Fostering Effective Speed Management

semi passing 65 MPH speed limit road sign

Properly managing the truck’s speed requires skill and good judgment. Failure to do so could have tragic consequences. To help avoid this, drivers must recognize the hazards that can lead to a crash, know the defense, and react properly. Read the information below and ask yourself how you can improve your driving style in any of the hazard categories.

RECOGNIZE THE HAZARDS


ENVIRONMENT

Adverse weather and road conditions are two reasons to slow down. Slippery conditions reduce traction, and poor visibility affects perception time. Both factors may lead to a critical crash.

EQUIPMENT

Speeding and traveling faster than the flow of traffic can lead to increased brake usage and tire degradation. These factors affect stopping distance and increase the risk of a critical crash.


PERSONAL BEHAVIORS

Speeding decreases a driver’s perception and reaction time to hazards. Driving too fast for conditions, even if under the posted speed limit, may cause load shifts, rollovers, and other loss of control crashes.

KNOW THE DEFENSE

OBSERVE PROPER SPEED FOR CONDITIONS

In adverse conditions, reduce speed 2-3 mph below the flow of traffic, not to exceed the posted speed limit. On ramps, curves, and turns, reduce speed 5-10 mph below the posted speed limit since it is intended for passenger vehicles.

REACT PROPELY TO HAZARDS

Each hazard is unique; increase your perception and reaction time by slowing down to create greater stopping distance. On ramps, curves, and turns, slowing down before entering the curve can help prevent cargo shifts and rollovers by decreasing centrifugal force, which pushes the truck outward.

MAINTAIN PROPER FOLLOWING DISTANCE

Keep a minimum of six seconds behind the vehicle in front of you. Add more space if additional hazards, such as traffic congestion, construction zones, rain, fog, etc., are present.

BE ATTENTIVE TO THE ROAD AHEAD

Watch for slowing or stopped traffic ahead. Slow down and increase following distance to allow more time to stop. 

VEHICLE INSPECTIONS

Brakes and tires wear down faster due to speeding and are commonly cited in roadside inspections. Conduct a thorough pre-trip inspection to ensure the truck meets requirements and is safe to operate.

 

Note: These lists are not intended to be all-inclusive.

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This material is intended to be a broad overview of the subject matter and is provided for informational purposes only. Joe Morten & Son, Inc. does not provide legal advice to its insureds or other  parties, nor does it advise insureds or other parties on employment-related issues, therefore the subject matter is not intended to serve as legal or employment advice for any issue(s) that may arise in the operations of its insureds or other parties. Legal advice should always be sought from legal counsel. Joe Morten & Son, Inc. shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any person or entity with respect to any loss, action, or inaction alleged to be caused directly or indirectly as a result of the information contained herein. Reprinted with permission from Great West Casualty Company.

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Filed Under:

Drivers, Driving Tips