Even the most skilled truckers sometimes struggle to drive on slippery roads when the temperature drops to five degrees. It is tough to drive in low visibility coupled with reduced traction in winters. You can, though, drive through the winter season without serious problems if you adopt preventive safety skills for driving in snowy weather.
Below we have shared 7 essential winter driving tips for truck drivers that will come in handy this season.
1. Inspect Your Vehicle
To avoid major issues, it’s critical to get your truck ready for the winter. Before you get on the road, double-check the tire pressure, engine oil, and antifreeze levels. You can also have your truck inspected by a mechanic to ensure that it is ready to handle the challenges of the season.
2. Slow Down
When the roads are wet, slippery, or snow-covered, slowing the speed down is important. Even under the best of circumstances, speed plays a significant role in the majority of eighteen-wheeler crashes. When driving on a snow-covered road with inadequate grip, slow down. Slower speeds allow you to respond more quickly if something goes wrong. Use a speed that is both reasonable and prudent. When the weather is bad, slow down. When going downhill, use lower gears and mild braking. Passing and unnecessary lane changes should be avoided.
3. Keep a safe distance between you and other vehicles.
Keep a safe space between your truck and other vehicles so that you have enough time to brake if the vehicle in front of you suddenly stops or slows down. Do you know that on a wet road, the stopping distance is double that of a dry road? As a result, allow plenty of distance between your truck and the automobile in front of you so that you can get out of serious trouble in the event of an unexpected scenario. It’s usually a good idea to leave some additional room between yourself and some of the bad drivers you can encounter during the winter.
4. Pay attention to tire spray
Looking at the quantity of water dripping off the tyres of the vehicles around you is an easy way to judge the road condition. This is a very effective strategy for determining whether or not the roads are about to freeze after a rainstorm. The road is wet if there is a lot of water, and the road has started to ice if the spray abruptly decreases. Knowing this data will enable you to take extra precautions when ice is expected to form.
5. Double check
During heavy snow, visibility is reduced, making it more difficult to see traffic lights, signs, and other drivers. Even if you think you can see, don’t assume other drivers can.
6. Electrical system and battery
There is nothing more irritating than attempting to start your truck and realizing that the battery is dead. In cold conditions, a battery’s power drains more quickly. This is true regardless of how big or little the battery is. Perform a load test on each battery, as well as inspect its condition and age.
7. Do not panic
Avoid taking unexpected actions when driving in bad weather. Rapid braking or acceleration can result in you losing control of your truck. Maintain a constant speed and avoid doing anything that can cause your grip on the road to weaken.