Winter Trucking Safety Tips | Keep You Safe on the Road
Trucking safety is critical to protect lives and goods in transit. This can be achieved by hiring qualified drivers who have excellent driving skills. However, winter is a challenging time of the year as even a smart trucker may experience a hard time maneuvering through the icy roads.
Winter conditions will make it risky and trying to drive heavy trucks as roads will be slippery and dark. Some winter trucking safety tips can be used by every truck driver and reduce the number of accidents.
Winter Trucking Safety Tips
1. Drive smoothly
Instant acceleration or breaks may cause your truck to skid and lose control. An icy road will be slippery and immediate change in speed or direction may cause your vehicle to skid. Always make sure you maintain a steady pace, and you don’t go over speed.
2. Smart driving skills
Winter trucking is not a simple thing, and exceptional skills are required for the task. Before trucking on an icy road, make sure you have the skills. As a winter trucker, you get exposed to many risks, and you must know how to handle the situations. However, winter truckers are well compensated for these risks, and their pay is good. You can check how much these drivers earn here: https://truckzeal.com/ice-road-truckers-salary.
3. Inspect your truck
As you do winter trucking, you have to make sure your vehicle is in good condition. Any smart trucker will always make sure their trucks are in good condition as this will reduce the chances of getting an accident.
Make sure you check your:
- Lights – all the lights should be functional. Including indicators.
- Tires – Your tires should be balanced, and have threads to avoid skidding. Checking pressure is also very important.
- Battery – Ensure your battery is charging well.
- Wiper blades – They should be able to wipe water and ice.
- Exhaust pipe – It should not get blocked by ice.
4. Keep distance
Always make sure you don’t go close to the other trucks as you may not know what will happen next. The other driver may apply instant breaks, or even its vehicle may break down. Keeping a distance will give you time to think and make a necessary decision when something happens unexpectedly. Also, on icy roads, you will need a longer distance to stop, unlike when the road is dry.
5. Make sure your lights are on
The only way to make sure other drivers can see you and you can see them is by turning your lights on. During winter, the weather condition will be very dull, and you can’t see far. With this poor visibility, you may end up colliding with other trucks if you don’t keep your lights on. You don’t have to turn on headlights only but also backlights. Using hazards is also allowed in dull weather.
6. Don’t drive when in doubt
Your safety is more important than the schedule. When you doubt that the roads might be too bad, don’t drive. You should wait until there are less snow and ice on the roads to make sure your safety is put in the first place. What the sense of trying to meet your deadline which you will never meet because you got an accident? Trucking safety matters more than schedules and you should never go in a route when in doubt.
7. Always double check
With poor visibility, it will be hard to see other vehicles, and you shouldn’t trust your eyes in the first place. Junctions are the most common accident scenes during winter as many drivers do not double check for other vehicles when crossing. When you get to an intersection, ensure you stop and check both sides twice before crossing. This way, you will never collide with other road users.
8. Get prepared
When doing winter trucking, you will never know what is going to happen in the next minute. Your truck may get stuck, break down or the weather condition may worsen to a point you can’t drive anymore. Make sure you carry anything that you may need as you wait for help to come. Carry enough food and water, warm clothes, flashlight, traction devices and anything else you may need. Don’t forget to carry jump cables in case your breaks fail.
Exercising road safety tips is very important during winter trucking. Although the above tips may appear simple and ordinary, when applied, they can save lives and goods. A simple mistake is what may cost you. Ensure you follow all the traffic rules.