoroughly checked over and repaired before allowing the truck on the road.
Proper Loading of Cargo
Cargo that shifts or falls over creates a far greater threat than just the possibility of damaged goods. In fact, cargo that is stacked too high creates drag on the truck, which makes it harder for the driver to steer, and cargo that falls over can actually create conditions which can lead to the truck jack-knifing or tipping over. Take care when loading up your vehicles.
Encourage Good Driving Habits
Educate your drivers on safe driving habits and do everything you can to encourage them. Your drivers should always engage in the following activities while on the road:
- Slow down when driving in work zones. Not only does this increase safety, but it can avoid hefty fines.
- Keep an eye on blind spots. It is all-too-common for truck accidents to occur because the driver did not see a car in a blind spot.
- Slow down on curves. Even if your drivers religiously follow the speed limit, their rigs are harder to control than cars. Dipping below the limit on curves keeps things steady and safe.
- Take care in inclement weather. Slow down and allow plenty of space for stopping and maneuvering. This is true whether the roads or icy or simply wet. If the situation gets too dangerous, pull over. While lateness is not ideal, it is better to be late than to not arrive at all.
Encourage Healthy Habits
Keeping your truckers healthy is a good first step in keeping them safe. Encourage them to sleep, eat and exercise right. Hold workshops and competitions that encourage healthy living. The healthier your drivers are, the more awake and alert they will be when behind the wheel. An alert driver has better reflexes and is less likely to fall prey to road rage and bad decisions.
Do you have any other ideas about keeping drivers safe on the road? We would love to hear your thoughts. Leave us a comment below!