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Safety tips for truckers making long haul trips

As a long-distance truck driver, you know that your job is dangerous. You also know that nobody is more concerned about your safety on the road than you.

There are thousands of trucking accidents every year, and truck driving is considered one of the most dangerous jobs in the nation. With that in mind, here are some safety tips that you can use to make every long-distance trip in your truck a little easier to handle:

1. Pay attention to your health.

You can't drive safely if you aren't in good health. Between the long hours, the sedentary lifestyle and the fast food, trucking is notoriously hard on the health of drivers. Make sure that you get enough exercise to keep your heart healthy and your weight down. Get regular blood work done to check for problems like diabetes. During your off hours, take time to rest and catch up on your sleep so that you aren't driving drowsy.

2. Check your truck over carefully.

It would be nice to think that your company is as concerned about safety as you are -- but don't count on it. Never assume that your company is maintaining its trucks properly. Before you get into the cab, check the truck over carefully.

Watch fluid levels, make sure that the brakes are being maintained, check the repair log and examine the tread on the tired. Examine your load to make sure that appears to be properly stacked and secured so that it won't shift while you're in motion. If you aren't happy with the way the truck looks, don't start out.

3. Practice defensive driving.

In an ideal world, every driver on the road would know about how a truck's blind spots work. Unfortunately, you have to assume that most driver's don't. If another vehicle is crowding you, slow down to encourage it to pass. When you turn or change lanes, don't forget to check for smaller vehicles hidden in your blind spots on the side.

There's no sure-fire way to stay safe on the road when you're a trucker. If you're injured due to something like a shift in a cargo that wasn't properly loaded by a third party, a bad repair job by the maintenance company or a faulty piece of equipment, an attorney can help protect your rights and guide you through your options for recovery.

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