Each year the winter season is marked by the winter solstice. Winter weather means an increased risk of accidents and other hazards which can vary depending on what part of the country you are driving in. In some cases, winter conditions can appear months before the winter season officially begins and can last way past when it ends.
Therefore, it’s always best to make additional preparations before you hit the road during the winter months and stay prepared for winter weather wherever you go. To keep you extra safe, we complied a list of our top winter driving tips.
- Make sure the truck is stocked with salt, sand or kitty litter. For our drivers – we keep this stocked at the fuel island for you.
- Make sure the truck has tire chains.
- Slow down! Go the appropriate speed for the road conditions. If you are in particularly nasty winter weather, slower is always better. A slower speed gives you more time to react if something were to occur.
- Give yourself plenty of safe space between you and other vehicles on the road, pedestrians too if you happen to be in a high pedestrian traffic area.
- Brake and accelerate lightly. Try to avoid slamming on your brakes or accelerating quickly in bad weather, this can be harder on your truck.
- Practice proper hand placement on the steering wheel and hold it firmly while driving. This will help avoid sudden, sharp moves which can quickly cause you to lose control of your vehicle. Always keep two hands on the wheel!
- Watch for black ice! This is extremely important to keep in mind if you are driving in an area that has wet roads and freezing temperatures, as it is likely for wet roads to freeze over, causing black ice in some areas.
Ultimately, if road conditions get bad your best bet is to safely pull off the road. Use your best judgement when driving in winter conditions and remember it’s better to be safe than sorry! If you do find yourself needing to pull off the road because you feel unsafe, notify your Driver Support Specialist as soon as possible of the sudden change in your driving. Be sure to give them the reason why you are stopping and remain professional and clear while you explain the situation. They may need more information to help other drivers in the area.
Stay safe out there! Always be prepared.