We brought you word yesterday of an event taking place this week all across the country called Roadcheck 2013. Inspection stations along our nation’s highways were set up to receive commercial trucks and make sure that the vehicles and those driving them were up to par with safety standards.
However, the event only lasts a few days, and it’s imperative that roads continue to be a safe place for all travelers. Thus, we thought we’d relate a few of the important safety tips provided by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance.
If you’re a commercial driver, first make sure that you’re up to the task of transporting a large load. Hours of service regulations should be obeyed so that fatigue can be avoided at all costs. Ample sleep ensures that you’ll be able to react in time to avoid a potential crash. Also abstain from alcohol while on the road. The substance is dangerous enough when clouding the judgment and ability of a regular car driver; intoxication at the wheel of a tractor trailer can create national headlines when a crash takes place.
When you’re ready to go, make sure your vehicle is as well. Look out for signs of damage or excessive wear and tear that could compromise the stability of the truck. Make blind spots as small as possible by getting the mirrors adjusted to a safe position, ensuring that the glass itself isn’t clouded by dirt or grime.
Once you’re actually driving, keep your mind on the road instead of on a conversation on a cellphone. Texting is particularly hazardous, but recent studies have shown that even a hands-free communicadtion can cause you to lose focus. Also refrain from such distracting habits as eating and paying too much attention to music on the radio.
You should always drive defensively while on the roads. Signage should be obeyed where posted and at no time should you exceed any speed limits listed along the highway. When you put yourself into this cautious mindset from the start, you’ll be less likely to engage in excessive lane changes and tailgating, two activities that could lead to a crash if another driver makes a sudden movement.
Also hone your situational awareness skills. You should always be cognizant of your surroundings, particularly vehicles that look like they’re about to enter your blind spots. Look in your mirrors regularly and be attuned to environmental changes that can signal a need to slow down. Inclement weather is cause to take things even more cautiously than you normally would, as is the appearance of a work zone along the side of the road.