Driving Defensively and Keeping a Level Head as a Truck Driver

As a truck driver, the last thing you want to do is get into an accident. If you hit another vehicle, especially a smaller car, the aftermath can be very serious.  

While you can make sure you follow all of the rules of the road, you can’t guarantee that other drivers will. That’s why it’s very important for truck drivers to remain aware and drive defensively. When things go wrong, you need to act accordingly to avoid catastrophic accidents.  

Here are a few ways to accomplish that. 

(Also, make sure to check out our post about winter driving.) 

Maintain Space 

You never know when the person in front of you might slam on their brakes. When that happens, you need to make sure you can stop in time. Even if you’re driving below 40mph, you should keep at least 4 seconds of space between you and the vehicle in front of you. Higher speeds should be at 5 or more seconds depending on your speed, vehicle weight, etc.  

Always be mindful of road conditions as well. When weather is bad and roads are wet/icy, you should double your distance. 

Look Ahead 

Obviously when you’re driving, you’re looking forward. But as a truck driver, you need to look beyond what’s immediately ahead of you. Look down the road. See construction and traffic jams before you have to start slowing down. 

Mind Your Surroundings and Use Your Signals 

Though your primary focus is ahead of you, you need to always be checking your mirrors so that you know what’s going on around you as well. When you’re switching lanes or turning, make sure to signal well in advance.  

Never assume that another car sees you or knows what you’re doing. Show extra caution and leave space. 

Stay Calm 

When another driver is acting reckless and causing you problems, it’s natural to get upset. As a truck driver, however, you cannot afford to lose your cool. Road rage and overly aggressive maneuvers will only result in people’s lives being put at risk. 

Be patient and remain calm. Strive to be the better driver. If you need to process or vent your emotions, try reaching out to your dispatcher or calling a friend. 

Having a Good Job Helps 

If you’re frustrated with your current driving job, you’re going to be frustrated every time you get into your truck. Whether you realize it or not, your attitude towards your job can and will affect your driving performance.  

In that case, it might be best to look for a new trucking job. One that treats its drivers like part of the family while offering great incentives and quality athome time. If that sounds good to you, apply to Woodruff Enterprises today! 

Truck drivers are currently wanted in Springfield, OhioVisit our careers page here to learn more. 

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