As a truck driver, you’ll drive through many parts of the country in a variety of conditions. This includes spending time on the road during the winter months. Driving conditions can be challenging during this time, so it’s important to be prepared.
Here are some times for trucking in the winter:
1. Slow Down
It can be tempting to try to speed up to get to your destination faster and cover more miles. However, it’s not worth compromising your safety. When roads are icy, going slowly is essential to ensure you can maintain control of your vehicle. It’s better to go “too slow” and have others pass you than to drive recklessly and cause an accident.
2. Leave Plenty Of Space
Maintaining a safe following distance is important during any season. With icy roads in winter, it’s even more essential. Make sure you have ample room to come to a stop safely if you need to do so. When possible, having space beside your truck is also helpful, although this may be harder to maintain depending on traffic conditions.
3. Keep Supplies In Your Vehicle
You should have chains, a bag of sand or cat litter, extra food and water, and warm clothing in your truck, in addition to your usual supplies.
4. Watch The Weather
Keep an eye on weather forecasts, and be prepared to wait it out if the road condition is dangerous. Use your best judgment. If there’s any doubt whether driving is safe, stay parked. Although it’s stressful to be delayed, it’s not worth risking your life and putting others at risk. If possible, account for possible delays in your trip plan if you anticipate snow storms, and always communicate clearly and promptly with your dispatcher if you do need to stop.
5. Keep Your Truck Visible
Visibility can quickly become an issue during heavy snow. Doing what you can to keep your truck visible helps keep you safe. Make sure snow doesn’t cover your license plate and tail lights, and make sure all of your lights are working properly.
6. Practice Defensive Driving
This tip isn’t winter-specific, but it’s important to keep in mind year-round and can help you manage conditions during any season. Defensive driving means anticipating what others on the road may do and adjusting your driving behavior to prevent accidents. It requires constant awareness of what’s going on around you. Staying focused on driving allows you to see potential hazards in time to react.
Learn Safe Driving Skills
At Phoenix Truck Driving School, we help our students prepare for a rewarding career in the trucking industry. This includes teaching you how to drive safely in all seasons. With our accelerated program, you can earn your commercial driver’s license (CDL) in as little as four weeks.