When it comes to driving, the road shows no favorites. It doesn’t matter if it is a four-minute drive to your company’s business meeting, or an eight-hour drive to unload cargo, you must be careful. It doesn’t matter if it is your first day behind the wheel, or you’re a seasoned veteran that’s driven hundreds of thousands of miles, you must be careful. Regardless of the situation it is always important to take all the necessary steps to make sure your commercial vehicle and the trip you take is as safe as it can be.
1. Inspect Your Vehicle
Look your vehicle over. The first step in making sure your vehicle and trip is as safe as it can be is to thoroughly check your vehicle. No matter if it is a four-door sedan or a semi hauling a trailer, doing a walk around and pre trip check can help prevent an accident. This means checking to see if your wheel lug nuts, tires, mirrors, seatbelts, brakes, and other components not only look adequate but are also functioning properly.
2. Load and Unload Your Vehicle Carefully
When loading and unloading your commercial vehicle it is important to not rush and cut corners. This could mean using a team lift to load a heavy object into your vehicle instead of attempting to do it by yourself. Another example would be taking a little extra time to make sure your cargo is loaded and balanced properly to avoid any possible spill overs. This tip may appear to not affect those who don’t deal with larger cargo hauling vehicles but keeping the items inside any vehicle organized is
important. This means keeping your “workspace” clean, removing trash regularly, keeping papers tidy, and following state laws regarding phone usage while driving.
3. Drive with Caution
It is always a good habit to drive with caution, especially when driving or operating potentially larger and heavier commercial vehicles. An easy way to help avoid any accident or harm to others is to plan prior to your trip. Make sure to check the weather before leaving, know where exactly you are going, and the directions needed to get there. Next, check your surroundings. Keeping a constant eye out for possible accidents is a great way to avoid them, checking your mirrors and scanning the road will give you the best chance to brake early and avoid any accident. Lastly, don’t be distracted. It is easy to find your mind wandering on a long business trip or delivery, but driving with caution takes your full attention, and avoiding distractions like your phone, music, and a variety of others will help ensure a safe trip.
4. Self-Care is Important
Take care of yourself. As stated above driving requires your full attention. This means while on the road you need to be able to use your judgement to react quickly and effectively, but if you have neglected yourself it is much tougher to this. Making sure you are getting enough sleep, food, exercise, water, and relaxation time, will help keep you functioning at your peak level. As the driver it is your responsibility to maintain your health, both physically and mentally, to ensure that your trip is as safe as it can be.