Even experienced truckers may find it difficult when the temperatures drop and snow or sleet begins to fall. Taking some safety measures and practicing your skills will make the icy conditions less dangerous, and you’ll arrive safely at your destination.
Safety Tips for Winter Driving for Truck Drivers
1-Carry Emergency Supplies
Pack some basic emergency supplies to use if you get stranded. It is best to keep extra warm clothes, snacks and water, and blankets in your truck since you never know what the weather may bring. You should always carry gloves, a flashlight, a shovel, and rain gear if you are planning a longer trip. Also, make sure you have windshield fluid, tire chains, a bag of sand or salt, jumper cables, and ice scrapers and brushes for the truck.
2-Inspect your Truck Before Driving
Before beginning a new route, you should inspect your truck. Traveling in the winter increases the necessity of this step. It is necessary to examine your truck’s tire pressure, engine oil, and antifreeze levels to ensure it runs efficiently in challenging conditions.
3-Keep Lights Cleaned Off
Visibility can be quite an issue during winter driving. As such, keep your lights clear of ice and snow and aim to have the truck headlights turned on. It will help any other driver to see you while maintaining a safe distance.
4- Pack a Bag of Kitty Litter or Salt
Salt or kitty litter can be of great help if you need to create traction on ice-covered roadways. If you get stuck, sprinkle a generous amount of salt or kitty litter under and around the tires. Even though kitty litter won’t melt the ice as effectively as salt, it will help you get unstuck.
5-Bring Extra Washer Fluid
No road is alike during winter. Your windshield can get sprayed with mud or slush and hit by a lot of bugs. Winter driving can be dangerous without wiper fluid. Without having enough wiper fluid in your truck, you extend the risk of a smeared or streaked windshield, which in the end can compromise your and the safety of the others on the road.
But that is not the only reason why you need wiper fluid. It also keeps the washer fluid pump lubricated. Without it, the pump can corrode, start leaking or even stop working.
6- Adjust Your Driving Style for Slippery Roads
Slowing your vehicle down and keeping a safe distance between you and the other driver allows a longer time for reaction. Slower driving is a safe winter driving practice. If you’re still unsure whether the road is ice, look for water that other truck tires have left behind. The road is just wet when there is a lot of water present. However, when there is little tire spray, the road will probably be frozen, therefore proceed with caution.
7- Know When to Stop
Sometimes, despite your schedule, you must proceed with caution due to the difficult conditions on the road. Weather conditions are unfavorable when visibility is low, roads are snow-covered, and so on. The best action is to carefully pull over to the side of the road and wait for the storm to pass.
Although these winter driving safety tips might seem basic, they are only effective if followed carefully. It’s ultimately up to you to be cautious on the road and remain safe.
Getting the right insurance coverage might also be helpful to protect your drivers and trucks financially every day, no matter what happens. You can rely on VL 17 Insurance Agency if you need commercial truck insurance in Texas. Contact us at (281) 803-8156 if you have any questions.