As a commercial truck driver, you’ve been trained for every situation you encounter on the highway. It takes talent to maneuver a big rig through traffic and sometimes less-than-perfect driving conditions and still make your deadline. However, no matter how experienced you are, it’s good to review the basics. Here are several driving refreshers for CDL holders.
Don’t Drive Impaired
When you hear about impaired driving, you automatically think of alcohol and drugs. However, that’s not the only way you can become debilitated while driving. If you’re sick or you’re not getting enough sleep, you’re a driving risk. Even certain medications make you drowsy when you’re behind the wheel. To stay safe, make sure you always get enough rest and you’re in good health.
What does it mean to drive defensively? Defensive driving is employing skills and strategies to defend yourself against car accidents. You need to be aware of your surroundings and other vehicles at all times. Check your mirrors every few seconds and know where your blind spots are. Also, be sure you have enough time to react to other drivers.
If you come across a work zone, watch for lowered speed limits and be prepared to stop. In the unfortunate event that you’re ticketed, get help from a CDL traffic attorney to keep your license in good standing.
Prepare Your Route Ahead of Time
The worst thing you can do before a journey is not preparing. Always know what the weather forecast is for your entire trip. This helps you plan for storms ahead of time. Next, stay on top of traffic updates for your projected route so you can avoid congested areas. Last, if you’re traveling to a new location, map it out ahead of time.
Nix Common Distractions
Simple distractions are to blame for far too many accidents. When you’re driving a commercial truck (or any vehicle for that matter), it’s important to stay focused. Never use a cellphone while driving and keep both hands planted on the wheel. Keep your radio down to a normal level especially when driving through heavy traffic. Always program your GPS before you leave and not while you’re driving and if you’re feeling drowsy, get off the road.
It takes great skill to be in command of a commercial vehicle, but it never hurts to review common-sense safety practices. By driving defensively and undistracted, you’ll keep yourself and everyone else safe.