Driving a lorry is a big responsibility. Not only are you responsible for getting your load from Point A to Point B, but you also have to share the road with other motorists. That’s why it’s so important to avoid making common mistakes that could put yourself and others in danger. Here are three mistakes lorry drivers often make and how to avoid them.
- Not Checking Their blind spots before changing lanes
Lorry drivers need to be extra vigilant about checking their blind spots before changing lanes. Because of their size, it’s easy for other motorists to underestimate the amount of space a lorry needs to make a turn or change lanes. As a result, they may try to cut off a lorry that’s already in the process of changing lanes, which could lead to an accident. To avoid this, always use your mirrors and turn your head to check your blind spots before making any lane changes.
- Driving too fast for conditions
Lorries are much heavier than passenger vehicles, which means they take longer to come to a stop. That’s why it’s important for lorry drivers to always drive at a speed that’s appropriate for the conditions—even if that means driving below the posted speed limit. By driving too fast for conditions, you increase your chances of losing control of your lorry and causing an accident.
- Not giving themselves enough time to rest
Driving a lorry can be taxing both mentally and physically. That’s why it’s important for drivers to take breaks every few hours to rest and recharge. Many accidents are caused by driver fatigue, so it’s crucial that you give yourself plenty of time to rest between driving shifts. If you start feeling tired while on the road, pull over at the next rest stop and take a short nap before getting back behind the wheel.
- Not Doing a Pre-Trip Inspection
Before starting out on any journey, it’s important to do a thorough check of your vehicle to make sure everything is in working order. This is especially true for lorry drivers, as their vehicles are much larger and more complex than the average car. Failing to do a pre-trip inspection can lead to breakdowns and accidents further down the road.
- Incorrectly Loading the truck
One of the most common mistakes lorry drivers make is not loading their trucks correctly. This can lead to serious accidents if the load shifts while you’re driving. It’s crucial to ensure that all items are securely fastened and evenly distributed before setting off.
- Distracted Driving
Texting, talking on the phone, eating, drinking, and changing the radio station are all common distractions for drivers. However, taking your eyes off the road for even a few seconds can have catastrophic consequences when operating such a large vehicle. Lorry drivers should pull over at regular intervals to take a break and avoid driving for long periods of time without a break.
Lorry drivers play an essential role in keeping our economy moving, but they also have a responsibility to themselves and others on the roadways to drive safely. By avoiding common mistakes like those listed above, lorry drivers can help make our roads a little bit safer for everyone.