As one of the safest carriers in America, we would like to share 10 Winter Driving Tips for Truck Drivers to prevent injuries and avoid dangerous situations while on the road this season!
Keeping our drivers safe on the road isn’t just essential for their health and well-being. Their safety directly impacts other motorists on the road. The Department of Labor (DOL) singles out trucking as one of the most dangerous occupations in the United States. In fact, transportation and logistics fleets have some of the highest numbers of injuries and fatalities on the job—and those numbers seem to only grow year over year. By improving the safety of our drivers, we not only ensure their protection, but we can also reduce costs associated with accidents, claim payouts, and rises in insurance premiums.
At Chief Carriers we work tirelessly to improve our drivers’ safety by creating a work culture that actively coaches, trains, and rewards the safest drivers.
- Positive culture
- Actively coaches
Read on for our best winter driving tips for truck drivers and help us continue to improve the overall safety of our fleet and keep you and other motorists out of harm’s way.
“Chief Carriers is a unique experience for drivers. You’ve never worked for a company like this. The best recommendations come from former drivers, and that is a goal of ours. We always want former employees to speak well of us and we approach everything with that in mind. Simply treat people with respect, honesty and transparency.”
When the temperature plunges to five degrees, even the most experienced truckers can have a hard time managing the icy roads. Poor visibility coupled with reduced traction makes the job of a big rig driver extremely challenging. However, by implementing preventive safety skills for driving in icy conditions, you can drive through the winter season without any major problems.
Here are 10 winter driving tips for truck drivers that can help you stay safe this winter.
1. Inspect Your Vehicle
Getting your truck prepared for winter is essential to prevent any major problems. Check the tire pressure, engine oil, and antifreeze levels fastidiously before you hit the road. You can also have a mechanic inspect your vehicle to make sure it’s ready to withstand the harsh season of wear and tear.
2. Slow Down
Most accidents occur because drivers don’t adjust their speed according to the road conditions. While driving on a snow-covered road, you may need to compensate for the poor traction by reducing your speed. Moreover, going slow will also give you more time to react if anything goes wrong. So, be extra-easy with your accelerator this winter.
3. Give Yourself Some Extra Space
Do you know that the stopping distance on a wet road is twice the normal stopping distance? And on icy roads, it’s almost 10 times! So, leave plenty of room between your truck and the vehicle in front of you so that you have enough space to move out of harm’s way in case of unpredictable situations. It’s always good to put extra space between yourself and some of the terrible drivers you might meet during the winter months.
4. Stay Smooth
In cold weather, try hard to refrain from doing anything sudden – sudden braking, sudden acceleration, cornering, etc. If the situation demands you to slow down suddenly on a slick road, pump your brakes lightly. The key is to maintain a consistent speed and avoid doing anything that reduces traction on the slippery roads.
5. Pay Attention to the Tire Spray
This is one of the most important (and commonly forgotten) winter driving tips. A good way to assess the road condition is to observe the water coming off the tires of vehicles around you. If there’s a lot of water being sprayed, the road is definitely wet. If the tire spray is relatively less, it means that the roadway has started to freeze and you need to exercise additional caution.
6. Let There Be Light
The visibility is quite poor in inclement weather conditions. Don’t forget to clear lights and tractor trailers covered in snow and ice, and turn on the headlights of your truck. This will allow the other drivers to see you and maintain a safe distance from your truck.
7. Take Evasive Action
Sometimes, it’s better to take evasive action than hard braking, especially on a snow-covered road. If your speed is around 25-30mph, consider decelerating your truck slightly and maneuvering around the obstacles to avoid a collision.
8. When in Doubt, Park It
If the weather condition is too severe to drive, don’t think too much about your schedule. Find a safe way to get off the roadway and wait until the weather gets better and it’s safe for you to drive.
9. Be Prepared
Don’t forget to carry warm clothes and blankets with you. If you are going for an extended trip, carry a flashlight, shovel, matches, traction devices, a bag of sand, etc. Make sure you have roadside assistance for trucks to fall back on if you get stuck or run into trouble on the road.
10. Check Twice
When visibility is compromised in a whiteout blizzard, it can be difficult to see traffic lights and signs. Make sure you look twice before proceeding through an intersection or turning down a one-way street.
These winter driving safety tips might appear quite simple, but they will only work if you follow them carefully. Ultimately, it’s up to you to exercise your judgment and stay safe out while driving on the road.
Keeping our drivers safe on the road isn’t just essential for their health and well-being. Their safety directly impacts other motorists on the road. It’s our responsibility at Chief Carriers to keep you safe throughout the year.
Drive With Chief
Are you eager to find a carrier to drive for? Chief Carriers is one of the safest and best fleets to drive for in America.
We want your work to be personally satisfying as well as financially rewarding. So, at Chief Carriers, we’ve built the kind of work environment where you’ll feel like part of the family. We know each other here and every member of the office staff stands behind you to make sure you’re successful. That includes providing you with outstanding equipment, maintenance, and safety programs—because nothing is more important than getting you home to your family safe and sound.
Quality of Life at Chief Carriers
- APU units
- Free XM radio
- Driver Mobile App
- New terminal
- Christmas off guarantee
- Automatic transmissions available
- Flexible rider policy
- Annual safety awards
Our application process is simple. Start an exciting truck driving career with Chief Carriers today! Stay safe and use these 10 winter driving tips for truck drivers this season!