December 05, 2023

5 Tips for Avoiding 5 Accidents

CRST wants to help ensure our drivers—and all drivers—stay safe on the road. That’s why we want to share with you our 5 tips for avoiding 5 accidents. Trucking safety takes vigilance during good weather days and, significantly, when road conditions are deteriorating and even when you’re under the weather. Let’s review the Big 5’s that are, too often, a cause of accidents.

The Big 5’s:

  • Jackknives
  • Rollovers
  • Rear-ends
  • Lane changes
  • Running off the roadway

As an experienced driver, you’re all too familiar with these possibilities on the road—and you do everything possible to steer clear of them all. Yet, in 2022 alone, there were 166,833 truck accidents. So, let’s review what’s needed to keep you from being a statistic.

Avoiding the Big 5

First, it’s important to note that the Big 5s happen most when we’re out of our comfort zone or outdriving our abilities. How can you recognize deteriorating road conditions and know when you will go off the road if you’re not at your best—well-rested and well-informed? Avoiding 5 accidents relies on paying attention to weather messages on the Maven device, trip planning at the beginning of your day, and knowing what weather you will run into is critical to safe driving—all day and all year long. Let’s say it’s December, and you start your day in Texas at 60,° and your trip takes you to Michigan. Chances are, at some point during your trip, you’ll end up driving through snow or poor road conditions. How prepared are you for the temperature change?

Check out our blog about driving in the rain, but also pay close attention to these tips to help circumvent the Big 5:

  • Plan extra stopping options.
  • Complete a thorough pre-trip inspection and mid-trip inspection.
  • Pay extra attention to lights and tires, as lights help us communicate effectively when visibility is low, and tires with good tread and proper inflation help maintain vehicle control when road conditions deteriorate.
  • Make sure your truck has a set of tire chains. If it doesn’t, you should stop by the shop to pick some up the next time you’re at a terminal.

How else can you avoid the Big 5s? Avoid fatigue. As you know, Federal trucking regulations keep drivers from going long hours without breaks. Be sure to rest before getting behind the wheel and take breaks. Also, consider tips from our blog “Keeping an Eye on Your Sleep.” But whatever you do, don’t push it. Play it on the safe side. Too tired to drive? Don’t take your chances; pull over and take a nap. It’s always safety first and foremost in the CRST truck driving life.