It’s certainly too early to start spreading holiday cheer, but inclement weather is definitely starting to make its presence known even as we speak. The ATA recommends that fleets should have a detailed process for keeping trucks that are not in operation from freezing during extremely cold temperatures so they are ready to go when needed. Regular winter driving training starting in the fall months is essential for both new and veteran drivers, especially those who are based in warmer climates that might be passing through winter weather on their routes. But, what about regular folks driving in winter conditions?
Every Driver On The Road
Regardless of whether you’re a truck driver or a regular motorist, winter weather increases the risk of being stranded, broken down or involved in an accident. Not being properly prepared with essential items such as food, blankets, and water can lead to potentially life-threatening scenarios. We all share the road with other truckers, motorists, families, neighbors, friends, and colleagues, which makes it even more important to stay vigilant of your own safety and preparedness duties as a driver.
Let’s take a look at some important winter driving safety tips that we’d like to share with you from our truck driving family to yours:
- Remove ice and snow from your vehicle. Clear all your windows and roof of snow to ensure you have maximum visibility and to avoid creating a hazard for the vehicle behind you.
- Winterize your vehicle. Change your oil, top up your fluids, and swap out your summer tires for proper winter ones.
- Put your seatbelt on. While it won’t prevent a collision, it can certainly save a life.
- Avoid impaired drivers. Report drivers you believe to be under the influence to 911. Erratic braking, weaving between lanes, straddling the centerline or taking excessively wide turns can all be signs of impaired driving.
- Keep your eyes on road. Distracted driving is a major cause of traffic accidents. No surprise there. Just two seconds of distraction time doubles the chances of an accident. Use your cell phone when you’ve pulled over and never text while driving.
- Be aware of the vehicle in front of you. Leave 20 or more feet of extra stopping space between you and the car or truck ahead.
- Watch your dashboard lights for maintenance issues and make sure you have enough fuel in your tank for the journey ahead.
- Have an emergency supply of water, blankets, clothes, and non-perishable food items in case you get stranded.
Inclement weather conditions on the road create serious driving hazards that require extra attention during the winter months. On top of that, inevitable traffic volume increases around the holidays makes driving safely even more difficult. What are you doing to prepare your fleet and your friends and family for winter driving conditions?