Defensive Driving for Commercial Truck Drivers
You may have already heard of this term, but what is defensive driving? Simply put, defensive driving is operating a vehicle passively and reactively to your surroundings and other drivers in order to avoid any incidents. While the definition does imply a passive driving strategy, commercial truck drivers who practice defensive driving actually must stay active, alert, and engaged. Yes, these are all qualities commercial truck drivers should be demonstrating anyway when behind the wheel of a big rig, so what are some defining actions of defensive driving? Get the most secure vehicles at these semi truck auctions.
Aware of Surroundings
Commercial truck drivers must stay aware of their surroundings — both in and outside of their cab — at all times. The only way to drive defensively and reactively is by being able to understand what is going on around the vehicle. Drivers should pay attention to what’s down the road, road signs, traffic conditions, blind spots, and more. Driving long distances can get monotonous, but it’s important to check and make mental notes of the surroundings actively.
Commercial truck drivers should also try their best to anticipate driving behavior of the vehicles around them as part of being aware of the surroundings. Other drivers may or may not always drive safely, so it’s up to the truck driver to control their situation as best as they can. Being able to predict if a car is going to pass and get in front of the truck will prep the driver to react accordingly.
Create Safe Following Distance
This goes without saying that defensive driving entails creating sufficient following distance between the commercial truck driver and the driver in front. In the event traffic slows down with little warning, this will give the truck driver ample time to slow the truck’s momentum safely.
Signal and Be Seen
Another tip for defensive driving is making the commercial vehicle visible to others. Headlights and turn signals should be used correctly and appropriately to ensure the safety of the driver and others on the road. Beyond that, commercial truck drivers should drive with safe intentions, such as braking early when necessary, so they can also afford other drivers the opportunity to see them and give the trucker enough space.