Driving a commercial vehicle requires a different set of skills and responsibilities compared to driving a regular car. CDL drivers need to be extra cautious and aware of their surroundings to ensure the safety of themselves and others on the road. Here are 10 safe driving tips great for new drivers (and even for seasoned CDL drivers) to keep in mind.
1. Always wear your seatbelt: This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s worth mentioning. Wearing your seatbelt is the simplest and most effective way to protect yourself in case of an accident.
2. Avoid distractions: Distractions can be deadly, especially when you’re driving a large vehicle. Avoid using your phone, eating, or engaging in any other activities that take your attention away from the road.
3. Maintain a safe following distance: Give yourself plenty of space between your vehicle and the one in front of you. This will give you enough time to react if the vehicle in front suddenly stops or slows down.
4. Use your mirrors: CDL drivers have larger blind spots compared to regular cars. Make sure to use your mirrors frequently and adjust them properly to minimize blind spots.
5. Observe speed limits: Speeding is a common cause of accidents. Always obey the posted speed limits and adjust your speed according to road and weather conditions.
6. Be aware of your surroundings: Pay attention to what’s happening around you at all times. Be aware of other vehicles, pedestrians, and any potential hazards on the road.
7. Take regular breaks: Driving for long hours can be exhausting. Take regular breaks to rest and recharge. Fatigue can impair your judgment and reaction time, so it’s important to be well-rested.
8. Plan your route: Before you start your journey, plan your route and familiarize yourself with the roads you’ll be driving on. This will help you avoid unexpected detours and reduce the chances of getting lost.
9. Practice defensive driving: Defensive driving means being prepared for the unexpected. Anticipate the actions of other drivers and be ready to react accordingly. Stay alert and be prepared to make quick decisions if necessary.
10. Stay calm and patient: Traffic can be frustrating, especially when you’re driving a large vehicle. However, it’s important to stay calm and patient. Aggressive driving can lead to accidents and put yourself and others at risk.
By following these safe driving tips, CDL drivers can help ensure the safety of themselves and others on the road. Remember, driving a commercial vehicle comes with added responsibilities, so it’s important to always be vigilant and focused. Stay safe out there!