It can be dangerous for anyone to drive in the winter; however, truckers face additional dangers. It can be more difficult to maneuver a truck in the cold weather. The good news is that there are several ways that truckers can reduce their risk this winter.
Remove the Snow and Ice From Your Truck
Snow and ice will make it harder for you to see. You will need to clear the snow and ice from your roof and windows in order to make sure that you will be able to have a clear view. This will help keep you and the other people on the road safe.
Avoid Distracted Driving
There are many states that have laws that prohibit people from texting and driving. However, studies have shown that this is still a common practice. Truckers who text while driving are 23.2 times more likely to get into an accident.
It is important to remember that texting is not the only way that you can get distracted while you are driving. Anything that you do that will take your eyes off of the road is considered a distraction. These include activities such as eating while driving, adjusting a GPS and changing the radio station. It is also important to note that you can be mentally distracted. If you have your mind on other things when you are supposed to be driving, then this is a distraction. Make sure that you clear your mind before you drive your truck.
You do not have to be distracted for long to get into an accident. In fact, if you are only distracted for two seconds, you can get into a car accident.
Be A Defensive Driver
Defensive driving is one of the keys to avoiding accidents at any time. If you are a defensive driver, then you are always alert and aware of your surroundings. A defensive truck driver checks their mirror frequently. They also look ahead for potential hazards on the road.
Many people do not know how to drive around large trucks. That is why truckers have to be on guard at all times.
Make Sure That Your Truck is Well-Maintained
If your truck is lacking maintenance, then you will be more likely to get into an accident. That is why it is a good idea to make sure that your truck receives regular maintenance. Have your tires inspected for uneven patterns on your tires. This is a sign that your tires have been subjected to a lot of wear and tear.
You should also have the tire traction inspected. It is estimated that tires play a role in about 1 in 11 crashes. Additionally, you should have the windshield wipers and battery charge inspected.
You should be mindful of the way that cold weather can affect your truck. Low temperatures can reduce fuel economy. It can also cause the tire pressure to drop.
Furthermore, engine idle time increases in the winter time. It may take you longer to get your truck warm in the winter.
Maintain a Safe Speed
You should drive more slowly than you normally would when it is snowing and raining outside. You should not speed because it can increase your chances of going off of the road and getting into the accident. You will also have a harder time coming to a complete stop if you drive too fast. The slick roads make it more difficult for you to drive.
A good rule of thumb to use is to drive 5 to 10 miles slower than the speed limit. For example, the speed limit is 60 miles per hour. You should drive 50 to 55 miles per hour. Studies have shown that an accident is three times more likely to occur if a person is driving faster than traffic.
The snow and ice can make it a lot harder for you to drive. However, there are ways that truck drivers can avoid accidents. You will need to make sure that you clean off your truck before you drive. You will also need to avoid distracted driving and make sure that your truck is well-maintained. Additionally, you will need to be a defensive driver and drive more slowly than usual.
Abby Drexler is a contributing writer and media specialist for Express Freight Finance. She regularly produces content for a variety of business and freight blogs.