Winter weather is unpredictable. It can go from clear and sunny to icy and treacherous before you can say, “Winter Wonderland”. Many drivers start routes in a warm, sunny state and end in one covered in snow. Being prepared can mean the difference between delivering your load on time and sitting in a frozen truck waiting for help.
With some mindfulness and preparedness, you can be ready for anything that Mother Nature throws at you.
Inspect Your Truck
Make sure it’s ready for cold temperatures. Check your tires’ pressure and treads, oil, antifreeze, and windshield wiper fluids.
In freezing temperatures, fuel can begin to freeze in the tank, fuel line, and filter if you’re not using a winter blend fuel. Be sure to have some fuel additives with anti-gelling agent on board in case your fuel begins to gel. Having an extra blanket, warm clothes, and gloves can keep you warm if you have no heat. It’s also smart to have things that can help if you’re stuck in snow or ice like sand, a shovel, traction mats, and salt. Some other useful items are a flashlight, a lighter or matches, jumper cables, food, water, and extra windshield washer fluid. Also, always keep your phone charged.
Adjust Your Driving If The Weather is Bad
Often, winter accidents happen because drivers don’t slow down in icy or snowy weather. It may be tempting to keep your speed up to make deliveries on time but getting into an accident will really throw off your schedule. High speed decreases traction when you need it most.
You may need some extra stopping distance in case an accident happens in front of you. Winter driving means defensive driving.
Sudden reactions like sudden braking, accelerating, and turning during slick road conditions are dangerous and can cause an accident for you or others on the road.
If you think the weather is too dangerous to drive in, don’t. Find a safe place to ride out the storm. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Watch For Wind Gusts
High winds can take you by surprise. Be cautious when driving in open areas and on mountains, especially if you’re hauling an empty trailer.
Check the Weather Often
Know what you’re driving into even if you have all your safety supplies. Weather can change quickly so check often.
Be Careful on Bridges
As the signs say, bridges freeze first and in many areas, they are not treated with sand or salt.
Winter driving means driving cautiously and being prepared for the worst. A bad storm can slow you down but if you are prepared and drive carefully, you just may deliver your load safely and on time.
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