Understanding Safe Driving Strategies for Commercial Drivers to Limit Accident Risk

There were more than 400,000 accidents involving large trucks, such as semi trucks, in 2014. About three-fourths of these accidents were caused by the driver of the passenger vehicle rather than the truck driver, but it’s still important to know and implement safe driving strategies for commercial drivers to help limit the overall risk of being in an accident.

Don’t Speed

While there is a time frame in which the goods a commercial driver is hauling need to arrive at their destination, it isn’t a good idea to speed, as more than half of all accidents involving semis were due at least in part to one of the drivers involved speeding. Plan trips accordingly to give you enough time to make it to your destination on time without speeding. Driving the proper speed means you’ll have less risk of getting a ticket and less risk of getting into an accident.

Pay Attention

It’s easy to get distracted while driving, but try to avoid this as much as possible as the second most common reason for accidents involving semis or large trucks is a driver being distracted or inattentive. Don’t even think about using a phone while driving. Watch out for other drivers that may be going too fast, switching lanes constantly or otherwise driving erratically. Because most accidents are due to other drivers, not truck drivers, watch for people who are traveling too close so you can take steps to avoid an accident, such as letting them pass or starting to brake earlier.

Stay Calm

Driving can be stressful, but letting emotions get to you can cause your driving to suffer and increase the risk of an accident. Don’t get stressed out by others who are driving aggressively or cutting people off. Not only will getting upset and stressing over other drivers’ actions make accidents more likely, it can also damage your health. Too much stress and anger can increase blood pressure and the risk of a heart attack.

Consider a Defensive Driving Course

There are a number of courses available for professional drivers on how to drive defensively or limit accident risk, some of which are even offered for free. Taking one of these courses will give you the skills to help you become an even better driver.