Watch out for Pedestrians
Besides increased holiday vehicle traffic, there are also more pedestrians. An estimated 175 people each day are injured or killed by vehicle-pedestrian collisions. Ultimately, pedestrians and drivers each share responsibility to prevent these collisions.
Pedestrians should use crosswalks, cross with the light, look before stepping into the roadway, wear light-colored (reflective if possible) clothing and carry a flashlight when walking between dusk and dawn.
Drivers need to pay attention to their surroundings since pedestrians may appear from between parked cars or locations where the view is blocked. Drivers please take extra precautions when driving near shopping areas, entertainment centers, sports fields, schools, transit stops, and any other area where pedestrian traffic increases.
Look at the Road Ahead
Myth: Good truckers can slow down safely without much notice.
Reality: To safely slow down, a commercial motor vehicle driver should look at least 15 seconds ahead (a quarter-mile on the interstate and one-and-a-half blocks in the city). Paying attention to the road ahead helps avoid dangerous, abrupt braking situations. A CMV driver should also have no less than a 7 second following distance (more when conditions are not ideal!) in order to see past the vehicle they are following and have adequate time to stop should the vehicle in front of you make a sudden stop.
Parking Lot Etiquette
When driving in or out of Super Service terminals, customer yards or truck stops:
1.Always use your four way flashers when in motion forward, or backwards when moving in or through the yard.
2.Never exceed the posted speed limit. Do not exceed 5 MPH when near parked vehicles, going around buildings, near pedestrians, forklifts, snowplows, or guard shacks.
3.Follow the design of the parking lot; do not hop curbs or take shortcuts through the parking area.
4.Tap your city horn when you need to be sure a driver or pedestrian is aware of your presence. Also when backing.
5.Only park in designated areas and park straight. When possible, pick a space away from other vehicles and heavy traffic.
6.Use visuals (lights, four ways, turn signals), sound (horn) and slower rates of speed to improve safety.
Crash Prevention-Extreme Conditions
The Driver, not the weather, is usually the cause of truck wrecks, even in fog, ice or snow.
If conditions are especially terrible, THE DRIVER has a duty to pull off the road until the conditions improve.
According to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (49 CFR Section 392.14): There’s a duty of “extreme caution” on drivers of commercial motor vehicles whenever any conditions negatively affect visibility or traction. This includes rain, snow, fog, ice, smoke and other conditions.
What does “extreme caution” really mean? Industry training materials such as the Commercial Driver’s License Manual state “because wet roads can double stopping distance, truckers should reduce speeds by one-third when roads are wet and one half when there is ice, snow, smoke or fog.”
- Be aware:Reduce speed. Don’t assume the conditions will thin once you enter it.
- Pull off the roadway if you can:A rest area or truck stop are safest.
- Obey all traffic signs:fog/weather related warning signs.
- Headlights:Use low-beam headlights and fog lights for best visibility, even in during the day.
- Beware of other drivers:Who may not have their lights on.
- Flashers:Turning on your four-ways to give approaching vehicles a chance to notice you.
- Beware of vehicles on the side of the road.
- Use road-side highway reflectors:as guides to help determine the road ahead.
- Listen to the traffic reports.
- Don’t stop on the shoulder: A well-lit semi may confuse others into thinking you are in a travel lane.
Unhooking or Uncoupling
1.Ensure the ground will support the weight of the trailer – if not, use planking under the dollies or find another location.
2.Wind down the landing gear until the pad is 1” fromthe ground (do not keep cranking!) – stow the crank handle.
3.Disconnect the airlines and electrical cord and stow in the dummy couplers or secure to the deck plate with a bungee cord.
4.Pull the 5th wheel handle to release the jaws – preferably using a 5th wheel puller.
5.Climb in the cab and move the tractor ahead 6 inches using low gear.
6.Stop the truck and dump (lower) the tractor’s air ride suspension.
7.Move ahead slowly until the trailer just slides off the back of the 5th wheel – the trailer should be wholly supported by its landing gear and the truck frame still under the trailer (to catch an unstable trailer).
8.Stop the tractor, place transmission in neutral and set the parking brake.
9.Get out of the cab and ensure the ground is in fact supporting the weight of the trailer.
10.Get back in the cab, pull completely out from under the trailer– remember to inflate the tractor’s air suspension – you’re done.
These are perilous times and the desire to protect your self has increased. Because of federal regulation as well as company policy we are not allowed to carry weapons. Guns, Knives, Chemical Deterrents (Mace or Pepper Spray) are not authorized and against federal law. Your safety is first and your best protection is your situational awareness. Please make sure you make smart decisions where you park and what you are doing.
If you find yourself in an active shooting situation the U.S. Department of Homeland Security advises the following:
1. Be aware of your environment and any possible dangers.
2.Take note of the two nearest exits in any facility you visit.
3.If shooting starts, run if you can.
4.If you can’t run, then hide.
5. If you are in a room, secure the door.
6. As a last resort, attempt to take the active shooter down. When the shooter is at close range and you cannot flee, your chance of survival is much greater if you try to incapacitate him/her (use a chair or other object).
CALL 911 WHEN IT IS SAFE TO DO SO!