30 Nov How Truckers Can Best Protect Themselves While Making Deliveries
Long-Haul Truck Drivers Must Continuously Monitor Weather Reports
We know that employers want their deliveries done on time which means they want you to shave time by going faster and possibly carrying a second alternating driver next to you. But your safety must come first above all else. If you are not safe, then deliveries do not get made at all. Better that you are a little late to the next delivery point than not getting there at all.
Never allow a tight schedule to cause you to hurry by speeding and becoming careless or distracted in the process of driving. It is not worth losing your life or killing someone else in a road accident.
In recent years, many of us have seen terrible postings online of huge pileups on winter highways where ice has formed, causing drivers to spin out, get hit by cars and trucks following behind, and those who get out of their vehicles to inspect the damages, putting themselves at extreme risk of getting hit and dying.
There is nothing more frightening than seeing an 18-wheeler speeding towards a pileup of cars and knowing that trucker cannot stop the truck because of speed and ice on the road. Trucks that large can take out a multitude of tightly packed cars and pickup trucks before ever coming to a stop.
Here are some tips for new long-haul truck drivers to keep in mind as they begin their new careers. Most seasoned truckers already know what they need to do, especially when it comes to driving in bad weather, such as snow and ice.
- Always know the route you will take and note where there are rest stops along the way,
- Check the weather for every 50 miles further on the road so you know what storms you might encounter,
- Check for “black” ice, which is really a clear, invisible coating of ice on a road,
- Wear comfortable clothes that do not constrict you in any way; wear comfortable but sturdy shoes or boots that accommodate swelling during the hours you sit while driving,
- If you are tired and start dozing off, pull over and take a nap at a rest area or wherever it is safe, especially with other motorists (preferably truckers) around; lock your doors,
- Be mindful of who is around, avoid isolated spots where you could be attacked, and be sure your phone is always charged up, in case you need to call for local help, and
- Eat healthy while traveling the highways, drink water, and avoid packaged snacks and soft drinks.
Eating healthy is vital for truckers who must sit long hours. It is easy to just peel open a potato chip bag and munch away, but such snacks do nothing for you but make you overweight. Instead, one long-haul driver on the Instant Pot page on Facebook, has gained a following by reporting the meals he makes in an Instant Pot and an air fryer. He has been advised to write a cookbook for truckers on the highways.
Local Delivery Truck Drivers
Local delivery drivers are less likely to find themselves in the midst of a highway pileup, yet it can happen if daily delivery routes cover 50 miles or more. Local delivery drivers are also on very tight schedules, much like their long-haul counterparts, and meeting the limits of how much time can be spent for each delivery, can be stressful, especially when a problem arises.
Bad weather can also create problems if a driver has to get on the highway to get from one end to the other end of town. Traffic tends to go slower and can get backed up whereby the driver is stuck for long periods of time. Delivery drivers should consider going by a different route rather than driving on any highways if they want to keep close to staying on track with the delivery schedule given to them.
Local delivery drivers are more susceptible to being attacked, such as pizza delivery personnel making deliveries at night. Drivers should always check their surroundings before getting out of their vehicles to make the delivery. If the area does not seem safe, the driver should call in and ask what to do. The driver can also call the customer to come out with a friend to pick up the pizza from the car which was already pre-paid when ordered online or by phone.
Most attacks on delivery vehicles and their drivers are about robberies of money and/or the contents of a delivery truck, especially around Christmas time. That is why drivers must be vigilant in knowing who is around the area when they drive in to make a delivery.
Safety and protecting one’s life are paramount to making a delivery in an unsafe situation. Whenever any drivers are injured while conducting company business, workers’ compensation benefits cover the employees, including if they are killed on the job. In Arizona, even if the driver is deemed as driving too fast on ice and causing an accident in which the employee is injured or killed, workers’ compensation still covers that driver and beneficiaries.
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