Return to site

3 Safety Hazards Truck Drivers Need To Watch Out For

broken image

Being a truck driver can be an extremely stressful and difficult- not to mention dangerous- job. After all, an 18-wheeler vehicle is about 70 to 80 feet long on average, and can weigh up to 80,000 pounds!

It’s not just the size of the truck, either. The sedentary nature of driving a truck combined with the long hours the job demands can put truckers at high risk for ergonomic and equipment-related injuries, fatigue and more.

Because their trucks are so large and their hours are so long, there are a number of potential safety hazards truck drivers encounter every day on the road. Here are three of the top things a truck driver needs to watch out for to avoid catastrophe.

Accidents With Other Vehicles

This comes as no surprise, but the top hazard of being a truck driver is the high potential for accidents involving other vehicles on the road. Over 500,000 big truck accidents occurred in the U.S. in 2019, and of these, nearly 5,000 were fatalities. Truck drivers need to be well-versed in defensive driving skills, including maintaining a safe speed, keeping a safe following distance behind other vehicles and staying aware of their surroundings at all times.

Weather-Related Accidents

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, nearly a quarter of all vehicle crashes each year are weather-related. Poor visibility and icy or slick roads can wreak havoc for vehicles of any size, but it can be especially tragic if a semi truck is involved. Big trucks are difficult to control even on the sunniest of days. Inclement weather conditions only up the risk of a semi truck crash. Because of this, truck drivers must use sound judgement to decide whether to pull off the road in a storm, use their lights to maximize visibility, and ensure there is plenty of space between them and other vehicles to allow for longer stopping distances.

Equipment Failure

A study by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) shows that vehicle equipment failure is the cause of 10 percent of all crashes. On a semi truck, the equipment that is most likely to fail and cause an accident includes tires, brakes, steering, suspension and the underride bar, which prevents smaller vehicles from sliding underneath a big truck in the event of a collision. In order to prevent equipment failure and mitigate risk, drivers are encouraged to report any issues they are experiencing with their trucks right away, as well as have their trucks undergo routine preventative maintenance.

Driving a truck is no easy feat, and truck drivers have to face a lot of potential hazards on the road. By using good judgement, following standard procedures set forth by their trucking companies and sharing the road responsibly with other motorists, they can help avoid the need for a truck accident lawyer in Denver Colorado.

Knowing how to manage these issues is part of being a professional truck driver, and it’s important that truckers keep these safety tips top of mind when driving their load cross country.