Safe driving is something you will be taught in the training school. However, you are likely to forget these skills over time. Being a defensive or safe HR truck driver actually requires regular driving, and being your first time on the road without an instructor, you may not have all the skills you need at your fingertips. For this reason, here are some defensive or safe heavy rigid truck driving tips you need to remember to ensure your own safety as well as the safety of other drivers on the road.
Avoid the Centre Lane Whenever Possible
Try as much as possible to stay away from the centre lane, especially if you are driving under the speed limit or at the speed limit. This will help prevent instances of vehicles driving past you on both sides. Since a heavy rigid truck has many blind spots, there is a high risk of you causing an accident if you stick to the centre lane. Therefore, always remain on the left lane.
Create a Buffer Zone
Creating and maintaining a buffer zone means that you are keeping your truck away from distractions and that you have enough room to escape through whenever there is need to. That is, a buffer zone helps you have an escape route in case something unexpected happens abruptly. For instance, an animal may jump into the way or the driver ahead blows a tyre and steps on the brakes instantly. Where would you go? You need to have enough room so that in case you have to swerve instantly, you won't cause an accident. Maintaining a safe following distance is one way to do this, but you also need to ensure that the side of your truck is free from any distractions.
You can do this by slowing down or speeding up anytime a vehicle tries to match up its speed to yours. The bottom line is that you want to make sure that the lane next to you is always clear.
Keep Your Distance
An HR truck is definitely heavier than most of the other vehicles on the road. This means that your truck will need a greater distance to come to a halt. Safe braking is important, so make sure your safe distance is more than that of other vehicles on the road. In bad weather, such as in heavy rains, you may want to increase this safe distance even more.