Driving with Confidence: 4 Essential Safety Tips to Keep You Safe on the Road
How Grille Guards can help you minimize risk and maximize profits.
Any driver will tell you that behind the wheel, some days are easier than others. The open road can bring a sense of freedom and adventure, but staying on it for long hours can test the limits of endurance and safety. With endless miles and pressure to meet deadlines, remembering effective safety strategies can be the last thing on your mind. But by keeping these basics on your radar, you’ll have peace of mind knowing you’re doing what you can to keep yourself on the road and stay profitable.
1. Preventative Maintenance Matters
Most drivers can breeze through pre and post-trip checklists with ease, but how often are you really digging in deep to inspect the little things? Today’s trucks are complex, and staying consistent means staying up to date on electrical systems, GPS, and radar, just as much as the engine.
According to research from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, electrical failure is one of the top five most important concerns for semi-drivers, along with brake and engine failure, tire issues, and trailer coupling malfunctions. Checking in with your electronics during your inspections can save you time, money, and stress out on the road.
2. Research Your Route
Whether you’re taking a route you’ve driven a hundred times before or you’re hauling along strange new roads, a little research goes a long way. The internet makes it simple to look up road conditions and find out about any construction concerns or delays. Plus, you can take a look at the weather forecast to stay ahead of unexpected precipitation or icing conditions. The US Department of Transportation reports that 24% of annual highway crashes happen on snowy, slushy, or icy pavement. Being aware and prepared can help you better plan your route and timeline and help keep you safe.
Knowing about bad conditions is one thing, but being prepared for them is another. One way to ensure you’re ready for anything is to have an essentials kit in your rig. Whether you break down on a hot desert highway or get sidelined by ice up north, having food, water, towels, blankets, and non-perishable food in your truck can help keep you safe until help arrives or your trip gets back underway.
3. Take Care of Yourself
Your health and well-being play a huge role in staying out on the road year after year. If you don’t get enough rest or if you’re feeling ill, you run the risk of being unfit to drive. Prioritize rest during big runs and be sure to get enough sleep between shorter days. See your doctor regularly—yes, even between your DOT physicals—to ensure that you’re in the best condition to be on the road.
And if you feel sick? Don’t wait to take action. Your health is important, and running yourself ragged won’t help. Sick and tired drivers are a hazard to themselves and others. The National Safety Council reports that drowsy driving results in about 6,400 deaths every year and that 1 in 25 drivers admits to having fallen asleep at the wheel. Drowsy driving leads to slower reaction times and reduced powers of observation and attention, leading to accidents. Taking better care of yourself means taking better care of your truck and other drivers.
4. Protect Your Rig
Outfitting your rig with custom equipment is an excellent way to add some additional layers of safety. There are additional lighting, mirrors, and other accessories to boost visibility on the highway. But the most important way to keep yourself protected is by adding front-end protection like a Grille Guard.
A HERD Grille Guard provides unprecedented protection that helps minimize damage in the event of a collision or deer strike. And since deer cause around 1.5 million crashes each year in the US alone, you need all the protection you can get. HERD has a wide range of Grille Guards to fit hundreds of models from Freightliner, Kenworth, Mack, International, Western Star, Volvo, and Peterbilt. Best of all, they’re ready to ship with short lead times and come with an industry-leading 3-year warranty.
HERD engineers work hard to design dependable truck accessories that can keep you and your rig safe every day, with models and styles that are easy to install and come at competitive prices. Staying safe and staying on the road—what could be better than that?
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