Going Slow for Safety

When it comes to truck driving, speed is important, but it’s never so important that it should come at the cost of safety. It’s more than just truck stop parking and driving – even reviewing your assignment and going over the paperwork before you take off is something that shouldn’t be rushed. Make sure the paperwork is correct, and be certain that you have the details down on your assignment so you don’t show up late or end up at the wrong location.

Driving at a faster pace might seem like a great way to make money, and some might even say it’s the only way to consistently make good earnings. That line of thought is dangerous because of how much can go wrong when you’re driving a truck. It’s crucial to give yourself enough time to react to the road, and not only that, but sometimes speed isn’t even an option, such as when you’re surrounded by heavy traffic or when you’re slowed down by construction. It’s not just congestion, either – even the terrain can reduce your pace, not to mention the obvious scenario where weather conditions necessitate taking your time. Trying to go faster than you should in these kinds of conditions is a huge safety risk for yourself and others. You might be able to go fast, but just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

It’s important to not rush yourself when you’re parking your truck or preparing to leave a truck stop. The tight maneuvering and potentially reduced visibility means that driving fast is just an accident waiting to happen. Once you’re on the road, even if none of the aforementioned factors like weather or construction are in play, you can still get better mileage by not driving your truck like it’s a sports car. There’s more to it than speed, of course, but good mileage is just a bonus compared to knowing that you’re doing all you can to ensure your safety.

Truck Stop Parking Safety

All truckers should be aware of the potential danger of truck stops. Staying aware is crucial, and it’s also important to go very slow for maximum safety – ideally under 10 miles per hour. Keep track of your surroundings and find a parking spot that’s easy to maneuver into with your truck.

Truck stops aren’t always particularly accommodating for large trucks, which can complicate parking. It can be useful to keep notes on which truck stops, highway rest stops, parking lots, and other miscellaneous areas are good for parking your vehicle, and likewise, it can be equally helpful to make note on your list of which ones to avoid after you’ve been to a difficult one. If you keep the list on your phone, you can also mark the locations with GPS tracking coordinates for future reference so you know exactly where they are.

When possible, park your truck in a parking spot that has multiple adjacent vacant parking spots around it when you’re backing in. This significantly reduces the chances of hitting another vehicle. You should also always back in from the driver’s side for maximum visibility. When the best available parking spot only has 2 spaces of separation, try to park so that the closest parked vehicle is on your driver’s side in order to decrease the chances of running into the vehicle in your blind spot on the passenger side.

If you’re considering pulling your truck through parking spaces instead of backing into a parking spot, assess the situation first. Is it narrow enough to cause problems when you’re exiting, or is there room to get out? Do you have space on the sides to pull through safely in the first place? Are the vehicles around you too close to make pulling out a problem?

Parking at a truck stop doesn’t have to be complicated as long as you’re smart about it. Don’t rush it.