Even in late fall, winter weather can hit at a moment’s notice, catching truck drivers on the road off guard.
Here are 4 winter driving tips to help you stay safe on the road while driving a semi.
1) You are important
Taking care of yourself is an important aspect of staying safe on the road.
You should always get plenty of rest once stopped at a safe place.
Also, avoid foods that will significantly spike your blood sugar. This can lead to a sugar high and then lead you to get tired afterward.
Moreover, dress comfortably and keep warm.
2) Maintain Your Equipment
Most drivers focus on keeping to a safe speed in winter weather.
However, maintaining your tractor and trailer is just as important to be cautious on the road.
Before starting on a trip, always ensure that all ice and snow has been removed from the windshield, lights, windows and mirrors.
You should also make sure that all tires are in good shape, and that the tractor has proper fluid levels, including oil and wiper fluid.
3) Keep Proper Fuel Levels
This is often an aspect of winter driving that is overlooked.
When driving long distances, you may find yourself in a sparsely populated area without fuel stations.
If your tractor-trailer breaks down, emergency services may take time to get to you, and in a situation with temperatures below zero, this can be very dangerous.
Maintaining a high fuel level not only allows you to keep the heat on, but it also prevents water from accumulating in the tank when it condenses as warm air fills the empty part of the tank during the day.
4) Watch the road
In the winter with cold temperatures and precipitation, it is crucial to pay attention to the road.
Maintaining a safe following distance is especially important for large trucks because of a longer stopping distance.
Also, brake gently as winter weather can cause brakes to stick or to be less effective. This can even result in jackknifing if care is not taken when braking.
Likewise, keep in mind that the speed limit is for ideal driving conditions, not for winter weather conditions, therefore go slower.
To wrap it up
These are crucial tips to keep yourself safe while driving a truck in winter weather. It is a huge responsibility, and your actions can affect the lives of others as well.