7 Key Safety Tips For Chauffeurs

Jim Luff
Posted on July 27, 2016

1. Watch your blind spots:
Other motorists may not be aware of a long vehicle’s "no zones". This is where most crashes are likely to occur. "No Zones" include:

• Off to the side just in front of the driver’s seat
• Just behind the side mirrors in the blind spot
• Directly behind the vehicle where it is impossible to see anything

Other drivers may not be aware of these trouble spots and may drive dangerously close to them. It's up to you to exercise caution before turning or changing lanes and to maintain safe distances.

2. Reduce speed in work zones: About one-third of all fatal work-zone accidents involve commercial vehicles. Make sure to take your time going through interstate construction. Better safe than sorry.

3. Maintain your vehicle: Give your vehicle a thorough check before each shift. Check fluid levels, horn, mirrors and tires. Brakes are particularly vital, given how much weight is riding on them. If you spot anything unusual, report it to dispatch before attempting to drive.

4. Do not overload: Even though passengers may want to “squeeze in” beyond the capacity of the vehicle, don’t allow it. Overloading a vehicle can cause handling problems and even result in fires if the vehicle frame pushes down on the drive shaft and creates friction or the tires rub on fender walls from sagging. You can also burst air-ride suspension bags causing a potential crash.

5. Reduce speed on curves: Usually, following the speed limit is a good thing. When it comes to large vehicles with moving passengers inside, even adhering to posted signs may still be too fast. Particularly on exit/entrance ramps, remember, the speed limits are meant more for passenger cars. When going through any curve, set your speed far lower than the posted limit to make up for your vehicle’s size and potential for passengers to be moving in the vehicle and unaware of the curve.

6. Adjust for bad weather: Inclement weather causes about 25% of all speeding-related driving accidents. Cut your speed down by one-third on wet roads and by one-half on snowy or icy roads. Also allow more time for maneuvers in poor weather. Let your blinker run for a good 5 blinks before your change lanes and signal for turns before slowing down.

7. Take care of yourself: A big part of commercial driver safety has less to do with your vehicle and more to do with you as a driver. Getting enough sleep, eating right, exercising and taking quality home time will all help you feel more confident and alert behind the wheel.

Related Topics: driver behavior, driver safety, Jim Luff, passenger safety, Shop Talk blog, vehicle tips

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