Driver Safety

Be Mindful of Blind Spots Regularly check your mirrors every 8-10 seconds to stay aware of vehicles entering your blind spots. Additionally, scan the road ahead for approximately 15 seconds (equivalent to a quarter mile on interstates or one to two blocks in cities) to identify any potential traffic issues, work zones, or hazards.

Consider Long Stopping Distances Keep in mind that large trucks require a significant distance, up to two football fields, to come to a complete stop safely. Driving too fast for the weather or road conditions, as well as failing to reduce speed for curves or ramps, increases the risk of rollovers and accidents. Stay aware of the long stopping distances and make wide turns with caution.

Execute Wide Turns Carefully Remember that trucks need additional space and time to make wide turns. Take extra care when making turns, ensuring that you signal appropriately and allow for sufficient room.

Always Fasten Your Seat Belt Fatal accidents are on the rise, and not wearing a seat belt is a significant contributing factor. It is crucial to buckle up every time you drive or ride in a vehicle. Seat belts can save lives, minimize injuries, and enable drivers to maintain control of their vehicles in the event of a collision.

Maintain a Safe Speed The size and weight of trucks present challenges in terms of acceleration, braking, and maneuverability. Large vehicles have slower acceleration uphill and can gain speed quickly downhill. Drive at a safe speed, remain aware of your surroundings, and adhere to the speed limits at all times.

Stay Focused and Avoid Distractions Ensure you get adequate rest before driving, and avoid operating a vehicle when fatigued, unwell, or under the influence of medications (including over-the-counter drugs) that may cause drowsiness or dizziness.

Texting while driving is one of the most dangerous distractions. It is illegal for commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers to text while driving, and mobile phone usage must be hands-free, with dialing limited to a single button. Eating, drinking, using navigational devices, reading maps, or any activity that diverts your attention from the road can be distracting. If you need to attend to something other than driving, exit the highway or find a safe place to pull over – it's not worth the risk.

Always Signal Your Intentions Signal and brake early to provide ample time for other drivers to recognize your intentions. When pulling off the road, use your flashers, reflective triangles, and/or road flares to alert approaching vehicles.

Maintain Your Vehicle's Condition Ensure that pre-trip safety inspections are performed before embarking on your journey, paying particular attention to tires and brakes. Check that your load is properly balanced and secure, as an unsecured load can lead to rollovers or loss of control. Loose materials can also create hazards on the road.

Plan Your Trip in Advance Stay updated on weather conditions, road conditions, detours, and mountainous routes to plan your driving time effectively. Be aware that non-commercial navigation systems and apps may not provide warnings about height and weight restrictions and other limitations specific to CMVs.

Practice Safety in Work Zones Work zones present various hazards, such as lane shifts, sudden stops, uneven road surfaces, moving workers and equipment, and more. Unfortunately, fatal accidents in work zones are increasing, so it is crucial to prioritize work zone safety:

  • Reduce your speed, maintain extra following distance, and be prepared to stop.

  • Adhere to all work zone signs and signals.

  • Stay vigilant for changing traffic patterns ahead and be mindful of vehicles entering your blind spots.

  • Keep a sharp lookout for road workers and flag crews.