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Trucking Safety Tips

4 Trucking Safety Tips from Northland Insurance

Posted in Transportation

Author: Brenda Campbell

As a Senior Transportation Underwriter, I am always in favor of any advice we can be providing our truck insureds to help them minimize their exposures and prevent unnecessary losses. Northland Insurance Company is a good source for tips like these that every driver and owner should be considering.

Stop Distracted Driving
According to the National Safety Council, from 2014 to 2016, the United States saw the most significant two-year increase in car crash fatalities in more than 50 years with 40,200 Americans dying in car crashes in 2016. While Americans are driving more, experts contribute the rise in deaths to distracted driving.  

It’s no surprise the most common distracted drivers are using a cell phone.  Even if using only hands-free devices, there are distractions when thinking about more than one thing at a time. There are great tools on phones to prevent notices and calls while driving. Avoid other distractions like reading a map, reaching for devices, or talking with passengers, so you can focus on the road.

Northland Insurance teamed up with Travelers Insurance to create “Lives@Risk – Stop the Distraction.” It is an impactful video and guide to help drivers understand the risk of distracted driving. View the resource here.

Safe Parking
In Northland’s Fall 2018 Drive Times Newsletter, they share some excellent ways to make parking safer. From planning ahead to securing cargo, we think these are all great tips to share with your clients!

Prevent Parking on the Shoulder

Locate safe places along your route before beginning your drive to stop for breaks. Alternate parking spots should be identified as well in case of traffic of weather. More trucks are parking along the side of the road due to the Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) mandate, leaving them at risk for collision. By planning stops ahead of time, drivers can prevent running out of hours before finding a safe place to park.

Parking on the shoulder should be a last-resort option. To avoid a collision, drivers should avoid parking along the side of the road, on highway exit ramps or rest area entrances unless there is a real emergency.

Prevent Parking Lot Trouble

While the safest option, parking in a parking lot can open a driver to risks such as theft and collusion. Cargo should never be left unattended and unsecured. Drivers should make sure they have high-quality lock and alarm systems. According to Northland, high-risk theft hot spots include metropolitan areas in California, Florida, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, and Texas. Drivers can prevent theft and the risk of collision by parking in well-lit areas. Finding a spacious spot far from other vehicles can even further reduce collision risk.

Prepare for Winter Weather

Winter weather can put a damper on drive times. Sitting in traffic, slowing speed and dealing with other drivers on the road can be frustrating, however, with the proper precautions, drivers can prevent risk and get to their destination safely. Northland suggests the following safety tips:

  • Reduce speed for the conditions
  • Turn and brake carefully on slippery roads
  • Drive with lights on to see and be seen
  • Keep windows, mirrors and lights clean and free of ice and snow.
  • During severe conditions, park in a safe location until conditions improve
  • Install a weather app on a smartphone to receive weather alerts
  • Follow state laws in regards to tire chains
  • Most importantly, keep a safe following distance!
Stay Healthy

Staying safe means staying healthy! By taking care of themselves, drivers will be more alert, focused and overall safer on the road. The following actions can help drivers stay healthy on and off the road:

  • Be active at least 2½ hours a week
  • Get adequate sleep, usually 7-9 hours a night
  • Eat a variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains every day. Limit alcohol and foods and drinks high in calories, sugar, salt, and fat
  • See a doctor regularly for exams, tests, and shots to stay healthy
  • Quit smoking
For more health tips, check out this blog post we wrote back in 2016. 3 Reasons Why Your Insured’s Health Matters And What They Can Do To Improve It

To read more driving safety tips from Northland Insurance check out the full Drive Times Newsletter here.

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