Truck Driver Safety Tips for Winter Road Conditions
Up until last we have experienced very mild weather conditions, but we were quickly hit with poor driving conditions all over the country. Including a rare snow and ice storm in the Dallas-Fort Worth, TX area. We want to share some winter truck driver safety tips to help you reduce your risk of accidents and help keep you safe this winter.
Winter driving tips:
- Be prepared. Plan your trip accordingly by checking weather forecasts and possible construction areas along your route, chart fuel and meal stop locations, and allow extra time for traffic delays. The Weather Channel has a tool that allows you to receive severe weather alerts in your area on your phone via email or text message. You can sign up here.
- Do a thorough pre-trip inspection. Do a visual, hands-on inspection and check all important items, including tires, wiper blades and fluid and lights. Check your vehicle often. Also, shifting product and icy roads are not a good combination. If possible, truck drivers should monitor the shipper’s loading procedures to ensure weight has been evenly distributed within their trailer.
- Slow down and give yourself extra space. Compensate for poor traction by slowing down and making all movements gently – never drive faster than conditions allow. Double or triple your following distance and never tailgate. Keep at least a ten second following distance when driving on snow and ice covered roads. Turn OFF the cruise control – Don’t use cruise control or overdrive on icy roads.
- Beware of black ice. Black ice can fool truck drivers into thinking its water. This shiny form of ice is one of the most slippery road conditions. Black ice is likely to form first under bridges & overpasses, in shady spots & at intersections. Bridges & overpasses freeze before roadways.
- Braking and accelerating. Truck drivers need to be aware of becoming overconfident if they have antilock brakes. If the brakes happen to lock, release them to avoid sliding. This will help to regain steering. Always brake gently to avoid skidding.
If you begin to skid:
- Take your foot off the gas and shift to neutral, quickly
- Steer in the direction you want your truck to go
- Before the rear wheels stop skidding, shift to drive and gently press the accelerator
- Do not slam on the brakes
- Do not ask your truck to do more than it can. If you don’t feel comfortable driving, park it!
- ALWAYS wear your seat belt!!
Contracted Driver Services wants you and your family to drive safe at all times. Please take a few extra minutes to check out current weather conditions and please make sure you are prepared in the event you must stop due to dangerous weather conditions. Our team of safety professionals are on call for you 24/7 for those unexpected emergencies when you need it most. Call toll free 866.847.6536.