Hauling loads on commercial motor vehicles in California and across state lines is a dangerous occupation. Although there are many precautions truckers can take to protect themselves, they will always be at risk of crossing paths with negligent drivers en route to their destinations. Although big rig operators face many occupational injury risks unrelated to driving, the many hours behind the wheel pose multiple safety hazards.
Cargo hauling requires truckers to control their driving habits, be alert and maintain their equipment. Optimal health is essential, and this is where fatigue plays a crucial role.
Taking the following precautions could keep truck operators safe:
Never violate the regulated hours of service.
Avoid multi-tasking that could cause distractions.
Do not rely on stimulants like caffeine to stay alert; they could make drivers jittery and irritable.
Play upbeat music to stay alert.
Keep the cabin cool and crack the window to allow in fresh air and outside noises.
Remember, pulling over for even a quick 10 or 15-minute nap can restore alertness and safety.
Mitigate crash hazards
Road accidents are to blame for a significant number of work-related fatalities. The following precautions are worth taking:
Know how to handle challenging loads like hauling hazardous chemicals, other liquids, multiple trailers, oversize objects and more.
Be aware of what risks or hazards the cargo on the truck could pose.
Do not rely on someone else to check the stability and security of the cargo before embarking on the trip.
Practice the necessary safety procedures in events of breakdowns, accidents or other emergencies.
Fill up emergency supplies like water, food, reflective clothing, tools, a torch and flares before each trip.
Accidents and injuries
Commercial vehicle operators in California are likely covered by the state-regulated workers’ compensation insurance system. The benefits typically cover the medical costs and lost wages after suffering a work-related truck accident. However, the claims process could become complicated if the accident causing the big rig driver’s injuries occurrs in another state.