During the winter season the risks of being involve in an accident increases. For truckers these risks are even higher because they need to be prepared and have specific skills to deal with any dangerous situation in the road provoked by lower temperatures. Our driving tips for all trucking companies and owner-operators are:
1- Perform a properly and more frequent pre-trip inspection of the truck – During the winter the regular checks of the truck should be increased. The truck’s part that should be inspected are:
- The air pressure and condition of the tires;
- Fluids levels;
- Windshield wipers;
- Tire chains;
- Air lines;
2- Think ahead and be prepared for an unexpected situation – It’s important to have in the road the appropriate equipment in the truck in case of an unplanned incident such as
- Battery cables;
- Reflective vest;
- De-icer and ice scraper
- Food and water;
- Warm blanket for the cold;
- Extra warm clothes;
- Shovel and salt to avoid getting stuck int the road;
- Always count with a least half tank of gas;
- Warning triangle
3- Be updated about the weather conditions – Truckers should check by radio, GPS systems, weather’s app and calling the dispatcher if there are any changes in the weather condition of the route they are taking, such closed routes or to find out alternative and safer routes.
4- Drive safely – It’s very important to avoid hard acceleration, fast braking reduction and sharp and sudden movements. Truckers should:
- Maintain a constant speed;
- Keep a distance between the truck and the vehicle in front;
- Don’t speed;
- The stop distance during bad road conditions should 10 times higher than the regular.
5- Always use vehicle’s turn signals – Especially when changing lane. Truckers should count until 5, then make a slowly move into the next lane, using the hazard light to indicate to the other drivers that they are going slower than them. There is no need to increase the speed to match with the other’s drive speed.
6- Be aware of hazards – In particular to
• Black ice, which is a thin layer of transparent ice;
• Fog, which reduces drivers’ visibility;
• Heavy rain;
7- Truckers should be careful every time they get on or off their truck – to avoid slipping from the steps of the truck and falling. Truck drivers should use special boots to avoid slipping.
8- Stop the vehicle when is necessary – If the weather conditions become very dangerous truck drivers should look for a safe place, like a gas station, to stop their trucks until the visibility in the road gets better.