Trucking Tips: Accident Preparedness

You may have chosen this career because of flexibility or freedom, or it’s a family affair, or possibly an opportunity to be an entrepreneur.  Regardless of your reason for entering the Transportation industry, you have the benefit of a corner office with an ever-changing view, and you may have an ownership stake in “rolling real estate” your driving.  The flexibility and perks come at a potential cost: You’re driving your office through an ever-changing environment with a revolving door of neighbors and environmental conditions.

Identify The Risks

You may not be facing threats continually, but it’s important to be aware of threats or vulnerabilities while on the road, and prepare for them.

Threats around you include other drivers, road hazards, wildlife, and weather.  Below we’ll touch on a collection of the more common threats you might encounter.

Other Drivers

Depending on your route, you will likely encounter both highway and surface roads, rural and urban environments.  Drivers react differently in these environments based on the stimulants and stress levels they encounter.  As a professional driver, you’ve likely learned how to manage these stimulants and maintain composure, you need to be aware of the drivers around you who aren’t as well-versed or familiar with the driving characteristics of their vehicles, and now pose a threat to your potentially 80,000 lb vehicles in motion.

Road Construction/Hazards

If you use a smartphone or Net-connected GPS, you may have construction and detour information fed to you on-the-fly.  Don’t count on that 100% of the time: amp up your alertness to be on the watch out for any debris or road damage that could damage your equipment.

Active Wildlife Area

While a raccoon or even a small deer may not cause immense damage to your equipment, the risk is being startled and swerving.  Know that you’re in their habitat and an animal may emerge from the side of the road without warning.

Equipment Failure

We hope it’s rare, but equipment failures do occur, and nothing could be worse than breaking down out of cell phone range without supplies.

Mitigate The Risks

While much of this won’t be groundbreaking for most, we hope these suggestions will serve as helpful reminders.

Keep A Buffer

When dealing with unpredictable drivers on the road—especially urban environments, leave ample space in front of you.  In most places, this is inviting others to cut in front of you, but keeping this buffer will also prevent accidents from sudden braking.

Slow Down

Construction zones are often double-fine zones because of the injury risk, but to shift lenses a bit, these zones are also often littered with construction debris, downed signs and more, so slowing down and remaining acutely focused on the trajectory and wheel paths of your truck or bus can also prevent equipment damage.  The same goes for wildlife areas: slow down, be aware, and if possible, avoid driving through these areas at night when visibility is limited and more creatures are scavenging for food.

Maintain Your Equipment

While regular maintenance is the best way to reduce the likelihood of sudden equipment failure, prevention isn’t 100%, which is why it’s important to keep a small emergency kit including water, some non-perishable snacks, and a first-aid kit.

Insurance For Truckers

Taking appropriate measures can help prevent most incidents, but the most important step is taking out the right insurance for you and your equipment.  Engs now offers insurance through ENGS Insurance Agency, LLC, providing competitive rates and excellent customer service.