Our profession is full of benefits and offers us the ability to make an honest living. But it doesn’t come without risks. Whether you’re a new driver, or have hundreds of thousands of miles under your belt, we all want to be safe and healthy for years to come. Check out these tips for some simple ways you can protect yourself on the road.
Things that can pose a threat to truckers on the road:
- Posture Issues
- Road Hazards
- Roadside Repairs
As drivers, it can be hard to plan our meals in a healthy manner. Usually we grab something quick whenever we have the chance. But continued poor diet can contribute to things like fatigue, diabetes, obesity, and other serious health concerns.
One of the best things truckers can do is to skip the junk food. If you see a case of donuts, don’t be tempted to grab some quick calories. Cutting out the bad choices is half of the work it takes to be healthy.
If you can start your day off right by eating a healthy breakfast and preparing healthy meals, it will help set the tone for your day. You’ll feel better and be less tempted to cheat on your diet.
Spending hours in a truck every day can cause serious posture problems and bad habits over time. It’s easy to pick up bad habits, such as slouching or letting our shoulders roll forward.
One of the best things you can do to reduce these risks is to talk with your doctor, or a physical therapist about ways you can minimize these problems. Some truckers use back support seat cushions, and even posture correction braces to help maintain neck and spine health.
Getting out of the truck occasionally to stretch and maintain blood flow is important. There’s also special exercises that you can do to strengthen the muscles that are involved in correct posture. You can read about them on the Trucker News site here.
As truckers, we face a wide range of potential dangers while on the road. One of the biggest concerns is other drivers. While we can be careful drivers and use caution, it’s important to remember that passenger vehicles may not be exercising the same vigilance. They may be unaware of how long it takes large trucks to stop. They may also camp out in our blind spots without thinking twice.
Always use defensive driving tactics and never assume that other drivers are aware of your presence. Take every measure possible to be sure that other drivers can see you, and try to anticipate their possible movements. Keep these points in mind for optimal safety:
- Minimize distractions like phone calls or text messages
- Try to avoid frequent lane changes
- Check weather and traffic conditions ahead of time
Sooner or later, we will all have to pull over and perform a repair of some sort on our trucks. This is when we have to exercise serious caution. In 2018, there were 840 truckers that lost their lives on the job. If you find yourself needing to pull to the shoulder and fix your truck, make sure you have everything necessary for safely completing the job.
After you have pulled safely to the side of the road, there are a few items you should have on hand to make sure other drivers can see you:
- Reflective vest
- Collapsible safety cones
Keep a safety vest on hand so that people are aware of your presence as you assess the situation. You’ll also want to have flares, and/or collapsible safety cones. We want everyone to get home safe after each trip, and visibility is a huge part of making sure this happens.
Our job as motor carriers is vital to our country’s economy. But let’s not forget to remember our own well being, safety and health. If you’re concerned about your health in any way, reach out to a DOT medical examiner near you by checking out our clinic finder here.