As temperatures drop and the roads become slippery, pulling out of the parking lot without a set of snow tire chains and similar equipment can pose a serious hazard.
Winter is definitely the least favorite season for truck drivers, but at the same time, it is also one of the busiest times of the year. In order to avoid putting yourself and everyone else on the road at risk, you can properly prepare for harsh driving conditions by following a few vital winter driving safety tips. Here’s what you can do stay safe on the road.
Before you start your journey and head out to your destination there is a couple of basic things you should do:
- Check the state of your wipers
- Make sure your defogger is operational
- Inspect your tires
- Check if you have windshield washer fluid
- Clean your windows, lights, and mirrors
Apart from inspecting your truck make sure you have the following gear:
- Snow tire chains
- Snow scrapers
- Jumper cables
- Warm clothes including gloves, boots, and blankets
Check the Weather Forecast
Staying on top of information regarding the weather for your route is vital to adequately prepare yourself and plan your trip. Weather conditions tend to change abruptly during winter, so a sunny day can turn into a snowstorm in a matter of minutes.
Stay up to date by utilizing the radio to its full potential and communicate with other drivers. Slightly delaying your trip due to bad weather conditions is better than getting stuck in a snowstorm for hours.
Watch Your Speedometer
Even though you are a professional driver with years of experience and many miles behind you, watching your speed is essential during less than ideal driving conditions.
Wet roads can easily lead to loss of traction if you’re driving too fast. This is also known as aquaplaning. Keep your speed slightly below normal and pay special attention to slush ice on the road.
Also, make sure to keep a safe distance from surrounding vehicles. Just a moment of careless driving can lead to a horrific accident, that can escalate into a multiple-vehicle collision if you’re too close to each other.
Watch Your Brakes
Anti-lock braking system or ABS is a life saver, but that doesn’t mean you can put your foot down and slam the brakes carelessly if the need arises. Instead, you should emulate the ABS system by pressing and releasing the brakes repeatedly, thus slowing down your truck and cargo gradually.
Driving Uphill and Downhill
Driving your truck and cargo uphill and downhill can be a difficult task in itself — add the factor of snow and slush ice, and you’ve got yourself a recipe for disaster. Patience is key in these situations. Adding too much acceleration will cause the tires to skid and lose traction.
If you notice this make sure to back up off the accelerator slowly until you regain control. However, try not to slow down entirely, as regaining momentum might be an issue. While driving downhill, make sure to use the previously mentioned technique of braking. Apply moderate pressure to the brakes, just enough to slow down.
For more truck driving tips on how to drive during harsh conditions, make sure to visit our blog.
If you have any kind of emergency on the road, give us a call, and we’ll do our best to help you out. Phoenix Towing Service offers emergency roadside assistance around the clock and serves the Phoenix Metro area.
Stay alert and drive carefully!