Bad habits that most of truck drivers get
Behind the steering wheel, bad habits are formed during truck driver’s career. These things negatively affects the reflexes and handling ability on the road. Most traffic accidents are caused by human error, especially truck drivers. That means they’re entirely preventable. There are some common mistakes that can cause danger and lead to crashes when a driver operates a truck.
Driving when feeling tired
A survey in 2018 of AA in the UK showed that about 15% of drivers in this country admitted dozing while driving. In addition, about 40% of respondents said that they regularly drive in a tired state and are likely to fall asleep even when they are not aware of it.
American researchers concluded that, driving without enough sleep (less than 5 hours of sleep per day) is just as dangerous as driving while intoxicated (DWI). The best and only “antidote” for drowsiness, not tea or coffee, is a deep sleep. Therefore, you’ve got to always remind yourself that you will only drive your truck when you are conscious. If you are too sleepy, stop and take a nap for about 20 minutes before continuing to drive to ensure the safety of both yourself and other road users.
Do not wear seat belts
If you do not have the habit of wearing your seat belt when you are in the cockpit, sadly, you are in extremely dangerous. And it’s even more threatening when you control the truck at high speed. According to a study by Autocar, there is the fact that, not wearing your seat belt is much worse than no airbag in your vehicle.
The reason is that, when braking quickly, the driver’s body will be plunged into the front of the steering wheel, while the airbag will inflate and bounce back against the seat. The force of the airbag is very fierce, so if you are not held by the seat belt, the driver could be completely injured by a strong collision from both sides (collision with the airbag due to inertia and collision with the seat back). That’s not a great recipe for survival. It can cause injury, even death, to the driver. Therefore, always make sure your seat belt is securely fastened, when you are in the cockpit.
Clinging too close to the car ahead
Driving too close to the vehicle right in front makes it difficult to handle and stop in time, if the vehicle in front suddenly slows down. Therefore, the advice of experts is to always maintain the distance to the vehicle ahead following to the “rule of 3s”.
Specifically, “3s” is the time for the driver to safely stop the truck after the brake pedal is applied. This principle is calculated based on the aggregate of the driver’s reflex speed, the truck’s momentum after braking, so that the vehicle can stop completely and avoid a collision. Therefore, ensuring the “rule of 3s” will help you be safer when traveling on roads. It especially works when driving at high speeds (from 60 km/h or more). For instance, if you go at a speed of about 60km/h, the minimum safe distance is 35m, if you get a speed of 60-80km/h, it is about 55m.
If traveling in urban areas with heavy traffic, you can apply the principle of 2s (or 1s) in cases that the speed of both vehicles are not more than 20km/h.
There are many reasons why drivers do not pay 100% of their attention on the roadmap. Normally, drivers will be distracted by other issues such as text messages, calls, emails … A poll of the American Automotive Association found that 41.3% of drivers admitted reading messages on their phones while driving, and 32.1% of these respondents said they drove and responded to emails at the same time. In addition, the entertainment system, including the speakers and the entertainment screen, also makes the driver sitting in the cabin easily distracted.
The advice for drivers is to turn on music at the low volume, just enough to hear the other sounds from nearby vehicles, and not to read or send messages while driving. If necessary, the driver should stop and talk directly by phone.
Dive too fast or too slow
Excessive speed is the most common traffic violation in the country, and it is responsible for 33% of all fatal accidents, according to the UK’s Ministry of Transport. Conversely, driving under the speed limit poses a significant danger, because it makes vehicles behind, who are maintaining the permitted speed, to stop or avoid suddenly. British safety experts also warn that slow driving will increase the risk of an accident because this is a cause of chaos on the road.
Therefore, the truck drivers need to know the minimum and maximum speed of the roads before moving, and strictly comply with the speed instructions of the warning sign.
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