Maneuvering a giant 18-wheeler or any other heavy-duty truck is hard enough on its own. Bring in a slick road, ever-changing weather conditions, and impaired road visibility due to fog or snowfall, and driving a truck during winters becomes the most difficult task on earth.
Staying safe on the road during the cold season is not an easy task. Icy roads can give a tough time to even the most experienced drivers in managing their vehicles. However, following a few precautionary measures is all it takes to reduce the risk of accidents and protect against harm. So, if you are a truck driver who is going to be out on the road in a cold season, here are some useful tips to drive safely in the winter.
Do an Initial Inspection
The basic winter safety tip for Heavy haulers is to make sure that your vehicle is in a good enough condition to withstand the harsh weather conditions. This includes checking the tire pressure, tire wear and tear, engine oil as well as antifreeze levels thoroughly. Do this before every trip. Also, take the truck to a mechanic every once in a while for a more detailed inspection.
Carry a First Aid Kit
In case you don’t have one already, carry a first aid kit in your truck at all times. Besides the basic first aid equipment, also keep some additional winter essentials such as a blanket and emergency food rations.
Keep the Tank Full
Not many truckers know this but keeping your fuel tank loaded during winters means an extra weight that keeps your tires in close contact with the ground. This creates more friction and prevents your truck from hydroplaning.
Stopping distance on an icy road is over 10 times that on a normal dry road. Leave ample amount of space between your truck and the vehicle in front of you so that everyone stays out of the harm’s way.
Be Alert and Wise
If the weather gets too severe and it’s hard to see the path clearly, pull over at a safe spot and wait for it to get better. Relying on the tail lights of the vehicle in front of you is not a smart decision – if they make a mistake, you are likely to follow suit.
Last But Not Least, Always Drive Slowly
Whether you have a lot of deliveries to make or you are running short on time, never, NEVER drive fast to make up for the lack of time. More than 50% of the road accidents in winter occur due to over speeding. Drivers need to adjust their speed according to the weather conditions, especially if the road is covered with snow.
Reaching your destination late is far better than not reaching it at all. So, use your better judgment and drive at a speed that gives you plenty of time to stop your vehicle or change its direction in case anything goes wrong.
Follow these winter safety tips for truckers to ensure you, your vehicle, as well as those around you, stay out of harm’s way.