With the average tractor-trailer coming in at 72 feet long, weighing 73,000 pounds, and traveling at 65 miles per hour, speed can have a major impact on your safety. Did you know that speed is the root cause in the large majority of accidents? According to NHTSA, in 2016, speeding-related deaths increased by four percent from the prior year to 10,111 fatalities. Whether an accident is large or small, there is a good chance that it could have been prevented by proper speed management and control. Knowing what the appropriate driving speed is and being able to control the speed of your truck plays an essential role in helping keep you safe, as well as keeping those around you safe. There are three major areas where you should be extra mindful of your speeds:
Creep Mode is an excellent tool that you can utilize in parking lots. Using Creep Mode will ensure that your truck stays at a manageable and safe speed of 5 mph, which will allow you to pay more attention to your surroundings, mirrors, and trailer. Remember, it is C.R. England policy to never go more than 5 mph in parking lots and to use Creep Mode.
Ramps and Curves
As you know, trucks have a high center of gravity, which makes it extremely important to control your speeds on highway ramps, around curves, and while making turns. Pay attention to the speed of the truck and if you feel any lateral motion, that is a sign that you are traveling too fast.
When thinking about your speed on highways, it is also important that you are paying attention to your following distance and making sure that you are giving yourself enough stopping distance. Trucks can take a long time to come to a stop and require plenty of room between you and the vehicle in front of you. C.R. England’s standard for following distance is one second for every ten feet of vehicle length, with an additional one second added for speeds over 40 mph. Since our vehicles are 72 feet in length, that means nine seconds is the appropriate following distance at freeway speeds on dry roads
Practicing speed management means that you are always maintaining a safe speed – safe for the location, safe for the maneuver, and safe for conditions. Whether you’re on the highway or at the shipper, on an off-ramp or backing into the dock, blue skies or falling snow, choose a safe speed that allows you to recognize and respond to changing situations. Practicing proper speed management is a great way for you to Work Safe = Home Safe.