Breakdown Safety

It’s happened to all of us. Something breaks down, and you find yourself stranded on the shoulder of the road, waiting for a service truck. First things first, activate your emergency flashers and put on your safety vest before placing your triangles. Unfortunately, there have been instances where people have been hit by passing vehicles, so it’s crucial to take precautions to prevent such tragedies. Always exit through the passenger door and store all your emergency equipment (fire extinguisher, flares/triangles, etc.) on the passenger side of the truck. Remember to bring your phone in case you need to take pictures, but avoid using it as a distraction can be fatal. Surprisingly, there have been many cases where individuals have collided with the back of a trailer, claiming they didn’t see it.

When walking alongside the truck, whenever possible, choose the passenger side and keep a vigilant eye on approaching traffic from both directions. If you must walk on the driver’s side, always face oncoming traffic and be prepared to quickly move under the trailer if necessary.

Once you have placed your triangles or flares, return to the truck through the passenger door and wait inside for the service truck. It’s safer to stay inside the truck rather than lingering outside.

Don Taylor has been a professional driver since March 1985.  In 1994 he made the jump to driving tractor trailers, and has accumulated over 3.5 million miles, including over 4 years of driving turnpike doubles in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.  He is currently hauling flat decks across North America.