Fatal accidents on America’s highways jumped 6 percent in 2016, making it the deadliest year on the road in nearly a decade. The trucking industry can play a major role in reducing accidents and fatalities on the road by improving safety habits.
In 2014, the most recent year for which data is available, about 12 percent of all the people who died in automobile accidents were in crashes involving large trucks, according to Trucks.com. Truckers aren’t at fault in all these crashes, but drivers can reduce the risk of accidents by adopting safer driving habits that keep them from committing errors that result in crashes and allow them to better respond to errors by other drivers to avoid wrecks.
Here are four tips for truckers to improve their safety habits:
- Avoid texting and distractions – Researchers have found that a big contributing factor to the increase in fatal accidents is distracted driving. Some studies have found distracted driving to be an even bigger risk factor for a crash than drunk driving. It’s simple—if you’re operating your truck, don’t text or fiddle with your phone. Have a convenient mount for your device if you use it for navigation purposes, and use the voice commands instead of typing addresses and directions.
- Cut your speed in work zones – Nearly one-third of all work-zone fatalities involve big trucks. When traveling through areas where road construction or roadside building construction is ongoing, reduce your speed and be mindful of pedestrians.
- Adjust your seating – Truckers who are in comfortable, well-positioned truck seats stay more alert and have better visibility than drivers in improperly adjusted or worn-out seats. Taking the time to ensure your truck seat is of good quality and properly adjusted can improve your on-the-road safety and may even improve your lower back health.
- Load your cargo correctly – Stack your cargo in a smart manner. Distribute your cargo low and throughout the space of the truck instead of just stacking it high in one corner. It will make it easier for you to brake and will also improve fuel economy.
Suburban Seating & Safety provides the trucking industry with truck interior accessories and seats that make significant contributions to driver health and safety. Learn more by visiting the company’s online store of truck equipment.