Now that we’ve entered Fall, it’s only a short matter of time before the first heavy rain or snowfall. As a truck driver, it’s so important to know safety precautions before you are on a freeway covered in snow or black ice. Here’s our top 8 tips.
8 Precautions With Driving in the Snow
1. Slow Down.
We know this one is pretty obvious but slowing down can also mean driving below the speed limit, even when traffic is flying past you in the left lane. Whether you’re driving in heavy rain, snow or ice – slowing down can be a key factor in your safety and the people you share the road with!
2. Buffer Zone.
Make sure to leave plenty of room between your truck and the vehicle in front of you. It can be smart to avoid traveling in a pack as well. Find a safe way to get away from any packs that may have formed around you. By maximizing the distance around your vehicle, you protect yourself from collisions.
3. Don’t Follow Tail Lights.
We know it’s a little early to start thinking about snow but it’s better to be safe than sorry! In heavy snow, don’t follow close to the tail lights ahead of you. Stay back and allow yourself extra room to react.
4. Observe Tire Spray.
Pay attention to the tire spray coming off of the vehicles around you. If there’s a lot of spray, the roads are wet. If there’s not a lot of spray, and the roads look wet, take extra precaution because the roadway is starting to freeze. If the road looks wet with little or no spray, you are on black ice. Be extra cautious.
5. Stay off the Shoulder of the Road.
If you can help it, avoid pulling off to the side of the road (especially in low visibility weather). Upcoming traffic could mistake your rig as driving on the road and run into it.
6. Keep Fuel Topped Off.
The extra weight will help you keep your traction.
7. Pack Winter Essentials.
Make sure your truck equipped with necessary supplies and warm gear.
8. Wait it out.
Exit ramps are typically plowed by snowplows. Rest areas are cleared after that. If you need to get off the road, wait it out in a parking lot at a gas station, 24-hour restaurant or hotel. You’ll stand a better chance against getting snowed in.
Most importantly, it’s up to you to decide what weather is safe for you to drive in. Use your best judgement and take breaks when needed.
Be safe out there!