While driving a truck can be a rewarding career, it can also be a dangerous one. You don’t only have to worry about your own heavy load on the roads, you have to constantly be aware of other drivers, what other drivers are doing and your reaction times need to be fast and effective.
One of the most dangerous situations that truck drivers are faced with today is the long hours that they spend on the road, when driving alone these hours seem never-ending and are tedious as you grow drowsy and bored.
First all drivers should have HGV training and be licensed to drive the truck they are driving. Companies that allow illegal drivers in their trucks are disasters just waiting to happen. Of course there are so many trucks on our roads, many of them are not from within the UK and are making deliveries from neighbouring countries, so you need to always be aware of your own surroundings to remain safe while on the road.
Many truck drivers will drive from one end of the UK to the other as a normal route, sometimes very early starts and very late nights are the normal, being away from home for a week or more as they work to make money and put a roof over their family’s heads.
So what can you do to ensure you are safe on the roads?
Take Regular Breaks
If you are a sole driver, chances are you get lonely and bored quickly; this is a recipe for disaster. Even if you are used to this environment, taking regular breaks, stretching your legs and having something to eat or drink can be the boost you need to get on the road again.
No matter how tempting it is to carry on because you know there are only a few more miles to go, taking a short ten minute break will not make that much of a difference, enabling you to arrive safely.
Music can always keep you going, put a mix together of lively music or choose a radio station that is guaranteed to keep you awake as you hurtle down the road. Remember that these roads are narrow here in the UK and often you will need to manoeuvre through streams of traffic, so don’t play the music too loud, this enables you to hear the sirens when police and ambulances need to get passed.
If it’s not too cold, drive with your window down and the heater off, this will keep you going for longer periods. Carry coffee with you at all times so you can pull over have some coffee with your window open allowing the fresh air to keep you refreshed.
Check your Mirrors
Always keep an eye on your mirrors, it isn’t you that is the problem, it’s the other drivers on the road and you can never anticipate what drivers are going to do. You are much larger than them, but at the same time you need to drive alongside them and you need to be quick should problems arise.
Keep on Trucking
Most truck drivers drive because they love it, they get to see magnificent scenery, they visit various areas throughout the UK and meet new people along the way, but you need to drive safely in order to enjoy this part of the job. Be careful, take your time and ensure that you are wide awake so your reflexes are top notch when tackling our busy motorways.
Every driver will have a story to tell, but you can keep yours to a minimum by taking basic safety precautions to arrive alive.