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  • Writer's pictureFront Range Compliance

10 Dangers Truckers Face Without Realizing

Commercial vehicle drivers have one of the more dangerous jobs available in the world. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, truck driving is the seventh most dangerous job in America with around 900 fatalities annually.

Drivers face dangers both outside of the vehicle that they cannot control and behind the wheel that they have more control over. Here are 10 dangers truckers face, that many don't even realize could be dangerous.

Fleet of semis at a loading dock

4 Trucker Dangers Behind the Wheel

  1. Driving while tired. We all know that driving while exhausted isn’t smart, but it is still very common in this industry. Driving tired decreases reaction time and opens windows for accidents.

  2. Distracted driving. Every driver, whether that's CMVs or passenger vehicles, deals with distractions but the most common distraction to drivers today is cell phones. Texting and driving is a recipe for disaster, put your phone down and focus on the road ahead of you.

  3. Driving too fast. Driving too fast is always a danger, especially when road conditions aren't good. CMVs have longer stopping distances because of their weight. Pay attention to road conditions and use your best judgement with speeds. Remember, it is never a bad idea to drive slightly slower than the speed limit.

  4. Not doing a pre-trip inspection. Vehicle malfunctions are the leading cause in CMV accidents. By doing a pre-trip inspection every time you start your shift or swap vehicles you will be able to spot defects and report them to maintenance.

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6 Trucker Dangers Outside the Vehicle

  1. Connecting to a trailer. Don’t EVER go under a trailer. If you need to get under the trailer place the back of the truck’s frame underneath the trailer or have supports in place to break the fall. In the event that the landing gear fails, the truck frame or supports will support the trailer.

  2. Delivering to a bad area. Loading docks aren't always in the nicest areas of town. There have been multiple tragedies where truck drivers have been hurt or killed in unsafe areas while making a delivery or a pick up. At night be extra vigilant.

  3. Truck yards, loading docks and parking lots. These areas often have high traffic, pay extra attention to your surroundings as you could be hit or even pinned between a loading dock and another vehicle.

  4. Climbing up on a trailer roof, truck roof. Be careful when climbing up on a truck or trailer, make sure to use a ladder. When climbing up the trailer it could be easy to lose your footing.

  5. Don’t mess with the brake chambers. Brake chambers house heavy duty springs that are compressed. If the chamber is taken apart incorrectly, the spring could come loose with enough force to severely injure or even kill you. Leave these for trained mechanics to deal with.

  6. Watch your footing on the truck frame or trailer deck. It’s easy to lose your footing or get a foot caught and fall off the truck or trailer. When walking on the truck or trailer make sure you have good contact and use caution.

Many of these dangers seem to be common sense, especially to seasoned drivers, but a quick reminder to put your safety first is always a good idea. Use your best judgement when you feel you may be in an unsafe situation. If something feels wrong or unsafe, it is probably best to stop doing that action and figure out a work around. Safety is the industry's number one priority, and it should be yours as well.

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Make sure to check also out our online DOT Training platform, DOT University! We currently are offering Reasonable Suspicion for Supervisors, Cargo Securement, Defensive Driving, and Pre/Post Trip Inspection. In the coming months, we plan on releasing DOT Compliance Essentials and Periodic Annual Inspection Qualification Training (Appendix A).

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