On Illinois highways, motorists share the road with tractor trailers and other heavy vehicles. The variation in size and weight of all the vehicles on the roads can create unique hazards, and no one knows that better than you, if you are a semitruck driver. Your vehicle is bigger and heavier than many others, so what can you do to prevent truck accidents and keep everyone safer?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration says there is plenty you can contribute to highway safety, starting with staying alert. The FMCSA explains, "30 percent of fatal crashes in work zones involved at least one large truck." Paying attention in these zones and noticing "Reduce Speed" signs and other cautions can go a long way toward preventing mishaps in vulnerable places.
Other actions truckers like you can take include giving other drivers fair warning when you are preparing to slow down or turn. Signal early enough that those behind you can respond appropriately without unnecessary danger.
Also, if rain or snow is making roadways more hazardous, stay at a slow pace without worrying too much about whether others around you hope to go faster. Use reasonable caution and proceed at a speed that is appropriate for the conditions.
The FMCSA also warns truckers against driving without enough sleep. Drowsiness and fatigue can seriously slow reaction time, endangering you and everyone around you. Rest when you are tired to avoid the extra hazards.
Finally, drive undistracted. Turn your cell phone off, if necessary, to stay focused on the road. Keep other distractions such as eating and drinking to a minimum as well.
Note this information only intends to offer insight about truck safety and does not provide legal advice.