Post Date - Dec 13, 2021
Millions of motorists will brave winter weather and heavy traffic to reach their families this Christmas. Of course, truck drivers are already doing that every day. But there are a few extra steps CDL-A drivers can take to protect themselves and others on busy roads this holiday season:
Prepare your truck
Your truck requires a little more love in the winter months. Check your heater, defroster, and coolant system for leaks. If your coolant is over two years old, it may be a good time to replace it. Change to a lighter weight oil and use a block heater to keep the engine warm so your truck starts quickly in freezing weather. As always, make sure your tires are up to the task and have tire chains on hand if your routes take you through severe winter weather.
Wet or icy roads should change the way you drive, obviously. Tis the season for family tradition, holiday celebrations and multi-vehicle pile ups. Make sure to watch brake lights in front of you, stop way ahead of time, and pay extra attention to entrance and exit ramps or while turning. Leave early, when possible, to avoid feeling rushed and give yourself a cushion for unavoidable delays and backups.
It’s important for truck drivers to be aware of their surroundings all year long, but during the holidays, with more deliveries, more people on the road and more going on in general, it’s even easier to get distracted while driving. Put your cell phone on silent and set up your drinks, snacks, music or other entertainment before your wheels are turning.
A bad crash or a winter storm could leave you stranded on the highway for hours. As always, keep your truck stocked with food and water. And during the cold months, make sure to have extra blankets and warm clothes on hand. Even if you don’t end up needing an extra pair of thick socks, gloves or that gas station beanie, you may come across someone who will.
Find your people
While it may not directly improve your safety, finding others who are over the road during the holiday season may boost your spirits. If you’re missing family traditions back home or feeling detached during the holidays, find others at truck stops or restaurants who may also be away from their family and make your own holiday celebrations. This could help clear your head and boost your mood, making you a safer driver.
USA Truck is committed to a positive driver experience, and we offer unique advantages for CDL-A truck drivers like you. Learn more today!