According to the FMCSA, there are around 400,000 truck crashes each year. Of those 400,000, 18% of them are rear-end collisions.
This is because commercial vehicles are harder to maneuver than passenger vehicles. Essentially, more time and effort are required for a truck to come to a complete stop. This is an important factor that contributes to many rear-end truck crashes.
While you can’t control what other drivers do on the road, you’re responsible for the safe transport of your goods. To help mitigate the risks out there on the road, here are four ways to prevent rear-end collisions in your truck.
Ways to Prevent Rear-End Truck Crashes
The following are some of the best ways to ensure you don’t cause a rear-end crash while operating your commercial vehicle.
According to safety studies, distractions seem to be the cause of many rear-end collisions. For instance, using your mobile device while driving can increase your chances of ending up in an accident. This statistic isn’t surprising considering one’s concentration gets divided when multi-tasking.
As a truck driver, you’re must ensure the safety of those around you. If you must look at your device or GPS then it’s best to find a safe place to pull over.
Since you have a much slower reaction time in a truck, all of your attention should be on the road to avoid any rear-end crashes.
Maintain a Safe Following Distance
Following other drivers too closely increases the chances of a rear-ended collision. This is because you never know when the driver in front of you may slam on their breaks. Since you’re driving a commercial vehicle, you need more time to stop.
Therefore, you need to take into account the length of your commercial vehicle and how fast you’re traveling. A good rule of thumb is for every 10 mph, leave the length of 1 vehicle in between you and the car in front of you.
By maintaining a safe following distance you’ll reduce the chances of a rear-end crash significantly.
Maintain a Safe Speed
Every road and highway has a posted speed limit that drivers are obligated to follow. However, this isn’t always the case.
Oftentimes truckers are on a tight schedule and want to reach their destination on time. However, even if you’re running late to your pick-up or drop-off location, speeding to get there quicker isn’t worth it.
As stated above, truck drivers have less control when it comes to braking, accelerating, and visibility. Therefore, the faster you’re going the less control you have over your vehicle.
To keep yourself and those around you safe, you should always follow the posted speed limit. If you’re running late we suggest calling the receiver, supplier, or your boss to give them an update on your current location and estimated arrival time.
Get Enough Sleep and Take Breaks
Many truck drivers get drowsy while being on the road for hours on end. Therefore, you must get 7 to 8 hours of sleep a day. If you aren’t able to do this all at once, we suggest taking breaks or naps periodically throughout your trip.
Preventing rear-end crashes is not difficult as long as you get your rest, follow the speed limit, maintain a safe following distance, and avoid distractions. As a truck driver, we suggest following these tips to help keep you and others safe on the road.