Your driving habits affect more than just yourself. When you slide into the driver’s seat, you have a responsibility to share the road with everyone else. This means being careful, respecting other vehicles, and staying alert behind the wheel. Everyone shares this responsibility, but it’s particularly important for commercial drivers. When you make a living on the road, being a good driver is an essential part of a successful work environment. Protect yourself, your job, and other drivers with these safety tips for commercial drivers.
Be Smart About Your Route
Safe driving means planning ahead. Before you leave for your next job, plan your route carefully. Look up local weather, road conditions, and any construction projects that you might run into along the way. This will help you avoid unexpected mishaps or traffic jams that can hold you up or put you in a risky situation. As you plan your route, be sure to include backup plans in case something doesn’t work out. When you know what to expect on the job, you’ll be prepared for anything you encounter.
Don’t Exhaust Yourself
The last thing you need to do is continue driving when you can barely keep your eyes open. Driving while exhausted is effectively the same as driving while intoxicated. You’re not as alert, you have slower reaction times, and your judgment isn’t as good as it is when you’re more awake. Take care of yourself while on the job so that you can stay alert and safe behind the wheel. Get plenty of sleep every night, and don’t sacrifice sleep to drive a few more hours. Regular exercise will also keep your blood flowing and boost your energy, so be sure to stop, stretch, and walk around every so often.
Sober Driving Is More Important Than Ever
Don’t drink and drive. That’s a crucial rule for everyone, but it’s also one of the most important safety tips for commercial drivers. The law holds commercial drivers to higher standards when it comes to drinking and driving. When you operate a commercial vehicle, you must have a blood alcohol content level of .04 or less—even lower than the normal federal standard. Some states have even stricter driving laws. Before you hit the road, make sure you know exactly how a DUI affects commercial drivers. You put both your career and your safety on the line when you drink and drive.