Safety tips for truck drivers who are working at night

truck driving at night

For truck drivers like you, nighttime is the best time to drive, especially when it’s late and most other drivers are already asleep. After all, the lesser number of vehicles out on the road at night means that a huge vehicle like a truck can more freely occupy road space that’s normally taken by at least two cars during the day. But, driving your truck at night is an occupational hazard as the decreased visibility in spite of a road’s artificial lighting makes it harder for you to see objects more clearly which can put you in grave danger. If you’re driving your truck because you’ve decided to work the night shift, here are some safety tips for you to follow:

1. Get at least eight hours of sleep before driving your truck at night.

8 o clock

Your sleeping pattern may be the reverse of what most people are used to, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t sleep in the morning after your night shift is over.

  • You might be tempted to drink more than a couple of cups of coffee to keep you awake in the morning, especially if you have family obligations to take care of after your shift. However, caffeine can send your energy plummeting down as fast as you’ve had it, so you should avoid drinking coffee and head straight to bed once you arrive at your home.
  • But if you’re completely new to pulling the night shift as a truck driver and you’re not used yet to sleeping in the daytime, pulling your bedroom curtains down should help you get your eight hours of sleep more easily.

2. Keep your truck’s windshield and mirrors clean at all times.

Driving your truck at night gives you less than the ideal amount of visibility that daytime drivers are getting. If you’re not cleaning your truck’s windshield and mirrors, you’ll end up having even less visibility than what you already have at night which can send you and your truck crashing into something.

  • Before setting out for the night, you should wipe your truck’s windshield and mirrors with a clean rag until you can see everything that’s reflected on them.
  • You should make sure to also check if your truck’s wiper blades are in working condition so that you can keep its windshield clean in case rain or snow suddenly falls while you’re in the middle of your nightly run.

3. Avoid looking directly into the headlights of an approaching vehicle.

Blinding headlights at night

Nighttime driving requires drivers to use their headlights so that they can see the road ahead.

  • However, the headlights of some vehicles may be a bit too bright for your eyes to the point that they can temporarily blind you and lead you and your truck into an accident.
  • Instead of looking straight into an approaching vehicle’s headlights, you should divert your eyes on the rightmost side of the road while still making sure to retain your focus.

4. If you have to do a long haul run at night, bring a fellow truck driver along to do the night shift with you.

Boredom while on the road at night is one of the greatest enemies that you may face as you drive your truck. All those hours spent behind the wheel may seem like days, and having no one to talk to can take a toll on you, especially if you’ve been asked to do a long haul run.

  • As much as you’re tempted to turn the radio of your truck on to pass the time, it may distract you too much from focusing on the road ahead.
  • If a fellow truck driver is working for the same company and is available for the night, you can ask them to accompany you so that in case you’re already yawning, your eyes are starting to droop, and you want to get some sleep, they can take your place behind the wheel.
  • You have to make sure though that the fellow truck driver you’ll be bringing along to help you is capable of driving at night so that both of you won’t get caught in an accident.

According to the National Safety Council, the risk of getting involved in a vehicular accident that can kill you is at least three times higher at night compared to if you drove during daytime instead. However, if you’re a truck driver, your preferred time of work may most likely be at night as you can’t afford to get stuck in some daytime traffic jam, especially if you have deadlines to meet. Thus, when driving your truck at night, you should observe the above-listed safety tips. But in case you get yourself caught in a nighttime vehicular accident, it’s best to call a lawyer and leave a voice message so that they can get onto you first thing in the morning.