If you’re a trucking school student, you no doubt have already heard that safety is a truck driver’s best friend out on the road. There is no more important part of the job than the driver operating a big truck than operating the vehicle safely, and it is the truck driver’s first duty behind the wheel.
The trucking community also has safety on the brain, and loves to offer little reminders to drivers on the road to stay safe, and what better time to begin absorbing that information and offering yourself reminders than as a trucking student? A video from the truck driving website Smart-Trucking.com outlines things a truck driver should do while driving. As a trucking student, this is key information, so drilling it into your head (figuratively, of course) is vital to your success.
1. Look as far down the road as you can. Anticipate potential trouble by staying aware of what is going on up ahead. Big trucks stop more slowly than smaller cars and trucks, so you need a greater stopping distance, especially in severe weather. By looking ahead, you can see potential problems developing and prevent your involvement in an accident, and avoid making a bad situation infinitely worse.
2. Look for an escape route. Keep a lookout on either side of you at all times in case an accident, stalled vehicle, or some other hazard. If you need to get out of the way quickly, it’s better to know whether there are other vehicles on either side of you if you need to move quickly. Always be checking your sides, and know if a vehicle is bearing down on you. “That’s not to say you shouldn’t check it constantly, because you should,” the video’s host says, “but I like to keep an eye on it.”
3. Maintain a safety circle. Keep yourself in an open area whenever possible. Try to keep yourself separated from the pack and avoid nestling yourself in the middle of a group of vehicles. Of course, that can be difficult when cars swarm around you, which they tend to do, but do your best to stay out in the open.
4. Check your mirrors often. There are two reasons for this: first, to check traffic as it approaches. Second, to ensure there are no problems with your truck or trailer that is visible from the outside. If you, for instance, have a flat tire, you may see it from your mirrors, but may not notice a change in the way the truck is riding.
Instructional and self-help videos like this are common around the Internet, particularly on sites like YouTube. They can provide a great supplement to truck driving students in their education, and can offer them one more way to learn and be exposed to the truck driving lifestyle while they are not physically in the cab or in a classroom. Do yourself a solid and track some down to watch on a regular basis.