The People’s Lawyer

How can you be a safer truck driver?

On Behalf of | Apr 30, 2024 | Truck Accidents

West Virginia can be a challenging route with its high traffic volumes and changing terrain, which can become dangerous if you’re unprepared. Accidents involving large commercial vehicles are part of reality, and safety is paramount for everyone.

So, how can you navigate these mountains while minimizing the risk of accidents? Here are some trucker-tested tips:

Know your limits

Mountain roads are not places for complacency. Be honest with yourself about your experience and your capabilities. Feel free to reduce speed on sharp curves and descents. Remember that even cruise control might not anticipate sudden drop-offs.

Weather the storm

West Virginia’s weather can change on a dime. Don’t gamble with your safety. Check weather forecasts religiously and adjust your driving schedule accordingly. Fog, heavy rain and snow all demand extra caution. Sometimes, pulling over might be the smartest move.

Inspect, don’t neglect

Pre-trip inspections are not just a formality – they are lifesavers. Check your brakes, tires, lights and mirrors before every trip. A worn-out brake pad on a steep descent could spell disaster. As a driver, you are legally responsible for ensuring your vehicle is safe to operate under Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations.

Share the road, not the blame

Sharing the road with passenger vehicles requires constant vigilance. Maintain the recommended following distance and be mindful of blind spots. Other vehicles are smaller and less visible, especially on winding roads. A courtesy tap on the horn can go a long way in avoiding misunderstandings.

Buckle up for safety

This one’s a no-brainer. Seatbelts are the first line of defense in an accident. It’s not just about protecting yourself, it is also the law. West Virginia has a mandatory seatbelt law for all drivers and passengers.

Fight fatigue

Drowsy driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving. Plan your route strategically to include rest stops and utilize sleepers when available. Federal regulations limit the number of hours a trucker can drive without a break. Know your limits and prioritize rest to stay alert.

By following these tips and staying focused, you can avoid accident repercussions and ensure a smooth and safe ride through the Mountain State.