Driving in the mountains can be nice because of the view and the sounds of nature, but it can also be quite dangerous. There are many truck drivers who don’t like driving in the mountains. There are a lot of hard corners going down the mountains that if drivers are going too fast, they might lose control. Also, it might be a bigger problem when the truck is fully loaded. So what is the safest way to drive downhill?
Truck collision is increasing. According to The U.S. Department of Transportation, since 2008 there has been a steady increase in the number of fatal truck collisions in the U.S. (page 18). As the economy grows, so does the demand for supply. With the increasing demand for truck deliveries and more traffic, drivers and companies face the challenge of avoiding collisions. Safety is a shared goal. It is not only shared between the driver and the company, but with everyone else on the road.
If you’re at full capacity, know that the weight is going to be pushing you downhill. You can’t just suddenly use your brakes and expect to slow down without burning them out.
Go 5 mph slower than the posted limit. You will never be going too fast by doing this.
If you are going too fast, it is often too late to downshift.
Although this is mostly truck drivers’ responsibility, fleet owners and safety managers all play a key role, and all must work together as a team to address concerns about safety. All the data from their ELDs must be monitored and analyzed. This data can then be used as a training tool to aid the driver in becoming safer on the road. This data can also be used as an incentive for drivers to continue to improve their driving record and aid others who need improvement.
What do you think is the safest way to drive downhill? Let us know in the comments section below.