The danger of driving at night is worse for trucks, which have longer stopping distances than a passenger car. Darkness makes it more difficult to see hazards, and the empty roads and lack of light can make a truck driver dangerously drowsy. Since being a trucker requires driving after dark, it’s important to remember the many risks that exist.
In this article, we’ll discuss several nighttime driving tips for truck drivers. These safety tips can help prevent accidents and keep you and other drivers safe on the road.
Nighttime Driving Tips for Truck Drivers
- Reduce your speed and following distance. When you travel over 50 mph in a heavy truck, you may not be able to stop once you see something in the range of your headlights.
- Turn on your headlights one hour before sunset and one hour after sunrise.
- Verify that all of your exterior lights are working properly.
- Don’t look directly at oncoming headlights. Look toward the right side of the road, following the white line with your eyes.
- Keep your windows clean, as dirty windows can reduce visibility by up to 90 percent.
- Adjust your speed if there are dangerous weather conditions.
- Adjust your mirrors so that the view is just outside of the bodywork of the vehicle.
- Make sure that your headlights are properly aimed.
- Watch out for drunk drivers.
- Avoid smoking, as nicotine affects the ability to see at night.
- Keep your headlights on low beams when following other vehicles.
- If you have vehicle trouble, pull off the road as far to the right as possible and set up reflector triangles near your vehicle and up to 300 feet behind it. Call or radio for assistance.
- Make frequent stops to use the restroom, stretch your legs, and have a snack to reduce fatigue.
- If you feel drowsy, stop and rest. Don’t attempt to stay awake more than your body is able to.
Watch Your Hours
The Large Truck Crash Causation Study (LTCCS) reported that 13 percent of Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) drivers were considered to have been fatigued at the time of their crash. Many times you’ll be expected to respect strict schedules. However, it’s crucial that you always respect the Hours of Service (HOS) set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. They’re designed to protect you and other drivers on the road, and your failure to comply can result in hefty fines or losing your job.
If you have any questions regarding how safety can affect your insurance premiums, contact us at InsuranceHub. Your safety is our top priority!