Over-the-road (OTR) truck driving often encompasses being out on the road for long and driving for miles. You can live like a nomad, traversing the country regularly. After being licensed as a truck-driver, you want to make sure you apply the skills you acquired in training while on the road. You may be a smart and safe driver who is always keen on all possible risks on the road. Nevertheless, have you thought about the drivers on the same road? Not all of them may be keen drivers. Because of the size of a tractor-trailer, you need to be more careful to avoid driving that can be dangerous to you and other drivers around you.
Therefore, here are techniques of defensive driving that will help you stay safe while driving.
Defensive driving starts with preparedness, so inspecting your truck before setting out on the road is a must-do when you are on OTR truck driver. Since you would be on the road for long, you want to avoid breakdown of your tractor-trailer. Therefore, even if you are a seasoned driver, don't neglect the inspection because you may miss potentially dangerous stuff.
When inspecting your truck, make sure you have enough essentials for your journey, including medical supplies, enough water, and basic snacks, because they will come in handy when you are in a place that has few shopping stores. Besides, check that you have your emergency kit and a jack so that in case of a slight breakdown, such as the need to change a tyre, you don't panic, but take care of it.
When you are behind the wheel, you have many things to worry about: the traffic lights, conditions of the road, signs and signals, your position on the road as well as speed, your mirrors, vehicles around you, etc. Despite all these things and many more, your focus should remain on driving. You most likely know this already. However, don't be too overconfident in your driving abilities and neglect small distractions like your cellphone, which can actually prevent you from seeing potential problems even when it's just for a second.
When driving, try keeping your eyes high enough to have a clear view of the road horizon because this may help you look at the entire pattern of the traffic ahead. This will in turn help you to avoid the kind of driving where you only brake when you see the brake lights of the vehicle in front of you or accelerate when they do. Avoiding such driving can save you from easily ending up in the bumper of the vehicle in a panic situation that the driver wasn't paying much attention to.
A truck licence training company can offer more information to supplement this advice. Refreshing your skills every now and then is wise, so contact a training company for more information.