What Causes Truck Accidents?
Vehicle accidents are common, but because of the size and weight of commercial vehicles, crashes and injuries can be more severe. According to the most recent data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA), about 5,000 people were killed in the United States in big truck crashes in 2017, with tens of thousands injured.
In addition to potentially damaging yourself and your truck, getting into a crash of any kind can also affect your reputation as a driver and your company’s reputation in the industry. Rather than taking big risks and hoping for the best, prioritizing the safety of yourself and those around you can help your big truck avoid big disasters on the road.
Preventing Driver Errors
It’s a challenging time right now for professional truck drivers. With Hours of Service exemptions in place over the past few months, the increased stress of on-time deliveries, and last-minute route changes due to nationwide shortages, drivers are facing longer schedules and driver fatigue.
No matter how experienced you are in the profession, you still must take care of yourself on the road. While you may have a routine of caffeine and sugary drinks to keep you going and offset the lack of quality sleep you may be getting, tricking your system to stay awake isn’t the same as being truly alert. Preventing driver fatigue and driving smart with limited and calculated lane changes can help you stay safe during the entire length of your journey.
Catching Vehicle Problems
One of the consistencies in life is that trucks will always break down. No part is meant to run forever, but it is possible to catch early part failure before it leads to total and unexpected downtime. Checking these critical systems in your truck consistently can help you catch and address some of these issues before you’re stuck on the side of the road:
- Pre and post-trip inspections of the truck may take a little extra time to complete, but this is one of the most common areas where truckers can catch potential problems that may impair their safety. Checking lights, signals, mirrors, backup cameras, and other essential parts of your truck’s visibility can make a big difference.
- Tires contribute to 25 percent of truck breakdowns. Make this part of the pre-trip inspection and check the tire pressure while also looking for signs of tread damage, bald spots, and cracks.
- Brakes are the next critical system that needs to be checked frequently. Look at brake timing and balance and ensure that air lines are disconnected and stored properly to avoid leaks.
- Your truck’s electrical system, including the condition of the battery, wiring, and cable connections, should all be looked at. Having connections that are tight and free from corrosion are good signs that your electrical system is working just fine.
- It’s easy to set and forget your oil and coolant levels, but if your systems don’t have the right lubrication, it could spell disaster later.
Navigating Road Problems
There are a lot of drivers navigating routes they aren’t familiar with, especially during the disruption that Coronavirus has brought to the country. As a truck driver, you can’t control the roads that you’re dealt, but using the tools that are available to you to anticipate construction and identify the safest routes available to you can be helpful with avoiding inconvenient issues.
The pre and post-inspections of brakes and other systems can also work in your favor during situations where you’re driving on cruddy roads. Having confidence in your tires, brakes, wheel ends, and electrical will get you through any rough journey.
We’re Here to Keep You and Your Vehicle Safe
No matter where you’re preparing for, in the middle of, or at the end of your journey, we’re here for you when you need to get your truck back into peak performance. Check out our full haul of heavy-duty everything; from your cab to your undercarriage and everything in between, we can get you what you need, when you need it.
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