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Experienced Truckers Share Valuable Driving Tips You Need to Know

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America is currently facing a logistics crisis partly due to disruption by the COVID-19 pandemic and an acute shortage of truck drivers. If you have ever wanted to be a trucker, there is never a better time than now. 

But the conditions and the pressures of work can easily have a toll on truck drivers, making it one of the riskiest professions. But some truckers have been in it for a lifetime and have managed to drive incident-free. 

Keep reading as we share some valuable tips from experienced truckers that you may want to know early in your newfound career. 

American Trucking Industry Statistics

The trucking industry employs approximately 3.5 million Americans representing 5% of all full-time employees. This industry is male-dominated, with only 10% of all truckers being women. 

Other statistics indicate that the industry is 80,000 truckers short, a figure expected to rise as older truckers approach retirement. As a result, the existing truckers are often pushed to the limit to ensure that trucking companies meet the deadline, a significant contributor to truck accidents in recent years. 

In 2020, over 4,865 people died in truck-related injuries in the U.S., representing a 1% decrease from 2019 but a 31% increase since 2011. If you want to get an in-depth look at the trucking accident rates, this list of truck accident statistics can be a good read for you.

Safety Tips from Experienced Truckers

Drive Defensively

Defensive driving means driving with an awareness that you could be the only driver on the road with safety in mind. According to most experienced truckers, many drivers do not know how to drive safely around big rigs. A study conducted by a Michigan university showed that over 80 percent of all crashes involving a trailer are caused by other vehicles rather than the truck. 

Some defensive driving tips for truckers include being cautious about your blind spots, which can be relatively broad, and maintaining a wider following distance than an average car. With up to 80,000 pounds in tow, you will require a longer distance to come to a stop than an average car.

Ensure Your Truck’s Maintenance Is Up to Date

The responsibility of ensuring that the truck’s maintenance is up to date lies with the trucking company. Your life is at risk when driving a truck, so you may want to ensure that the company does what it is supposed to do. 

You do not have to wait for the maintenance schedule to look for mechanical issues. Regular inspection of your truck before getting on the road is vital to ensure everything is in its right working order. 

For example, you may want to physically examine the wheels to ensure they have the right pressure and that there are no loose screws. You may also want to ensure that all your brakes, brake lights, and turn signals are functional before getting on the road.

Get Adequate Rest and Sleep

Adequate sleep and rest are essential when operating big rigs. If you do not get enough of any, you risk sleeping while on the road creating a significantly high risk of getting into an accident. Federal laws stipulate a maximum of 60 to 70 driving hours per week and regular breaks that vary depending on the driving regime.

Most trucks come with automatic logs that indicate the number of hours they have been on the road. However, logging out doesn’t always mean the driver will get adequate rest. 

Some truckers use the brakes to engage in other activities such as drinking, which could mean they don’t get enough rest to drive the following day safely. According to experienced truck drivers, if you feel drowsy during your drive, it is best to pull over into a rest area and take a break before proceeding. 

Michelle has been a part of the journey ever since Bigtime Daily started. As a strong learner and passionate writer, she contributes her editing skills for the news agency. She also jots down intellectual pieces from categories such as science and health.

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Lifestyle

Sara Zaimi Vies for Miss NJ Crown

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The Miss NJ competition seeks a leader, a role model who inspires with both brains and heart. Enter Sara Zaimi, a trailblazing pharmacist with a Doctorate (PharmD) whose passion for women’s health and community empowerment burns brightly.

A brush with mortality at a young age – chest pain and a concerning blood test – ignited a fire in Sara. Witnessing the unwavering spirit of women battling cancer in the oncology ward solidified her desire to make a difference. It was her mother’s unwavering support, the way she held her hand through fear and doubt, that propelled Sara to answer that call. Overcoming self-doubt and depression, she embarked on a remarkable academic journey, graduating with her PharmD at the prestigious Rutgers University at the early age of 23, placing her among the top 10% of her class.

As a first-generation Algerian American, she’s a testament to the power of hard work and perseverance. Her academic achievements, including valedictorian honors and consistent Dean’s List placements, stand as a testament. This translates further into her successful business, where she champions women’s health awareness. Her impact extends far beyond the pharmacy walls. Sara dedicates her time to NJ Sisterhood, empowering young women and inner-city communities. Her fluency in Spanish further highlights her commitment to inclusivity and understanding.

Driven by personal experience and empathy, Sara aims to leverage the Miss NJ platform to tackle critical women’s health issues. From early detection of breast cancer to advocating for increased resources, she seeks to empower women to take charge of their health. Her work with NJ Sisterhood complements this mission, focusing on projects that empower women and address their specific needs. Her advocacy includes promoting 3D areola tattooing for breast cancer survivors, a powerful example of how science and art can converge in the healing process.

Sara’s strength lies in the synergy of her diverse experiences. Her business acumen and her work with NJ Sisterhood position her to champion women’s health and community well-being on a grander stage. She envisions using the Miss NJ platform to create tangible change, increasing resources for those affected by breast cancer and other women’s health issues.

The demands of a successful business, active volunteer work with NJ Sisterhood, and the rigorous training for the Miss NJ competition require exceptional time management skills. Sara thrives under pressure, meticulously juggling her commitments without compromising on quality.

Her multifaceted personality, unwavering commitment to women’s health, and passion for community empowerment make her a strong contender for Miss NJ. She embodies the true spirit of the competition: a woman who is not just beautiful, but a force for good, inspiring young women to reach for their dreams and embrace their unique talents.

Follow Sara’s journey and learn more about her mission on Instagram: @pharminked_laser and @njsisterhood. Let’s cheer her on as she vies for the Miss NJ crown!

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