You likely have your work cut out for you if you are a long-haul truck driver. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the average trucker puts in 60 hours of work each week. With so much time on the road, accidents become more likely, so safety should be a high priority for you.
There are some safety measures that are your own responsibility such as buckling up, paying attention to the road and following local traffic laws. However, there are also precautions that your employer should be taking to protect you.
How your employer trains you can have a decisive impact on your safety, as well as the safety of others. The CDC did a study where 38% of long-haul truckers claimed that they did not get enough training at the beginning of their careers. From the start, your company should make sure you understand how much cargo a truck can hold and how to secure the cargo. Training should also cover safe driving techniques that are unique to truckers, such as braking at the right time.
According to the CDC, 73% of professional truckers feel that their delivery schedules are tighter than they should be. Unrealistic scheduling can prompt you to drive for longer than you should despite how fatigued you are. You also may feel like you have to speed or drive aggressively in order to meet your deadlines. This is why reasonable schedules and deadlines are so important.
You should not think that safety hazards are just a part of your job and accept them. By making sure that your employer is following the right protocol, you can help protect yourself and others on the road.