How can truckers reduce the chances of an accident?

Big rig drivers can focus on their health, study unfamiliar roads and practice vehicle safety to reduce the chances of traffic accidents.

Truck drivers in Louisiana and other parts of the country often see a lot of road time. With so many large trucks traveling across the country, it is not surprising that there were 475,000 crashes involving a semi over the course of a single year according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Of these accidents, 104,000 resulted in at least one injury and 3,864 resulted in at least one fatality. While truckers do not always hold all of the blame for these collisions, a lot of the responsibility for preventing crashes may fall to them because of the sheer size of their vehicle and their time spent on the road.

Stay healthy

A healthy, content driver is less likely to make poor decisions that lead to a crash. Long-haul drivers need to eat right and rest plenty to make sure they maintain their overall health. If a person decides to head out on a trip after staying up all night, he or she may not have the responsiveness required to make quick, smart decisions. Even skipping meals can affect how the trucker perceives traffic patterns. When big truck operators focus on their mental and physical health, it can positively impact their ability to stay safe on the highway.

Study maps

Truckers do not always have the luxury of driving in areas that are familiar to them because they may end up taking loads all over the state or country. If a person has to drive a semi on unfamiliar roads, he or she should take the time to study the maps before starting the trip. Getting familiar with the projected path can make it easier for drivers to focus on the road, traffic signs and other cars instead of being distracted by GPS. When going on a trip down unfamiliar roads, truckers should prepare themselves for a slower-than-normal drive to ensure they do not miss important turns.

Practice vehicle safety

Semi drivers are responsible for the road-worthiness of their vehicle. Before heading out on a trip, operators should do a safety inspection. This type of inspection should look at the following:

  • Fluid levels
  • Tire wear
  • Brake defects

While keeping the vehicle safe for the road is a vital part of vehicle safety, truckers also need to practice safe driving techniques. This includes maintaining proper driving speeds, using turn signals and keeping a level head in heavy traffic.

Louisiana roads can be full of a wide variety of vehicles including big rigs and other large trucks. No matter what role a semi has in an accident, it may be beneficial for those involved in a crash to work with an attorney familiar with this type of case.