Driving is a challenging task. Whether you are an experienced driver or an amateur, driving on snowy roads can be very dangerous and difficult for truck drivers. Since a truck is a big vehicle that requires certain strength to control, the job of driving on slippery roads in the winter goes beyond a challenging task for truck drivers—it is a dangerous mission.
In fact, studies have shown that truck accidents are common during winter. From the data of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, (NHTSA), 17% of all vehicle accidents are during the winter months. However, this article shall discuss ice and snow weather tips to keep you safe during the winter period.
Let’s get started.
Check Your Truck Properly
One of the easiest protective measures is to ensure that you inspect your vehicle before you start your journey. You don’t want to be stuck amidst great piles of snow only to discover that your vehicle is faulty. Therefore, you may need to check the following items before your journey:
- Tires: Check tire pressure.
- Brakes: Check your brakes if they are in good condition. You need brakes to maintain control while driving on a snowy and slippery road.
- Wipers: Ensure that your windshield wipers can withstand the pressure of the winter period before starting your journey.
Other items to be checked include the truck’s fluids, lights, battery, and other important items in your vehicle.
Apart from your vehicle inspection, it is equally important you take along with you some items to protect you against winter climate. These items are outlined below:
- warm jacket/ blankets
- Jump Cables
- A bag of sand and salt
- A flashlight
- Ice scraper
- Food and water, etc.
Suit Your Driving Style According to the Weather Conditions
As an experienced truck driver, you need to know that you have to be more careful with your driving during the winter months. Studies have revealed that truck driving in the winter period is very dangerous. It is therefore important you maintain caution while on the highway during the season. Before you bother your mind about how to adjust your driving style, you can:
- Avoid hard acceleration. Driving too fast may make you lose control. Remember you’re driving on a slippery road and swift movement on such a road may be costly.
- Don’t slam on the brakes. Be careful when you want to brake the car to a halt.
- Drive slowly. Most importantly, there should be a distance between you and the vehicle in front. Don’t forget that trucks, unlike cars, need more space to brake to a halt.
- If you can avoid driving through mountainous roads, you should. It can be very risky to drive through such roads in harsh climatic conditions. Therefore, protect yourself by avoiding driving on such roads. But, if you need to drive through them, be gentle with your speed limit and ensure you put your hazard lights on.
Irrespective of your experience or great skill in tick driving, you are vulnerable when you face bad weather conditions. It doesn’t matter if you have been driving for years. The truth is that you may have no tactical measure to sail through bad weather conditions when they become extremely unfavorable for driving. Therefore, another driving tip during the winter season is protection. Don’t put your life at stake while taking the risk of driving through poor climatic conditions.
Look out for Hazards
As it is said in the first paragraph, driving in the winter period can be very difficult as a result of different forms of hazards that accompany the period. Therefore, when you are driving in ice and cold weather, your eyes should be on the lookout for these hazards:
- Black Ice: It may seem very difficult to identify black ice, but you must watch out for it. Patches of black ice are dangerous because they are slippery and they may cause your truck to lose control. If ice builds up on your truck’s mirror arms, the antenna, or the top corners of the windshield, there is a possibility of black ice.
- Fog: Thick fog has the chance to block your visibility while driving in bad weather conditions. When the visibility is low, you may need to drive slowly. Clear your windscreen, and put your hazard lights on.
Take Extra Caution When Stepping on Your Truck
Your truck steps can be slippery when you drive through a snowy road. This is why you have to be very careful when you want to enter or get off your truck. When the steps are being covered by ice, you may likely fall from the steps if you are not careful while stepping on them. For extra caution, you may have to wear sturdy shoes to reduce slipping.
Above all, harsh climatic conditions such as ice and snow weather can be unfavorable to truck drivers. However, you can incorporate the above tips into your driving style so that you can be safe during winter. You can be one of the beneficiaries of our truckload services. Reach out to us to enjoy our offers.