Safety is always important for drivers, and truck driving is no different. One of the key elements of driving safety is safe braking. Knowing how to properly use the brakes and when can help you avoid potential accidents…

Safe Braking: What To Know

Defining “safe”

What exactly does the “safe” in safe braking mean? After all, it’s important to know what counts as braking safely versus unsafely. In order to be safe, you need to ensure your truck has plenty of time to slow down and stop. That means slamming on the brakes is unsafe, as you could easily skid or jackknife.

Meanwhile, proper braking procedure involves keeping the truck as straight as possible. While doing this, you’ll also want to slowly press on the brake, and bring the truck to a gradual stop. Some truckers also might use an engine brake, but these might not be allowed depending on the area.

Watching speed

Of course, safe braking is also made up of a couple other factors. One of those is your speed. If you’re going too fast, then you won’t be able to stop your truck as quickly either. Plus, you also have to consider the weight you’re carrying. Going too fast with a super heavy load can make braking a lot more difficult.

That’s why it’s always better to stick to the speed limit rather than try and go past it. In fact, there might be situations where it’s better to go slower instead. For instance, if you’re going downhill, slowing down can help you keep control and brake a lot more safely.

Be mindful of distance

Braking safety also involves accounting for distance. Even if you’re going slow, if there isn’t enough room for you to brake, then you can end up in an accident. Therefore, you want to make sure you leave plenty of distance between you and the cars ahead of you.

One bad habit some drivers get into is tailgating. This is when they get right up behind another person’s car. Of course, this is dangerous when one’s in a car, but it’s especially dangerous when driving a truck. That’s why you should always be mindful of the distance you leave, to avoid accidentally tailgating.