Addressing Common Road Safety Challenges: Insights from Bender Transportation’s Operation Safe Driving Week
What Is Safe Driving Week?
This month, the week of July 9 through July 15 was Operation Safe Driving Week. This week occurs each year to prioritize and educate on road safety. Operation Safe Driving Week is an initiative launched by Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance. They announce a yearly safety topic they want to tackle during the week, and this year’s topic was speeding. To help educate drivers, they offer free pamphlets for law enforcement to give out on safe driving.
Bender Transportation participates in this week each year it comes around. We’re dedicated to educating our drivers and our clients about road safety. To see how Bender Transportation is dedicated to road safety for our truck operators, read here for how we encourage and practice safe driving!
Safe Driving Tips for Truckers
We know this year’s Safe Driving Week has passed, but driving safety is important year-round. So continuing in the spirit of Safe Driving Week, here are our tips for truck drivers road safety.
Defensive driving is essential for any safe driver to practice, especially truck drivers. Defensive driving is a driving strategy where the driver is constantly vigilant about any potential dangers on the road. It’s important to keep in mind that this is not encouraging offensive behavior, but rather, it’s a way to defend yourself. Some defensive driving habits include:
- Keeping a solid distance between yourself and the car ahead of you
- Checking your mirrors to see if there are any hazards coming behind you or to your sides
- Avoiding aggressive drivers or letting them pass you
- Getting rid of anything that might be distracting for you in the car
The key to defensive driving is to remain vigilant. While it doesn’t guarantee you will never experience an accident, it helps lower your likelihood significantly.
Trucks have to do a lot of driving on a daily basis. With so much use, preventative maintenance is necessary to ensure your vehicle operates smoothly and doesn’t pose any risks to you while driving. Even small things like rotating your tires regularly and keeping up-to-date on oil changes will keep your vehicle safe and efficient. Preventative maintenance also allows you to see any potential problems before they become a hazard to you on the road.
Check for Blind Spots
As anyone who has driven a truck will know, trucks have very large blind spots. Since you have no control over what the other drivers on the road will do, you must remain constantly vigilant about your blind spots. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recommends that you check your blind spots every 8-10 seconds. This is especially important whenever you’re changing lanes so as to not accidentally hit another vehicle.
The 3-second rule is a rule of thumb for how much space trucker drivers and regular drivers should leave between themselves and the person ahead of them in order to stop safely. The basic principle is when the car ahead of you reaches a certain point on the road, it should take you three seconds to reach the same point.
This is especially important for truck drivers to follow. Trucks at highway speeds require around 600 feet to stop safely—nearly double what it takes for a car to stop safely. Always make sure there is enough room between you and the vehicle ahead of you, and if a vehicle gets too close by merging ahead of you, try to slow down to add more space.
Because of a truck’s size, it requires more time and space in order to turn. As a truck driver, you must be aware of how much space you need in order to turn. While turning, it is vital that you check blindspots and any oncoming traffic to make sure there is nothing in your blindspots that you may hit and that you have enough time in order to turn.
Join a Team Dedicated to Your Safety at Bender Transportation
If you’re looking to join a trucking company that understands the importance of getting home daily and is dedicated to your safety, Bender Transportation is the right place for you. We pride ourselves that 90% of our drivers go home daily. Providing regular maintenance and inspections for your vehicle, you can rest assured knowing that both you and your vehicle are in safe hands. To become a professional operator, apply today!