Are you about to begin your career as a semitruck driver? Despite your training, you probably feel nervous and still slightly unsure of what to expect from your first few solo trips. Explore these safety tips for rookie semitruck drivers for some advice on staying safe out on the open road.
Be a “Gentle Giant”
A semitruck should always be in defense driving mode. Since the vehicle is so large, it can’t react on a dime like other vehicles. Often, by the time you see an impending crash, it’ll be too late. This fact is why you should always try to be the most careful driver on the road. Crashing a semitruck can have disastrous consequences for any vehicle or pedestrians in the vicinity, so you should stay vigilant when driving.
Between cell phones and GPS devices, our trucks have never had more distractions. A distracted truck driver is a dangerous one because your eyes should always be on the road. The three leading causes of distractions typically fall into three categories: visual, manual, and cerebral. Your technology causes visual distractions when you look at a screen instead of the road. Manual distractions are when you get more preoccupied with doing something in your car than driving, such as eating or interacting with a passenger. A cerebral distraction is when your emotions get in the way of the attention you’re paying to the road. For instance, you could lose focus due to a panic attack or road rage. In times like these, it’s best to pull the truck over as soon as possible until the distraction passes.
Listen to Your Car
If you notice anything unusual happening with your car, it’s best to bring it in for repair. You might see warning lights or feel vibrations that prompt you to do this. You don’t want to break down with a load full of merchandise in the middle of a rural area. In worst-case scenarios, a component could break while you’re driving, causing a crash. So don’t ignore any warning signs that there might be something wrong with your cab or trailer. As you learn to understand your semitruck’s vibration, you’ll even be able to diagnosis problems just based on the sound and shaking alone.
The worst days you’ll have as a driver are those where you wake up in your truck after hardly getting any sleep and must groggily drive hundreds of miles. Don’t put yourself in such a precarious situation; get a good night’s sleep before your day starts. When you’re out on the road, all you have is yourself. So take care of yourself by going to bed on time. Little lifestyle habits can significantly impact your long-term health. Your body needs time to adjust to this new lifestyle, and sleep deprivation will only make that process slower.
After checking out these safety tips for rookie semitruck drivers, hopefully, your first trip goes off without a hitch!