It was a long wait, but you finally got your Class 1 driver’s license and are ready to hit the road. But before the adrenaline rush gets the best of you, it’s crucial to learn about these five common mistakes that new truck drivers make and how you can avoid them:
1.Driving without proper permits
While you only need your driver’s license if you’re driving a car, you need to apply for some permits if you’re driving a commercial vehicle, especially a truck traveling across states. Many new truck drivers forget this and often get in trouble for it, so make sure that you work with a permit company to secure all the trip permits you need, especially for long-distance or interstate travel.
2. Driving too slow or too fast
As a new truck driver, you may not be familiar with speed limits on different roads. It’s also normal to feel the nerves on the first few days that you’re driving. But you need to make sure that you’re driving at the right speed, depending on where you are. For instance, driving too slow on a high-speed highway could put you at risk of accidents. On the other hand, driving too fast on smaller roads could also be dangerous, not only for you but also for people driving along the same road.
If possible, let someone more experienced drive you around your usual routes to learn about speeds and road signs before you hit the road in your own car.
3. Being distracted while driving
Distracted driving is a common cause of road accidents nationwide, but it’s completely preventable if you’re a responsible driver. When driving, you should focus only on the road. Never use your mobile phone, talk to other passengers, do your makeup, or do anything else other than driving. If you need to answer an important call, pull over on a safe part of the highway to avoid accidents.
4. Forgetting regular truck maintenance
No matter how responsible you are as a driver, you could still put yourself and others at risk if your truck is not well-maintained. This is why it’s imperative to always schedule regular maintenance checks to ensure your vehicle is roadworthy. Also, make it a habit to check your water, oil, and tire pressure before leaving the house as a preventive measure against accidents. And if you’re experiencing problems with your vehicle, have it checked by a mechanic immediately.
5. Not looking at your environment
Finally, responsible driving isn’t just about focusing on your truck. You must also be aware of your surroundings and adjust your driving accordingly. Always look around and be mindful of the wider environment you’re in to ensure that you can always be a defensive driver.
Taking the wheel of a commercial vehicle is a huge responsibility that you should take seriously. So, before you hit the road all giddy to finally be a driver, make sure you are fully ready for the trip you’re about to take. To learn more or to get your trucking permits all sorted out, get in touch with Reliable Permit Solutions, LLC today!