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Sunrise to Sunset: Important Safety Tips for Truck Drivers

While day and night driving each have their pros and cons, they also have specific precautions drivers follow to make sure they stay as safe as possible, any hour of the day.These timely safety tips for truck drivers make sure you successfully navigate your route no matter when you drive – the late hours of the night, the busiest of traffic jams during the day or anytime in between.

DAYTIME DRIVING TRUCKING SAFETY TIPS

While driving during the day may seem like the safest option for an average automobile driver, day driving for semi-truck drivers is actually more dangerous than trucking at night. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, truck accidents occur most often between 6 a.m. and 3 p.m., the most popular time for other automobile drivers to be on the roads. More traffic means more distracted drivers.And that raises truck drivers’ risk.

Most truck drivers may have more energy and be more alert during the day, but distractions, like heavy traffic, can cause drivers to lose focus. While driving during the day, keep these tips in mind:

  • Stay focused on the road yet aware of your surroundings, such as other drivers, road construction or cars pulled over, to name a few.
  • Avoid road rage. Stay calm and increase distance between you and other angry drivers.
  • Practice the three-second rule to maintain a safe distance with other traffic. Allow three seconds to pass between the time the car in front of your truck reaches a particular spot on the road and the time it takes your truck to reach that same point.

NIGHTTIME DRIVING TIPS TO KEEP TRUCKERS SAFE

For many truckers, nighttime is the ideal time to hit the road. Nighttime trucking means less traffic, fewer distracted drivers and fewer risks. However, there are still specific safety tips to follow if you’re taking your route to the night shift.

Perhaps one of the most common risks of nighttime trucking is impaired vision. It’s important to make sure you’re fully prepared for a night on the road. Keep the truck’s windshield clean, avoid looking at oncoming traffic, use high beams when appropriate and wear prescription glasses (if required). These are small measures you can take that will make a big difference when it comes to having a clear vision of the road ahead.

But a larger issue for nighttime truckers probably won’t come as a surprise—fatigue.

Avoid drowsy driving at all costs

Drowsy driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving. Driving while fatigued leads to impaired decision-making and slow reaction times. Drivers who have been awake for 20 hours are impaired on a level equitable to the legal blood alcohol content limit, 0.08%. Getting less than of five hours of sleep can actually double the chances of getting into a crash. To ensure you are able to give the road your utmost attention, follow these tips to help you avoid drowsy driving.

Stay hydrated

Drinking enough water can help you feel energized. Dehydration can you make you feel sluggish and cause you to experience periods of fatigue. Staying hydrated can also help you focus and stay alert while driving. Have a water bottle to drink that’s easily accessible in your truck can help make sure you meet hydration goals.

Utilize podcasts or music

What’s one thing that can lead to drowsiness? Boredom. Audiobooks, podcasts or your favorite playlist can help you avoid zoning out during nighttime routes and keep you feeling awake for the long haul.

Take a break when you need it

If you start to doubt your ability to stay awake, the safest option is to pull over and take a break. Rest until you are confident that you can drive safely.

WORK FOR A CARRIER WHO PUTS YOUR SAFETY FIRST

Driving during the day vs. driving overnight usually comes down to a driver’s preference and their pick-up/delivery schedule. No matter what time of day drivers hit the road, they should have a plan of action to keep themselves and other drivers on the road safe. These safety tips for truck drivers will help. During all hours of the day, the Midwest Carriers operations team is standing by to assist our team and ensure drivers stay safe. Whether you prefer day driving or the night shift, Midwest has current OTR, Regional and shuttle driver openings. Learn more about open positions and driver opportunities and how we’re committed to keeping our driver team safe.