As a long-haul trucker, you’ll encounter plenty of inclement winter weather over the next few months. Cold temperatures and frozen precipitation not only make for an uncomfortable ride, but a potentially dangerous one. After all, one patch of black ice can turn an otherwise uneventful trip into a nightmare. Fortunately, a little preparation and awareness can go a long way to keeping you safe from Old Man Winter. Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind on your next haul.
1 – Pack Up
Keep blankets, emergency flares (or triangles), non-perishable food and water in your truck. Also, pack a shovel, tire chains and window scraper to deal with ice and snow.
Other items to pack include:
• First aid kit
• Matches or lighter
• Phone (with charger)
• Road maps (or GPS)
• Washer fluid
2 – Fuel Up
Ensure your truck has plenty of fuel at all times. Doing so will limit your risk of being stranded and, even if that happens, you’ll have heat.
3 – Drive Safe
This should be a given, but remember to drive safe during inclement weather.
Some helpful tips include:
• Be alert: stay off the phone and keep the radio off
• Don’t tailgate: remember that it takes longer to stop on a slick surface
• Drive slow: most crashes occur because the driver is traveling too fast for the conditions
• Keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front (three times normal gap)
• Keep low beams on when daytime visibility is poor
• Use tire chains when necessary or required by law
• Watch for black ice
4 – Pull Over
During a blizzard or other extreme weather, conditions may deteriorate to the point it’s no longer safe to drive. Typically, if you cannot see a safe distance ahead or are having difficulty controlling your truck, it’s time to get off the road. Look for a motel, rest area or truck stop. If those aren’t around, pull into a parking lot or on the shoulder. If pulling onto the shoulder, turn your flashers on to ensure passing motorists can see your truck.
Your safety this winter will largely depend on your preparation and driving habits. Thus, be sure to pack the mentioned supplies and keep plenty of fuel in your truck. Also, and most importantly, drive safe. Finally, if conditions become too poor to safely continue, get off the road as soon as possible. Remember: it’s better to get a load to its destination late than never.
Hope you enjoyed our 4 winter safety tips for long-haul truckers!
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