Accidents on the rise: 6 essential safety tips for truck drivers

June 10, 2024 Casey Nighbor

In recent years, road accidents involving trucks have been on the rise, posing significant risks to both drivers and other road users. 

Reports from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System showed fatalities increased more than 10% from 2020. Over 42,900 lives were lost—the highest total number recorded since 2005. 

Our 2024 State of Trucking added to this worrying trend with a concerning 60% of drivers say they do not feel safe on the road today from everything from other drivers on the road to driving in unsafe areas.

Truck drivers, who spend long hours on the road, face unique safety challenges. Here are 6 ways to help reduce accidents.


  1. Prioritize adequate rest

Ensure you get enough sleep before hitting the road and take regular breaks during long journeys to combat fatigue. Follow regulations regarding hours of service to avoid driving while excessively tired.


  1. Minimize distractions

Keep electronic devices out of reach while driving and avoid engaging in activities that divert your attention. But more than just your phone, eating or navigating can also pull your focus away from what’s happening on the road. Pull over to a safe location if you need to do any activity that requires your attention.


  1. Maintain your vehicle

Conduct pre-trip inspections to check for any signs of wear or mechanical issues. Regular inspections are a proven way to avoid not only accident-causing issues on the road but also delays. Address any maintenance concerns quickly and ensure your vehicle is roadworthy before starting your journey.


  1. Adjust driving to weather conditions

It’s always a good idea to exercise caution when driving in adverse weather conditions. Reduce speed, increase following distance and use headlights and windshield wipers as needed to maintain visibility.


  1. Follow traffic laws and watch for work zones

 This should go without saying but always adhere to speed limits, maintain a safe following distance, and use turn signals when changing lanes or making turns. Avoid aggressive driving behaviors and prioritize safety over haste. This goes double for work zones

  1. Stay vigilant

Continuously scan the road for potential hazards, including other vehicles, pedestrians and road obstructions. Using the Smith System recommendations can help you stay alert and focused on the task of driving at all times.

As road accidents involving trucks continue to increase, truck drivers must prioritize safety and adopt proactive measures to mitigate risks on the road. By prioritizing safety on the road, you can help do your part to reduce 

As a truck driver, it's your job to keep things safe on the road. It's not just a matter of making safety a priority, it's your responsibility to uphold it. 

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