Finally, we have moved to level 2 of the lockdown regulations, and we can get back to work. For Truckers, this is a great relief, for although some heroically continued delivering emergency services during the pandemic, many were out of work.
So as we get back to normal, we felt it was necessary to deal once again with one of the other high causes of death, and that is road accidents. Unfortunately due to the size of the vehicles that they drive and a few other work-related causes, Truckers are involved in a very high portion of the deaths on our roads.
The fatal RIDES
The word RIDES is easy to remember, and therefore we chose to use it to help our Drivers remember the 5 main causes of accidents amongst Truckers. Some believe it is great advice as if you can avoid these common trucking-related issues we could have far fewer deaths on our roads – and far fewer Truckers deaths too!
R is for Right of way
Simply refusing the right of way to other vehicles is a major cause of trucking accidents. Even if the other car doesn’t have the right of way remember if you see they are taking the right of way, you are the bigger vehicle, so be the bigger person and just let them go. It’s better to be frustrated than haunted by a fatal accident.
I is for Impairment – Physical and mechanical
Any form of physical impairment can have dire consequences. We have spoken of these often when talking about trucker safety. The biggest one is fatigue due to driving too many hours without rest. Remember by law; you are protected against having to drive unreasonable hours. Alcohol or drugs or even medicines like cough mixtures that make you drowsy can all be a hazard.
The impairment of vehicles is also a common cause of trucking fatalities. Poor brakes, tyres, or vehicles that are simply not roadworthy can all be causes of accidents on the roads.
D is for Distractions
So many Truckers have lost their lives or caused others to lose their lives through simple distractions. There are laws against using cell phones on the road, but some drivers are caught texting while driving despite this, and this is now a common cause of accidents.
According to research into the distractions that cause the most accidents, these also include “writing something down, using a calculator, looking at a map, reading, personal grooming, reaching for an object and eating!”
Remember there are only two places for both eyes to be at every moment of the journey – fixed on the road ahead, and momentarily (when it is safe to do so) in a rear-view mirror.
E is for the Emergency lane
Another alarming statistic is of the number of accidents that are caused by drivers, either being parked dangerously in an emergency lane (on a blind rise or just around a corner) or emerging too quickly from an emergency lane because they are simply tired of waiting to be let back onto the road.
S is for Speeding and stopping distance
Simply speeding and not calculating the distance you need to be travelling away from the vehicle in front of you is a common cause of death for all road users. Still, for Truckers, it is exceptionally dangerous.
The size of the vehicle dictates that the stopping distance needs to be far greater than in a normal car. It is estimated that when travelling at just 100km per hour, a truck, no matter how good its brakes, needs 50% more stopping distance!
The trucking company that cares
FAW South Africa builds solid, safe vehicles for dependable Drivers, and we really do care that all our Drivers are safe on our roads. We also recognise the need for a dealer network that is capable of providing only superior and professional sales and after-sales support to its customers.
So, contact a dealer near you and check out our website for our full range of excellent new and premium pre-owned vehicles. Stay alert and especially stay safe on the road!