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According to the latest data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an estimated 538,000 large trucks were involved in police-reported traffic crashes nationwide during 2019.
These crashes can be costly for Habitat affiliates. Consider this claim:
In 2020, a ReStore truck merged onto the highway while following a vehicle too closely. They rear-ended the vehicle in front of it, causing a claim of more than $250,000.
To help your box truck drivers avoid becoming a statistic and causing a costly claim, it can be helpful to review safe driving techniques from time to time.
Affiliate Box Truck Safety Tips
- Start safely. Follow a routine when first starting up by checking the truck and its surroundings before leaving.
- Avoid sudden stops. Maintain a 4-second following distance for speeds under 30 mph and 6-second following distance for speeds over 30 mph.
- Be cautious in intersections. Most deadly accidents occur at intersections. If your truck is involved in an intersection accident, chances are the driver will not be hurt but someone else will be. In fact, the NHTSA states that 71% of fatalities in crashes involving large trucks were occupants of other vehicles. Before entering the intersection, slow and be prepared to stop suddenly. Look to the left and right even if you have a green light. Don’t change lanes in the intersection and watch for pedestrians and cyclists.
- Move away from pedestrians. Communicate using your lights, signals and horn. Slow down at crosswalks. Be aware that cyclists do not always obey traffic signals, especially children whose actions can be hard to predict.
- Avoid head-on accidents. Scan at least 12 seconds ahead. Stay centered in the traffic lane. Don’t drive on the wrong side of the road. When entering curves, reduce your speed to avoid losing traction and have an escape route if your lane is blocked. Don’t make a U-turn where it is impossible to see approaching vehicles.
- Use caution when changing lanes. Driving a larger box truck can sometimes make it harder to see with your mirrors. Signal, turn your head and check your mirrors to clear your path.
- Avoid backing. Accidents while reversing are common so, if possible, do not back up your truck. If you must, get help or use your horn to warn others.
- Slow down. Speeding usually does not get you to a destination quicker. However, it does reduce your reaction time and can increase the severity of injuries. Obey the speed limit.
- Reduce distractions. Do not use your cell phone while driving. Keep both hands on the wheel and pay attention.
- Driver training and experience. Ensure drivers for your affiliate have the proper training and experience to safely drive a box truck. A clean driving record is also critical.
These tips might seem simple but reminders like these can help prevent injuries, increased insurance costs and even death in some cases.
To protect your affiliate from the costs associated with box truck accidents, get Commercial Auto insurance from Lockton Affinity. Explore coverage today at HFHAffiliateInsurance.com.