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5 safety tips from professional truck drivers

The United States transportation industry doesn't have enough truck drivers. This means that numerous transportation companies are offering incredible financial incentives to anyone willing to take the plunge and become a trucker. It also means that there will be a lot of new and inexperienced truck drivers on our nation's highways.

These new truck drivers may lack the experience required to be as safe as possible. Whether you're new to the trucking industry or you're a veteran trucker, the following five professional truck driver safety tips are for you:

1. Always use your seat-belt

This advice might seem obvious, but you'd be surprised how many truck drivers find their safety belts uncomfortable and end up going seat-belt free. Those who wear them, however, have a 45 percent lower chance of dying in a motor vehicle accident.

2. Drive slower

Being a long-haul trucker is all about deadlines, deadlines and more deadlines, but no one should ever let a deadline inspire them to speed. Not only does speeding make a truck driver more likely to get into an accident, but it will make serious damages and injuries more likely in the event that an accident occurs.

3. Leave early

The earlier you get started in the day, the less likely you'll get behind and be inspired to speed or take other risks. You'll also be more likely to be on time, and less anxious. An anxious and stressed out truck driver is more likely to get him or herself into dangerous accident conditions.

4. Do a long-distance travel checkup

Check to make sure that your windshield wipers are in good condition and that you have plenty of wiper solution to keep your windshield sparkling clean. Check all fluid levels. Check your tire pressure, lights, turn signals and review any other potential problem areas. Make a habit of doing this every morning before you start driving for the day.

5. Plan your driving route ahead of time

You probably have plenty of fancy electronic gadgets to tell you when and where to turn, but if you don't review where you're headed beforehand, you could get taken by surprise. Do a quick review of interstates, roadways and exit numbers before you start work in the morning. Also, try to plan your rest stops in advance, and don't forget to plan for meals. A hungry driver is not going to be as attentive and alert on the road.

Are you a safe truck driver?

You're the only one who knows exactly how safe you are on the road. Make sure to avoid unnecessary risks, drive defensively, get plenty of rest and avoid all distractions while driving a big rig, and you will dramatically reduce the chances of being liable for a trucking accident. Your safety, and the safety of everyone else on the highway, depends on it.

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