15 Truck Driver Safety Tips On The Road

Becoming a truck driver is an enjoyable, rewarding, fulfilling, and lucrative career choice for many people. You can get paid to explore the country, enter the field with minimal requirements, and have many opportunities for job growth. A career in trucking presents many potential advantages but is not without risk. Truck driver safety is a serious concern, which is why safety is a top priority in the trucking industry. Read on to learn why truck driver safety is important and get helpful truck driver safety tips. 

Why is truck driver safety important?

Large trucks face unique safety challenges on the road. The vehicles require special handling, particularly in inclement weather, hilly terrain, and rough roads. In addition to navigating road conditions, truck drivers also have to account for other drivers on the road. 

According to the United States Department of Labor, unsafe automobile driving contributes to most fatal crashes involving trucks. While more public awareness of sharing roads with large trucks is needed, truck drivers must also do their part to ensure everyone’s safety. Here are 15 top truck driver safety tips. 

Top Truck Driver Safety Tips


1. Plan Your Route Ahead of Time 

Proper preparation is key to safety. Look at the weather and mountainous terrain, detours, and special road conditions. Be sure to use commercial navigation systems, as non-commercial systems do not usually provide info about height, weight, and access restrictions. 

2. Prepare for an Emergency

Conditions can rapidly change, especially on long hauls. Prepare for the unknown by stocking your cab with food, water, a first aid kit, a change of clothes, and a blanket. 

3. Stay Calm

It’s natural for other drivers to be annoying, but keeping frustration levels low is key to staying safe. If you encounter someone driving dangerously, create distance between your truck and the other driver. 

4. Take Care of Yourself

Drivers are in the best position to operate trucks safely when all of their needs are met. Eat well, get plenty of sleep, exercise, do things that you enjoy, and spend time with people you love. 

5. Check Mirrors 

A good rule of thumb is to look in your mirrors every 10-15 seconds. 

6. Look Ahead 

Scan the road ahead for traffic issues, work zones, or other potential dangers. 

7. Prepare to Stop Over Long Distances 

Large trucks may need as long as two football fields to stop safely. Be aware of hills, curves, and traffic. Plan ahead so you have the distance required to stop safely. 

8. Drive the Appropriate Speed

Truck drivers must follow all road signs and consider additional conditions like weather, road quality, traffic, hills, and curves. Driving too fast for the conditions can risk rollovers or other crashes. 

The large size and weight of trucks can make accelerating, braking, and maneuvering challenging 

9. Make Wide Turns

Trucks need ample space to make turns. Signal appropriately and take your time. 

10. Use Extra Caution in Work Zones

Work zones present potential hazards like lane shifts, no shoulders, sudden stops, uneven road surfaces, workers, and equipment. 

Slow down, be prepared to stop, and keep extra space between your vehicle and the one in front of you 

11. Wear a Seatbelt

It may seem obvious, but it bears repeating because too many people fail to wear seatbelts. 

Crashes can be fatal when people don’t wear seatbelts, so buckle up. 

12. Stay Focused

Distracted driving is dangerous driving. Don’t drive if you are tired, feeling ill, or taking medication that makes you sleepy. Do not text and drive – it’s illegal and incredibly dangerous. Pull over if you need to do anything besides focus entirely on the road. 

13. Always Use a Signal

Communicate thoroughly with other drivers. Use your blinkers and brake well in advance, so they see your lights. If you need to pull off the road, use flashers, reflective triangles, or road flares.

14. Maintain Your Vehicle

Inspect your vehicle before driving, and pay close attention to the tires and brakes. Check that your load is well-balanced and secure. A shifting load can cause you to lose control or create a hazard on the road. 

15. Inspect Your Truck Post-Trip

The Department of Transportation requires drivers to inspect their trucks before and after trips. 

You don’t want to discover an issue right before the start of your next drive. It’s better to know as soon as possible if you have a nail in a tire, a leak, burnt-out light, or another issue. 

Stay Safe on the Road with QFS Transportation

QFS Transportation is one of the best intermodal trucking companies offering intermodal trucking services throughout the United States. At QFS, our drivers come first. That is why our network of Owner Operators have a great road-home balance, a dedicated support team, and a safety staff to help them succeed on the road. 

As one of the largest and fastest-growing companies with over 60 terminals across the country, QFS Transportation is always searching for experienced drivers. If you are interested in hauling for QFS, fill out an application today!