Cold weather, snow, and slick or icy conditions can cause breakdowns and create hazardous conditions that call for drivers to add extra caution while driving in the winter. However, expecting the unexpected and knowing a few tricks of the trade can make life a lot easier for you throughout those cold months. Below are just a few winter driving tips to help you stay safe while out on the road this winter!
We recently came across an article from TheTrucker.com that had a few great tips that we also wanted to share.
If you encounter patches of ice that can’t be avoided, don’t try to brake, accelerate, or turn. Hold the wheel steady and coast, and be sure to adjust your speed before the next patch if possible.
Watch for freezing droplets forming on your mirrors or other surfaces. You can also monitor the movement of antennas on your vehicle or others. In normal conditions, tall antennas should arch backwards. If they’re moving side to side or circularly, ice may be accumulating. You can also look out for road spray from other tires – if there’s none, ice is more than likely accumulating.
Remember to check all of your lights frequently. A snow brush can help keep them clean so other traffic can see you clearly.
Many weather apps will give you time estimates of when storms will arrive and how long they’ll last. Be sure to check and see if it’s possible to change appointments or adjust your schedule to avoid them.
Even in ideal conditions, hard braking can cause you to skid out or even lose control of your truck. Add in snow or ice, and the risk of losing control greatly increases.
One way to help you avoid hard braking is to leave extra space between you and the vehicle ahead of you. Doing so will give you more time to react to any incident or event that may occur in front of you. You can never have too much space in front of you, especially when wintry conditions can have such an adverse effect on road conditions and visibility.
Chaining tires onto your truck will help you maintain or even improve traction on roads when conditions are slippery, muddy or snowy. In some areas of the country, such as mountainous regions, it can even be required by law that your truck’s tires are chained.
Be prepared in case an emergency or if a breakdown occurs. Below are just some suggested items to have readily available in your cab just in case the unexpected happens:
Have any winter driving tips for truck drivers out there? Comment below with what you do to stay safe on the road throughout the winter!
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The Trucker Newspaper, Vol. 32, No. 21 November 1-14, 2019