What hazards should truck drivers be aware of?
There are many things that could be consider a hazard for any driver on the road. As defined by Webster’s Dictionary, a hazard is classified as an unavoidable danger or risk, even though often foreseeable. Many things can be defined as a hazard to a driver. For example, a driver in front of you all of the sudden braking hard.
How to identify hazards
Hazards become emergencies when there is little to no time to act. One example would be someone cutting you off, but if you had more time to prepare for this you could have slowed down or switched lanes to prevent the accident. Drivers who do not see it coming would make a quick reaction of slamming on their brakes or switching into another lane. Which in turn could lead to an accident.
Most often there are signs of hazards when driving. Once you are able to learn what these potential hazards are, you will be more aware of them when driving. Some hazards include:
- Work zones: This is always a hazard. This can include people on the road, narrow lanes, uneven surfaces, and even sharp turns. It is important to watch other for other drivers as they could be distracted. Additionally, construction vehicles could be entering and exiting the road. Driving at a slower speed and using more caution is essential in work zones.
- Drop-offs in pavement: Quite often roads have sharp drop-offs on the end due to the pavement. Be sure to avoid driving on this as it could cause you to wreck, getting the edge of your tire stuck on it, making it hard to steer.
- Objects in the road: Anything that has fallen in the road, that shouldn’t be there is a hazard. This can cause severe damage to your tires and rims, electrical and brake lines, or even potentially get stuck between dual tires. Even objects that look harmless could potentially cause harm. It is important to remain alert for objects in the road and be able to plan on how to avoid them.
- On and off ramps: Exit and entrance ramps cause be very dangerous for truck drivers. Posted speed limit signs indicated the speed for cars, but not necessarily the safe speed for trucks or other heavy vehicles. Trucks should exercise caution going downhill or around sharp turns.