-  Photo: Unsplash/Jametlene Reskp

Photo: Unsplash/Jametlene Reskp

Follow these safety tips from the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) to make sure you are spending the time on the road safely.

  • Buckle Up

Always wear a seat belt. Seat belts save lives.

  • Prepare For the Drive

Program your GPS before making the trip. As a professional driver, instrument panel lighting and adjust your mirrors before driving.

  • Drive Safely

Follow speed limits and other traffic signs. If you are going over the speed limit, it reduces your ability to avoid a crash. It also extends the vehicle’s stopping distance and increases the severity of a crash. Reduce speed in construction zones and bad weather conditions.

  • Avoid Distractions

Adjusting the radio, eating, and drinking are examples of distractions to avoid while driving. They remove your attention from the road.

  • Be Aware of Other Drivers

Pay attention to other drivers that are inattentive or distracted on the roadways.

  • Never Text or Email While Driving

Remember to set your smart device to the “Do Not Disturb” setting before driving. You can also put the device on silent mode. According to a study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, texting is the most dangerous distraction. Truck drivers who texted while driving had 23 times the risk of being involved in a crash, according to the study. Federal regulations do not allow texting and the use of hand-held electronic devices while operating a commercial moto vehicle in interstate commerce.

  • Avoid Aggressive Driving

Do not allow yourself to be provoked by other drivers. Do not provoke others, too. Ignore any driver acting aggressive.

  • Only Make Safe and Necessary Lane Changes

Stay in the lane you pick as long as possible. Changing lanes can increase the risk of a crash. Always signal when you must change lanes.

  • Don’t Tailgate

If you follow another vehicle too closely, it reduces the visibility of the road and affects your time to react.

  • Allow Plenty of Time

You are less likely to speed if you allow enough time to reach your destination.

  • Never Drive Under the Influence

Do not drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Look out for other drivers whose behavior suggests they may be alcohol or drug impaired.

  • Get Enough Sleep

There are side effects to not getting enough sleep. You can experience sleep deprivation and fatigue, which causes lapses in attention. Lack of sleep can also cause slowed awareness and impaired judgment.

  • Don’t Multi-Task Behind the Wheel

It can be dangerous to look away from the road for more than one second. Your vehicle will move almost 250 feet down the road if you are going 55 miles per hour with a three-second glance away. There are situations to safely execute short glances. You can look at vehicle instruments, mirrors, installed communication devices and other technology if it takes you less than one second to do so.