Trucking isn’t an easy job. In fact, driving a truck is considered to be one of the most dangerous jobs in the US.
It’s understandable, considering the risks any driver takes when getting behind the wheel of a vehicle, let alone a massive 18-wheeler. Road hazards abound, and truckers need to be vigilant at all times.
But staying vigilant isn’t always easy, especially when spending long hours on the road meeting stringent delivery deadlines.
One way truckers can protect themselves is by being prepared and knowing the hazards to look out for while driving. In this post, we share the 5 most common dangers to be aware of.
When the roads start to narrow and orange barrels overtake the lanes, that means traffic is about to slow down, and that makes drivers antsy.
Oftentimes, drivers will rush to get in front of a truck when traffic slows, with some even jumping into the emergency lane, but this can be dangerous for the trucker.
If a car needs to brake alongside a truck and it happens to be in the trucker’s blind spot, it could result in an accident.
For truckers, the safest bet is to drive slowly, keep your eyes focused on what’s ahead, and use your four-ways if needed.
In some areas of the US, there are pavement drop-offs on the sides of cliffs with no guardrails to safeguard drivers.
This is a small hazard, but truckers need to be concentrating on the road at all times, watching for road hazard signs, and slowing down to accommodate risky areas.
It can be easy to forget about objects on the road, but it’s an unpredictable danger that truckers can prepare for by driving at or below the speed limit and being ready to act quickly and safely.
Objects in the road can include busted tires, animals, or items not secured properly to a vehicle. Always be on your guard and watch for animal crossing signs, whether you’re dealing with cows in Texas or alligators in Florida.
Merging...one of the common fears of a new driver, or an out-of-towner driving on an unfamiliar highway.
Ramps pose many threats, such as slow mergers, drivers who suddenly swerve off the highway to avoid narrowly missing their exit, or fearful drivers who even stop at the end of an on-ramp to wait for a clear opening to merge.
Truckers need to be extra careful near ramps, watch for hazard lights, and learn how to recognize unusual driving behaviors that signify an unskilled driver.
A slow driver on a bustling highway is anyone’s worse nightmare. And it’s not just because they disturb the flow of traffic, but because slow driving can signify a more dangerous threat, such as drunk driving, impaired vision, or drowsiness.
Again, truckers need to learn the signs that veer away from defensive driving patterns and move safely out of the way while keeping their eyes and ears open.