Driving a Truck Safely During the Winter

September 26, 2022 12:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

As a truck driver, traveling across the roads of America is a daily part of your job. However, with the coming winter, the colder weather also brings with it hazards you need to be aware of. Winter can make driving far more challenging with issues such as ice, poor visibility, and the cold in general. Safe winter trucking takes some planning but with proper preparation, you can be ready for the coldest parts of the year. Here are some winter trucking tips to keep you safe on the road this winter.

Six Tips For Truck Drivers For Safe Winter Driving

  1. Have A Winter Kit: Having the right tools and supplies on hand is key for safe winter driving. Supplies such as a spare coat, extra gloves, a flashlight, common automotive fluids for refills, ice scrapers, tire chains, and jumper cables can help in emergency situations.
  2. Reduce Speeds: Winter weather can make driving unsafe due to ice and snow collecting on roadways. Even with plowing, roads can often be in less than ideal condition, and by slowing down you reduce the chances something could go wrong.
  3. Allow For Stopping Distance: Snowy or icy roads are far more difficult to stop on, and you may need as much as 10 times the space to safely stop than you would when roads are clear. Giving yourself more room not only allows for sudden stopping in emergencies, but it can also allow you time to react to another driver’s mistakes.
  4. Avoid Sudden Actions: In the winter, traction is greatly reduced. In these conditions, steady and predictable behavior can prevent accidents. Sudden actions such as slamming the brakes, taking a sharp turn, or quickly speeding up can cause you to lose control of your truck. If you do need to stop or turn, do so carefully.
  5. Be Careful on Bridges: In general, bridges freeze faster than roads. Also, bridges may not be salted which increases ice and snow accumulation. In winter weather, when crossing a bridge, being cautious and slowing down is advisable.
  6. Know When to Stop: A good truck driver also knows when it’s just too dangerous. If the weather is too severe, pull over to a safe location and wait for it to pass. Driving in unsafe conditions is simply not worth the risk.

Final Thoughts

In many parts of the country, winter brings weather conditions that can challenge even an experienced truck driver. An important part of making time and getting to your destination safely is proper preparation. Check the weather, stay informed, be prepped for emergencies, and drive safely.

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