Trucks are heavy, especially when carrying cargo like equipment, tools, or freight. By design, trucks require the use of slow speeds to brake safely. Due to the truck's weight, coming to a complete stop is more challenging than it may be in a more compact vehicle. For this reason, trucks require deceleration with a strategy to stop in time behind other vehicles, at stop lights, or for possible hazards on the road. Operating a truck requires prioritizing a driving strategy with cautiousness to ensure the safety of themselves and others on the road.
The Importance of Driving a Truck at a Safe Speed
It is pivotal that drivers take pre-caution every time they get behind the wheel of a truck by understanding the truck's weight and size and how this dictates the best way to operate the truck. A truck is large and weighs more than the average vehicle, making it drive uphill slowly and downhill rapidly, requiring the driver to utilize the braking system to decelerate safely. Driving a truck at the recommended speed leaves room for safely stopping before hitting another vehicle, median, or another hazard in the road. Speeding in any vehicle is one of the most common reasons for collisions today. Driving with strategy means driving defensively by being aware of what and who is on the road. The recommended speed for trucks is at or below 65 mph, and it is highly recommended that truckers drive below this speed limit and always utilize a seven-second following distance. There are several other ways truck drivers can operate a truck to ensure the safety of them and others.
Ways to Drive Safely:
Some of the best ways to drive a truck safely are operating under the expected speed limit, keeping an appropriate distance behind other vehicles, adjusting driving style depending on the weather, and reducing speed even more on curves and turns. The recommended following distance for drivers is at least seven seconds. These seconds allow the driver to remain in control of their speed, be aware of the driving style of the vehicles around them and stop for possible hazards in the road like debris or stop-and-go traffic. In comparison to smaller vehicles, trucks are much more susceptible to slipping, sliding, and flipping due to weight and size, so it is pivotal that a truck is driven at appropriate speeds. Another way to drive a truck safely is to use the cruise control function. The cruise control function helps the truck to maintain a consistent speed and should only be used when the weather permits. Along with ways to drive a truck safely is also knowing what type of events speeding can cause. Speeding in a truck can cause several incidents, and all these incidents can result in accidents.
What Does Speeding Cause?
Speeding is one of the number one reasons that drivers in cars, trucks, and SUVs find themselves in accidents. Big trucks have an increased opportunity of crashing due to their size. The truck's weight, freight, and size require braking to begin before other vehicles on the road have. Trucks are unable to stop in an instant like other vehicles, and because of this, truckers are expected to be aware of the traffic ahead and start the braking process early to alleviate the chance of sliding or slipping. Due to its size, a truck takes even longer to stop when speeding. There are some recommended tips for drivers to take with them on the road that will help them to make proactive choices to eliminate accidents.
Tips to Drive a Truck Safely
Some of the recommended tips for driving a truck proactively and defensively are as follows:
- Inspect the truck before pulling off
- Take your time
- Drive slower than the expected speed limit
- Limit distractions
When a truck is being operated, it should be done slowly. Every driving function should be done so with strategy. Whether pulling in or out of a truck stop, backing up, turning, switching lanes, or slowing down and speeding up, the truck driver should always drive strategically by operating the vehicle slowly. Driving slow in a truck grants the opportunity to drive defensively and safely by allowing the driver to be aware of what hazards may be on the road. Timing is everything in a big truck, especially when it comes to decelerating and stopping. Giving the truck enough time to stop smoothly by braking with strategy can minimize the opportunity for accidents like flipping, sliding, blown tires, or crashing.