Driving a truck in winter conditions can be challenging for even the most experienced truck drivers. Cold weather can break the tires or wear down the battery, and snow can lead to poor visibility. Fortunately, by taking preventative measures, you can protect yourself during a dangerous time. Here’s what you should know.
How Truck Drivers Can Stay Safe During Winter Weather
1. Pay Attention to Hazards
During the winter, there are extra hazards to be mindful of. For example, watch for black ice, which is a transparent layer of ice that can cause the road to look wet. Some signs include ice buildup on your mirrors and antennae, as well as spraying from the tires on the vehicle in front of you.
Additionally, keep an eye out for heavy, visibility-reducing fog. Slow down more than normal, and utilize your truck lights. Also, turn on the demisters and wipers to clear the windshield.
Finally, be careful when going on bridges. They often freeze over before roads in the winter, and they may not be treated with snow or sand, making them particularly slippery.
2. Perform Regular Inspections
While inspecting your vehicle is important the whole year, it’s especially crucial during winter when many of the parts are more susceptible to damage. Start by examining the tires for wear and tear and low pressure. Next, make sure the battery has enough power, and clear the wipers if they have snow or ice on them.
After that, top off the fluid levels, examine the lights for functionality issues, and make sure the exhaust pipe is clear of snow. If you normally keep track of inspections with paper, consider switching to a digital method. This will ensure the papers don’t get wet from the snow.
3. Drive With Extra Caution
Sharp movements, such as suddenly accelerating or braking, can cause you to lose control of your truck. The snow and ice also make it more difficult to bring the vehicle to a halt, increasing the risk of collisions. Drive slower than usual, and keep in mind that speed limits are meant for dry conditions.
Also, allow for at least ten times as much stopping distance with the vehicle in front of you. This will give you more time to react during harsh conditions and winter storms.
If you’re looking to become a truck driver, contact Hamrick School. Serving Medina County, OH, they have over 30 years of experience helping students get their commercial driver’s license. In addition to assisting you with finding your first job, they’ll give you the advice and skills you need to stay safe on the road. Call (800) 362-0098 to speak to an admissions officer, or visit the website to learn more about their programs.
- OH Reg. #2057
- ODPS License #1439-2369