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.
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.
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.
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.