You have probably seen countless news stories about truck drivers falling asleep behind the wheel and crashing headlong into a string of cars on the highway—usually taking several lives with them. These stories may have inspired you to give semis on I-49 a wide berth, but aside from that, there’s nothing you can do to decrease your risk of suffering a fatal crash—unless you spread the word about how easy it is for truckers to stay safe behind the wheel.
Here are four simple things truckers can do that will help avoid a semi crash:
- Look after your health. Truckers are advised to take rest breaks during a long haul, but little attention is paid to their overall state of health. Truck drivers who eat well and get regular exercise are not only likely to live longer, they also get better sleep, are more alert during drives, and are less likely to suffer from medical problems that can contribute to accidents.
- Check your rig. Driver behavior is the number one cause of semi crashes, but vehicle problems are not far behind. Truckers should inspect their rigs and trailers before each trip, taking special notice of the brakes, lights and tires. If there is a problem with your truck—speak up! Your company is obligated to perform service and maintenance on all of its vehicles.
- Buckle up. It may seem incredible, but some truckers don’t wear safety belts during their long hours on the road. A seat belt can save a trucker’s life in a crash, but also allows him to keep control of the vehicle in the seconds before a collision, possibly allowing him to take evasive action.
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