5 Essential Safety Tips For Commercial Truck Drivers in Florida

Sometimes driving a commercial truck on Florida’s busy highways can be a challenging and dangerous job. According to statistics, Florida is among the states with the most deaths stemming from large truck crashes. In 2020, the state recorded a total of 344 deaths.

But how can you keep safe on the road to protect your life and those of other drivers and road users? While some accidents are out of your control, others can be prevented. For instance, why should you use your phone while driving your truck?

These simple mistakes could lead to the loss of lives and massive destruction of property. Plus, your commercial truck insurance won’t pay for your negligence. Here are some safety tips for commercial truck drivers.

Regular vehicle maintenance

Most commercial trucks in Florida travel over long distances. Therefore, there’s a need for proper maintenance to avoid breakdowns while on the road. A well-maintained truck is less likely to develop mechanical failures, which could lead to fatal accidents.

Moreover, your commercial truck insurance policy requires you to regularly inspect and maintain your truck to minimize accident risks. Some insurance providers offer incentives or discounts for regular vehicle maintenance and servicing.

Some tips for maintaining your truck include;

  • Checking fluid levels, including the engine oil and coolant
  • Changing fluids depending on the miles you drive and the load you carry
  • Checking your tires for pressure issues and problems with alignment or suspension
  • Inspecting your gearbox and clutch

You can maintain your truck yourself or have an experienced mechanic do it for you professionally.

Follow Florida traffic laws and regulations

Each state has unique laws and regulations that govern traffic, and Florida is no exception. The laws are meant to control traffic and protect every road user, including pedestrians.

Therefore, when driving your truck, ensure you adhere to all the rules of the road, including speed limits, stop signs, and other traffic signs.

Also, if you’re carrying cargo, ensure you adhere to the weight restrictions and follow safety guidelines to secure it.

Avoid distracted driving

Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of accidents in Florida and across the country. In 2020, approximately 3000 people lost their lives as a result of accidents from distracted driving.

Some of the common distractions leading to truck accidents include;

  • Texting
  • Talking on the phone
  • Eating or drinking

Therefore, when driving a commercial truck in Florida, avoid anything that keeps your eyes and attention off the road. This minimizes accidents and reduces commercial truck insurance claims.

Take breaks and get enough sleep

If you’re driving a commercial truck, you must adhere to regulations regarding hours of service. Long-distance trucks should have at least two drivers taking shifts.

Fatigue is a significant risk factor for truck accidents and can impair judgment and reaction times. What’s more, driving for long hours without getting enough sleep can impact your health.

So, don’t drive for long hours just because you want to get your cargo to its destination as fast as possible. Think about your safety and those of other road users, and take that break.

Practice defensive driving

You should be ready for anything when driving a commercial truck. For instance, what happens when someone suddenly attempts to cross the road while you’re at high speed? How do you stop the truck while it’s at high speed? 

Driving is not all about sitting in that driver’s seat and steering the vehicle. You must always be alert. You must anticipate potential hazards and react to sudden stops, lane changes, and other unexpected moves by other drivers.

Stay safe on the road

While you may enjoy your job as a commercial truck driver, it often comes with certain challenges and risks. Therefore, you should practice the safety tips above to ensure your safety and those of other road users.

Moreover, you need commercial truck or owner operator insurance to cover any financial losses resulting from accidents and other unforeseen circumstances. Need commercial truck insurance in FloridaContact us today for a free quote. 

David Ott

David Ott