Keys to Winter Driving

Avoid common obstacles and stay safe when driving in wintry conditions.

Winter weather has arrived in many parts of the country, and winter driving can challenge even the most experienced truck drivers on the road today. Low visibility, poor road conditions, and unpredictable drivers play a significant role in increasing the challenge presented to truck drivers in wintry weather.

There are several actions that can be taken to maximize your safety on the road this season. Here are just a few tips for winter driving that can make all the difference in nasty conditions:

  • Stay clean, be seen. Regularly ensure that all lights and reflective surfaces on the tractor and trailer are clean and visible before beginning your run.
  • Keep a safe distance. Leave plenty of room between you and other drivers. Buffer zones help keep everyone safe.
  • Don’t follow tail lights. In icy and low visibility situations, if you can see tail lights you’re too close. If the leader makes an error, you may follow.
  • Use good judgment. If you feel conditions are unsafe, get off the road until they improve.

Winter Driving Hazards to Avoid Beyond the Cab

We all know that a great deal of the risks involved with trucking and winter driving are out on the road, but there are many places outside of the cab where truckers might find hazardous conditions during the winter. Make sure to use extra care this season when in the following situations:

  • Climbing in or out of the cab. Wet and icy conditions make this a potentially slippery situation. Use extra care and always employ the three-point system when entering or exiting the tractor.
  • Loading and unloading areas. Watch for ice on ramps, around docks, and on stairs/ladders on the yard to avoid a slip-and-fall incident.

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