Are you ready for the challenges winter weather creates for truck drivers?
Posted: January 14, 2020
Even though the holiday season – and its added traffic – is behind us, winter weather and plunging temperatures still pose potentially dangerous conditions for CDL-A truck drivers. Here are some tips to help ensure professional truck drivers stay safe when the weather turns colder:
Inspect your vehicle. Getting your truck prepared for winter is essential to operating safely and avoiding any issues. As part of your pre-trip inspection, be sure you’re checking the tire pressure, engine oil, and antifreeze levels thoroughly before you hit the road.
Plan your route ahead of time. Be sure to check a reliable news source or weather app to know what’s happening where you’re going.
Be prepared. Weather forecasting isn’t always fool proof so make sure you give yourself plenty of time in case you encounter an unexpected storm or weather event.
Stock up! It’s a good idea for truck drivers to keep extra food, clothing, and water in your truck in case you’re stuck in traffic or stranded for long periods of time. Don’t forget to carry warm clothes and blankets with you.
Slow down & give yourself some extra space. Most accidents occur because drivers don’t adjust their speed according to the road conditions. Compensate for poor traction by reducing your speed which will also give you more time to react if anything goes wrong. So, be extra-easy with your accelerator this winter. Leave plenty of room between your truck and the vehicle in front of you so that you have enough space to move out of harm’s way in case of unpredictable situations.
Pay attention to tire spray. This is a key winter driving tip but commonly forgotten. Notice the water coming off the tires of vehicles around you. If there’s a lot of water being sprayed, the road is wet but not frozen. If the temp is below freezing and tire spray is relatively less, it means that the roadway has started to freeze and you need to exercise additional caution.
When in doubt, pull over. If the weather condition is too severe to drive, find a safe way to get off the roadway and wait until the weather gets better and it’s safe for you to drive. Our USA Truck drivers’ safety is the top priority!
Watch where you park. If possible, stay out of the wind and keep away from parking lot entrances and other areas that leave you exposed to moving traffic. Often cars and other trucks can slip or slide when entering or leaving the lot, potentially putting you at risk.
Keep your ears on. Listen for any new information or instructions from dispatch.
We can’t control the weather but we can each do our part to stay safe on the road by planning ahead, being prepared, and keeping the lines of communication open! For more information on how USA Truck focuses on safety, connect with us today!