In today’s earlier article we covered a story of a food truck owner being hit and killed by another driver. This and the fact that the winter months are coming to us quickly got us thinking to provide a list of tips that truck owners and drivers should maintain constant knowledge of to prevent themselves from being the next or causing the next fatality on the road.
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF!
The most important part of a moving truck is the driver! Get plenty of rest before getting behind the wheel. Eat well and stay fit. Remember, driving without proper rest can threaten your livelihood or even your life. Stay healthy and well rested, or don’t drive!
ALWAYS MAINTAIN YOUR VEHICLE
Inspect your vehicle before each trip and check your brakes regularly. Learn how to inspect your brakes, identify safety defects, and get them repaired before risking your life and others on the road.
BE AWARE OF YOUR “NO-ZONE”
Other drivers may not be aware of the size of your truck’s blind spots. Be vigilant in watching out for vehicles in the No-Zone. The No-Zone represents the danger areas, or blind spots, around trucks where crashes are more likely to occur. One-third of all crashes between trucks and cars take place in the No-Zone.
SLOW DOWN IN WORK ZONES
Watch out for road construction. Stay alert. Work zone crashes are more likely to happen during the day. Almost one-third of fatal crashes in work zones involved trucks. Take your time going through work zones and give yourself plenty of room. Expect the unexpected!
ALWAYS KEEP YOUR DISTANCE
Always leave enough space between you and the vehicle in front of you. If you hit someone from behind, you are typically considered “at fault,” regardless of the situation. Trucks require more stopping distances than other vehicles. Take advantage of your driving height, and anticipate braking situations.
FASTEN YOUR SEAT BELT
Buckle up for safety and control. If you are in a crash, a seat belt can save your life and those around you. It will keep you in your seat and allow you to maintain control of your truck. A major cause of truck fatalities involves being ejected from the vehicle. Wearing seat belts is still the single most effective thing all drivers can do to save lives and reduce injures on our roadways.
ALWAYS DRIVE DEFENSIVELY
Avoid aggressive drivers! It’s estimated that each year two-thirds of all traffic fatalities are caused by aggressive driving behaviors. Keep your distance and maintain a safe speed. The only thing speed will increase is your chance for a crash.
WORK TO HELP YOURSELVES
Be the professional on the highway and at safety events! Help stranded motorists; notify traffic safety agencies of crashes, unsafe drivers, unsafe roadway conditions, and other situations that can lead to crashes. Your participation in public safety events and your performance on the highway can change public perception!
We understand that these tips would not have prevented Jose Goncalves’ death; however we felt that providing these tips can still help those who spend time behind the wheel of a food truck. Please be safe on the roads.