3 Resources to Improve Trucking Safety
Situational awareness is at the heart of trucking safety, and staying informed, aware, and alert is central to being a good driver. Professional truckers – both those who work independently and those who are company drivers – need access to tools that will help them in their work. At Cobra Electronics, we've been trusted advocates and friends of the American Trucker for over 60 years, and we take truck driver safety seriously. Here are three resources that, when used correctly, can help improve trucking safety:
- CB radios, which help drivers stay awake and alert while reducing distractions
- Power inverters, which can provide electricity for CPAP machines and other devices that keep drivers rested and alert
- Smart dash cameras, which give you an extra set of eyes on the road, recording unexpected events, road hazards, and the behavior of other drivers, as well as real-time driving information from the community
Working as a professional truck driver offers a good salary, job security, and the freedom to travel the country on the open road. But it can also be a lonely, stressful job, which makes getting a good night's sleep and being alert and aware incredibly important. Fortunately, these tools can help keep drivers awake, aware, and alert on the highway and improving truck driver safety across a wide range of situations.
A CB radio is standard in most commercial trucks, but the full benefits of having a dependable, quality radio is sometimes overlooked – especially in these days of smartphones. Driving a truck can be a lonely job, and being able to talk to other truckers in your area can build a sense of community and keep you feeling connected to the world around you. If you're depending on a cell phone, you'd need to know the phone number of every trucker on the road! Even if you're using voice activation to make a call, that's a lot of contacts to sort through and a potential serious distraction that you don't need while driving. A CB radio doesn't require that you know the drivers around you – on an open channel, you can put out a call to anyone who is available.
Not only does a CB radio keep you connected to other truckers in a general sense, but it also improves trucking safety by giving you open access to warnings about bad weather, dangerous road conditions, and other safety concerns. A driver who's a few miles ahead of you might report an object on the road, for example, alerting you ahead of time so you can avoid a potential accident. If a traffic jam slows you down, giving the truckers around you advance notice so they can avoid the area also helps keep them safe and avoid delays.
Cobra CB radios are the #1 choice for professional drivers for a reason. We're always innovating, as well as being known for our features, reliability, and performance. Several of our CB radios include smart features, including Bluetooth® wireless technology that allows you to make and receive calls and text messages completely hands-free when connected to your smartphone. This helps minimize truck driver distracted driving, since you don't need to fumble with your phone when a message comes in.
There's nothing quite like a good night's sleep to keep you alert and aware on the road. Truck driver fatigue was an associated factor in 13% of large truck crashes according to a study conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Fatigue can be caused by a range of factors, including not getting enough sleep and not eating well. It's important to recognize when you're feeling tired, and to take steps to treat your body well. Having a safe and reliable power inverter in your cab can be a great tool to help.
If you struggle with sleep apnea, your doctor may prescribe a CPAP machine to help you breathe better at night. But with our research showing that 90% of truck drivers who sleep away from home do so in their truck, having reliable, safe power for a CPAP device is essential for truck driver safety. That's why we created the Pure Sine 400, a power inverter designed to run medical equipment, including CPAP machines, and other sensitive electronics without any operating issues. Plus, it's small and compact, so it won't take up much of your limited space.
In addition to making sure that your CPAP machine works to help you get a good night's sleep, you can also use a power inverter to run a small refrigerator and/or microwave in your truck. Having the ability to store and cook healthier food options – and just to have the foods that you like available to you when it's time to eat – can help reduce the truck driver fatigue that can be caused by eating a heavy meal, eating at irregular times, or even going to bed on an empty stomach.
While you might think that having a dash camera in your truck only helps you to record video of the road ahead and/or behind your truck, Cobra smart dash cams improve trucking safety by actually helping you drive smarter. Just like the open communication that you enjoy with a CB radio, you can get easy access to a wide range of real-time information from the Cobra community with the Drive Smarter app. This smartphone application syncs with your smart dash cam and provides you with a wide variety of important updates, including speed limit alerts, traffic and roadside hazards ahead, road-side law enforcement ahead, enforcement cameras ahead, and more. You'll not only get updates from the trucking community, but from everyone else who is sharing information to the cloud.
Staying alert and being prepared is one of the best ways to improve truck driver safety, and Drive Smarter makes it easy to stay informed. Knowing what to expect on the road ahead can help lower stress levels and reduce driver distractions – when you know there's road-side law enforcement ahead, you'll be ready to slow down and give officers the room they need. If there are traffic hazards on your route, you can plan in advance to travel a different way, minimizing possible risks to your safety or your schedule. And if you should be involved in an incident, having video footage showing all the angles of what occurred can tell your side of the story when it's most important.
A smart dash cam can improve trucking safety in other ways too. A hardwired camera in parking mode can help monitor your truck when you're sleeping or away. A G-sensor in the dash cam is triggered when it experiences significant movement, such as another vehicle hitting your truck, turning the camera on to capture the moment. Cobra smart dash cams also offer Mayday alerts, which will send an emergency email to a contact of your choice should the camera detect a collision and not be able to get a response from the driver.
Stay Connected, Stay Alert, Stay Informed
No professional driver wants to be a risk to themselves or others on the road. Minimizing the risk of truck driver fatigue and distraction and using tools to stay aware and alert can improve safety and security for everyone. Both independent drivers and trucking companies can promote trucking safety by taking advantage of the tools that are available to keep drivers informed and focused on the job. Reliable CB radios, safe power inverters, and smart dash cams from Cobra are proven technologies with affordable pricing, all direct from the brand that has been serving professional drivers for over 60 years.
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