Driving on the road for a few hours can be fun but it is certainly not when you keep driving for many hours. That’s what truck drivers do every day. Who is a truck driver? Anyone who drives a vehicle with a load of 3 tons is a truck driver. The trucking industry delivers products from manufacturing units to warehouses to consumer stores. Cargo drivers drive the vehicle for hundreds of miles with tons of freight load. Unlike any other vehicle, they face safety hazards more.
Recent investigations have shown that the fatality rate in the trucking industry is increasing. In 2017, the death rate in the industry was 11 percent of the total workforce. Thousands of drivers get injured on the road. They face various safety dangers besides threats on road. So they need to adopt extraordinary road safety measures. PPE must be part of the driver toolkit. Like the drivers with weak eyesight must wear prescription Rx Safety Glasses.
Common Safety Hazards in the Trucking Industry
Some common safety threats in the trucking industry are the following.
Driving distraction is any factor that disturbs the driver focus on the road. Most common types of driving distraction include these:
- Cell phone use
- Sunrays disturbing vision
- Loud music
- Work calls
Due to continuous driving on the roads, drivers get tired. They need to take proper rest. But instead of it, many of them keep driving the vehicle. As a result, drivers are fatigued and pose a major safety risk. Most of the accidents of commercial vehicles occur due to this factor.
Combining all of the above factors, truckers meet with road accidents quite often. As per the National Safety Council, road accidents in the trucking industry is a common incident. Negligence, lack of sleep, and not following the highway traffic rule are the main reasons behind these accidents.
- On the road, truckers face following safety hazards.
- Collision with another vehicle due to lane change or speed variation.
- Curves and turns on the highway as it is difficult for truckers to drive on these spots.
- The danger of slip or fall due to rain or snowfall.
- Crushed by another heavy vehicle.
- Acute trauma injury if met with an accident.
Long haul vehicles are not easy to manage. They pose more dangers than any other regular vehicle. Workers of the trucking industry have to face the hazards associated with vehicles.
While on or off the road, they face the following vehicle hazards:
- Fire explosion due to an accident.
- Fire due to a mechanical or electrical fault in the vehicle like leaking of inflammable fuel or gas.
- The danger of catching harmful gases such as Carbon monoxide due to leakage.
- Hearing loss danger due to vehicle’s noise.
- Health dangers due to the change in vehicle temperature.
- The danger of collision with a heavy object while loading and unloading the cargo.
Tips to Ensure Safety for Truckers
The trucking industry is struggling hard to ensure the safety of its workers. They need to adopt the following safety measures. These safety tips will reduce the threats at a minimum level.
Complete Vehicle inspection before driving
Although vehicle inspection is part of every trucking company, still they miss sometimes important parts of the vehicle. It is the responsibility of the management and the drivers to check the vehicle thoroughly. Check its electrical, mechanical, and suspension system with care. If any minimal fault appears, don’t risk your life by driving.
Sleep Enough Before Driving
Lack of sleep costs drivers and the company very heavy. So get enough sleep before driving. If you feel tired and laziness, take a rest, and freshen up yourself. Driving a heavy vehicle seeks a lot of focus. So don’t risk yours and others’ lives by driving with sleepy eyes and mind.
Observe Highway Safety Rules
We see highways with many safety boards and instructions. Be a good citizen by observing these safety rules. These rules are designed differently for each type of vehicle. So follow all of the rules specified for heavy vehicles.
Use PPE when needed
PPE industry has designed safety devices for the trucking industry. Make sure to use personal protection equipment while driving. Drivers often need to wear specific safety equipment. They get distracted by glare of the sun rays on the road on a hot summer day. Wearing safety sunglasses can save them from this distraction. Providing PPE is the responsibility of the company. Companies can do an agreement with any safety provider to supply safety eyewear. There are many eyewear manufacturers like Uvex, Oakley, WileyX, and 3M Safety Glasses, etc. Trucking companies can do a contract with any safety manufacturer in the best interest of their workers.
Besides these safety tips, every driver must adopt additional safety measures that they seem necessary according to their work hazards. Showing a spirit to practice safety is the only way to reduce the hazards in the trucking industry.