A Bigger Picture of Safety in Trucking

Last month we talked about the extreme weather truckers are facing on the road this summer, and it turns out, much of the preparation for weather conditions play a big role in safety for both the vehicle and the driver no matter what time of year. However, late August and September signal additional focus with schools re-opening and traffic patterns shifting. At the same time, the country is faced with a new variant of COVID along with the dangers of fire season. In a nutshell, safety in trucking is much more than the vehicle and the road. Let’s take a look.

Staying Safe During Fire Season

The typical fire season in the West normally runs from May to October, with the peak activity occurring from August to October. What that means is that we have two more months before the risk is over and the season shifts to Fall.

Currently, the weather in Idaho, Oregon, and California will remain at risk for continued expansion of ongoing fires, with a possibility of new fires due to the lack of rainfall combined with high temperatures. Here are the numbers as of August 19th according to the National Interagency Fire Center.

  • State reporting new large fires: 2
  • Number of active large fires: 104 (Idaho -22, Washington -18, California-12, Oregon-12)
  • Acres burned from active fires: 2,557,537
  • Number of fires contained: 2

Staying safe on the road will require awareness of impacted areas and contingency plans if necessary. If truckers are driving a route in any one of the largest wildfire areas, they should be cautious that ongoing evacuations and road closures may impede a shipper’s ability to move goods smoothly and without delay. Tucking operations are advised to keep abreast of the latest developments and should establish and communicate emergency response and contingency procedures throughout their supply chains accordingly.

Summer electrical storms are the main cause of wildfires. Drivers could be confronted with downed trees and powerlines and blocked or closed roadways, smokey conditions, and even flames. The same rules for extreme weather apply to preparation for wildfires.

  • Stay on top of the weather forecast on your route.
  • Maintain alternative routes in case the main is closed.
  • Keep your mobile battery powered up and your cloud-based system at the ready
  • Maintain a backup generator for emergencies and peace of mind.

Staying Safe in School Zones

Back to school means shifting traffic patterns and changes in vehicle density and speed. Especially at a time where COVID has kept most schools shut for the past year, we need to be mindful of the school zone norms and rules which can never be emphasized enough. According to research by the National Safety Council, most children who lose their lives in bus-related incidents are 4-7 years old. They are hit by a bus or a motorist illegally passing a stopped bus. Here are some reminders to keep kids safe

  • Don't block the crosswalk when stopped at a red light or waiting to make a turn, forcing pedestrians to go around you; this could put them in the path of moving traffic
  • In a school zone when flashers are blinking, stop and yield to pedestrians crossing the crosswalk or intersection
  • Always stop for a school patrol officer or crossing guard holding up a stop sign
  • Take extra care to look out for children in school zones, near playgrounds and parks, and in all residential areas
  • Don't honk or rev your engine to scare a pedestrian, even if you have the right of way
  • Never pass a vehicle stopped for pedestrians
  • Always use extreme caution to avoid striking pedestrians wherever they may be, no matter who has the right of way

Stay Safe While the Delta Variant Runs Rampant

Long-haul truck driver Paul Marhoefer (aka Long Haul Paul) recently issued a warning and an inquiry about the COVID vaccine hesitancy in an article for Overdrive Online. His experience with contracting the disease provided insight into how important following the COVID protocols again has become for him as he hits the road. While his symptoms were mild, they included neuropathy in the hands and feet, headache, and fatigue. For a truck driver, these symptoms could be detrimental. His story also outlined multiple deaths of friends and loved ones all because they had not been vaccinated. His plea to truckers is to do it for yourself and do it for your loved one. Don’t wait until one of them is ill or dying from a horrible disease that could have been avoided.

. . . I thought it best to start trying to remember to wear a mask again in public, not wishing to be an asymptotic spreader, and give it to one of the untold numbers of unvaccinated people out here most susceptible now to developing serious disease. Funny thing about wearing a mask again after those brief months I put it to the side – for all the ideological exhibitionism you see online from folks who are going scorched earth on this topic, nobody ever seems to say anything to me about it at the Flying J. — Long Haul Paul, Overdrive Online

We don’t mind repeating that at D&D trucking and transportation, the safety of our drivers is paramount to anything else we do. We make it a priority to be prepared for any kind of circumstance. Understanding the potential risks, obstacles and challenges is vital in making the right decision before and after our drivers get on the road. We encourage our drivers to consider all precautions and we provide guidance accordingly. Safety is everything.

If you are a truck driver looking for consistent work and great work culture, D&D trucking could be the perfect fit.

Contact us today!

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