No matter what type of driver you are safety will be of concern for you. You'll want to ensure that you get to your destination safely. If you spend a lot of time on the road like the average truck driver does then you'll be even more concerned with safety. To give you some insight the average truck driver spends up to 300 days on the road. That's a massive amount when you consider the types of conditions they have to deal with - for example drought and flooding in different parts of Australia. Truck drivers must be extremely alert at all times as even one split second on the freeway can be the difference between life and death.
So of course, if you're a truck driver you probably have a family waiting at home, so here are some tips to help ensure you safely get to your destination.
1. Focus on safety. Place it above everything else. Although there may be a quicker route and you may be able to do things an easier way, that isn’t necessarily the best way. It’s better to be late to your destination than to risk having an accident. So when you’re driving your truck, if you think you may be late then instead of taking risks, pull over and call your boss or your customer to let them know you’ll be late. Most decent people would rather someone was late than never.
2. Speaking of pulling over if you think you may be late. It is also advisable that you pull over if you are tired. If you’re tired you’re not just putting your life in danger, you’re also risking the lives of every other road user. There are certain OH & S guidelines that every firm has to follow so if you’re tired then you shouldn’t be on the road. Take a break, have a sleep and then get back onto the road. Don’t risk it.
3. Make sure your truck’s safety gear and maintenance are up to date. The worst case scenario is that you could break down in the middle of nowhere and with Australia’s vast deserts that could end up being fatal. You could also potentially cause an accident if your tuck isn’t properly maintained. When you’re using a vehicle for work purposes it is even more essential that the maintenance is up to date and that you follow the recommended guidelines.
4. Australia has so many different weather conditions. One minute it could be a drought and the next it could be flooding. If you’re travelling a long distance then make sure you get the weather report and make plans for if the weather changes. If you’re driving through rough terrain then ensure you have enough fuel, an emergency radio and water. If you’re going into a flooded area then it may be worth delaying the trip until after the storm has passed.
5. Truck drivers, like travelling sales reps or other people who spend a lot of time on the road see a lot of accidents and will know how bad they can end up. If you’re a truck driver you should take a defensive driving course and know what to do in a sticky situation. Knowing what to do could be the difference between life and death. By spending a little bit of time doing one of these courses you could potentially save your life and the life of others on the road.