December 5, 2022Are You a Safe Driver?
Gone are the days when walking to work or taking a short bike ride was normal. With advancing metropolitan areas comes the need for more and more cars. As demand for goods also rises, the demand for more moving trucks to maintain the supply chain also increases. Safety comes into question with so much moving metal on the roads, and being a safe driver has become more critical than ever. What does it mean to be a safe driver, and are you one? Also, here are five things that make driving more dangerous.
What Makes a Safe Driver?
Being a safe driver doesn’t always mean knowing every road rule. The most important part of being a safe driver is always being alert and aware of what’s happening around you. Being a safe driver also means being knowledgeable about the different kinds of vehicles on the road. A trucker must be aware of cars just like cars should know how trucks operate. A fully loaded semi-truck is very different from a commuter car regarding visibility, maneuverability, and, most importantly, stopping power. Learning how truckers share the road safely with other cars will make anyone safer.
5 Things That Make Driving Dangerous
1. DISTRACTED DRIVERS
Many aspects of driving can be considered dangerous, and getting behind the wheel is always a risk we usually must take for our well-being. Adding to an already hazardous necessity, being a distracted driver makes things much more dangerous. Distracted drivers come in all shapes and sizes, but anything that takes the focus off the road should be avoided while driving.
2. WEATHER CONDITIONS
Mother nature has a way of deciding whether a commute will be difficult. Changing seasons bring winter driving challenges, and being aware of these changes and how to handle each of them would help in the quest to be a safe driver. Besides challenges in winter, the summer heat can also affect driving, especially for truckers. Knowing about each changing season and the difficulties they may bring is essential.
Speed limits are set for roads and highways based on the safest pace for travelers. Speeding even 10mph more increases the chance of an accident by 9%, which doesn’t sound far-fetched considering how many tons of metal you’re moving, especially as a trucker. Speeding also decreases stopping power, meaning it takes longer to come to a stop when traveling at higher rates. To reduce the impact of accidents involving speeding trucks, speed limiters in commercial trucks could become a norm if speeding continues to be an issue. No appointment or job is worth rushing for, and risking yourself, sticking to the speed limit, and traveling at the same speed as other traffic will keep you and those around you safer.
4. ROAD RAGE
One aspect of driving that may be difficult to control but adds to the dangers of driving if not handled correctly is road rage. Getting cut off traffic or running late can trigger road rage and increase your blood pressure. Things can get dangerous when road rage hits because the urge to speed or perform other dangerous maneuvers sets in, and anger can lead to poor decisions behind the wheel. Combating road rage is essential for safety and a smoother, stress-free ride. Stress is bad for health, and since truckers spend so much time on the road, learning to handle road rage will lead to a better work environment.
5. INEXPERIENCED DRIVERS
Do you remember everything you learned in driver’s ed? Would you pass if you had to retake the driver’s ed test right now, whether for a regular or commercial license? Not remembering everything from driver’s ed doesn’t make someone inexperienced, but how much of a safe driver can you be while forgetting these essential rules? It might be time for a refresher. Teen drivers are also hitting the roads more now, which adds danger until they can gain experience. For trucking, an attempt to fill the driver shortage is considering allowing teens 18+ to train with experienced drivers and gain the knowledge they need to hit the roads themselves.
Being a safe driver means more than just keeping your hands at 10 and 2 and checking your mirrors often. Understanding what makes driving dangerous can help make a safe driver. Not speeding and getting a handle on road rage are also essential for being a safe driver. Practice safe driving whenever hitting the road for your safety and the safety of those around you.