The winter weather driving season is here. It’s important for truck drivers to remember these tips as they drive this winter to keep everyone safe on the road.
1. Drive for the conditions
The most important winter driving tip is to make sure you drive for the conditions. Don’t drive too fast when the roads are icy or snowy. Going faster leaves less room for stopping and also decreases your reaction time. Don’t feel pressured to speed up just because other vehicles may be passing you. Take your time and only go as fast as the weather conditions allow.
2. Be prepared
Make sure your truck is stocked with essential supplies. You may end up stopping because of bad weather conditions, so pack warm clothes, including a coat, gloves and a hat. Also, make sure your stock includes a flashlight, window scraper, jumper cables and a bag of salt. It’s important to keep your gas tank filled with enough fuel to reach to a safe location.
3. Keep your distance
Maintain a safe following distance between your truck and other vehicles on the road. Allowing more space between vehicles ensures you have enough time to stop if needed or to get out of the way. A common accident cause is not leaving enough room between vehicles during poor weather conditions. It’s recommended to keep at least a 10-second distance between you and another vehicle.
4. Monitor the weather
If you know there is a storm approaching, make sure to plan out your travel accordingly. Think about where you could stop if the weather gets bad. Make sure to calculate your speed for the road conditions. You probably won’t be able to drive as fast as normal if the roads get slick. Calculating your speed will also ensure you don’t run out of driving hours before you get to your safe stop.
5. Keep both hands on the wheel
You will need both of your hands if you hit a rough patch of icy, snowy road. You will need to react quickly. You won’t have enough time to react if you are eating a snack or fiddling with the radio. In inclement weather, keep your hands on the wheel and your attention on the road.
In winter driving conditions, it’s important to stay focused on the road and be prepared. The goal is to get to your destination safely.
View our past blogs for more truck driving safety tips: