Safety tips for the Professional Truck Driver and for your everyday driver!

Posted in Blog, News  
Monday, March 9, 2020

 

The Michigan Center for Truck Safety has put out the 19th edition of the Michigan Truck Driver's Guidebook. Since safety is such an important component to the work we do, we decided to highlight a few of the key points that help keep everyone safe on the road, including our NTB family of drivers! 

 

We made sure to highlight sections that are particularly useful for our drivers, but we believe every section in the guide is important to staying safe on the road! We encourage our drivers to read through this and other guidebooks from each state their routes pass through: 

 

Ohio Commercial Drivers Guide Book

Indiana Commercial Drivers Guide Book

Wisconsin Commercial Drivers Guide Book

Illinois Commercial Drivers Guide Book

 

Safety Around Emergency Vehicles and Situations

The Truck Driver’s Guidebook says:

“Upon approaching and passing an authorized stationary emergency vehicle with flashing lights, the driver of an approaching vehicle must: 

a. On any public roadway with at least two adjacent lanes proceeding in the same direction of the emergency vehicle, proceed with caution and yield the right-of-way by moving into a lane at least one moving lane or two vehicle widths apart from the emergency vehicle, unless directed otherwise by a police officer. If this movement is not possible due to weather, road conditions or the presence of traffic or pedestrians, follow step b: 

b. The approaching vehicle should reduce and maintain a safe speed for weather, road conditions and traffic, and proceed with due care and caution, or as directed by a police officer.” 

 

In February 2019, an amended Michigan's Emergency Vehicle Caution Law went into effect. This law, more stringent than the previous, states that moving vehicles must move over a lane and slow down to 10mph below the posted speed limit when safely possible any time there is a stopped emergency vehicle with lights on. 

 

Knowing exactly what to do when you see a vehicle stopped with flashers on can help save lives. Following these laws not only provides a safer environment for emergency responders, but also sets a good example for other drivers. Simple things like creating more space between your vehicle and people walking on the road for any reason can be the difference between another safe trip and a preventable accident.

 

Emergency Equipment Inside the Truck

The Truck Driver’s Guidebook says:

“Emergency Equipment FMCSR 393.95 FMCSR 392.8. Each truck, truck tractor and bus must be equipped with the following: 

• A securely mounted and accessible fire extinguisher of proper type and rating 

• Warning devices 

     *(three bidirectional reflective triangles, or 6 fuses, or 3 liquid burning flares)

• Spare fuses (if fuses are required to operate any required parts or accessories). 

     * Flares or other flame producing devices are prohibited for some vehicles

     * Every driver must make sure the proper emergency equipment is in place and ready for

       use before driving a CMV and if stopped on the traveled portion or shoulder of a highway,

       the driver must place the required warning devices as specified in FMCSR 392.22.”

 

It goes without saying, that having the required emergency equipment on board at all times is important for being prepared for the unexpected, but we also recommend keeping a few non-required items in your cab, too! An insulated blanket in the winter to keep you warm, a good flashlight, a reflective vest, and a good pair of gloves are all great items to start your personal emergency cab kit. 

 

Truck Speed Limit

The Truck Driver’s Guidebook says:

“Where the posted speed limit is greater than 65 miles per hour, a person operating a school bus, a truck with gross weight of 10,000 pounds or more, a truck-tractor, or a truck-tractor with a semi-trailer or trailer or a combination of these vehicles shall not exceed a speed of 65 miles per hour on a limited access freeway or a state trunk line highway.”

 

Maintaining a safe speed at all times is extra important for semi-trucks! Speed limits are designed to help drivers avoid driving inappropriate speeds for the road structure, the environment the road was built on, and the existing road conditions. Following these limits is a great way to make sure your trip is safe for you and others on the road. 

 

Summary

You can’t follow the rules if you don’t know the rules, and everyone could use a reminder now and then. Each driving law in every state is designed to keep us all safe on the roadways—from professional drivers to passenger vehicles. Stay safe out there!

 

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