Those who drive for a living can’t just stay off the roads during the winter months, even if the roads are covered in ice and snow. They still have jobs to do and deadlines to meet.
Inclement weather can increase the potential for a crash, so it’s important for truckers to use the following tips to keep themselves and others safe:
- Never speed. Truckers may be in a hurry to get a job done on time, but they have to drive in a way that fits with weather conditions, even if that means driving below the speed limit. Hurrying can be deadly.
- Forget the hero complex. There are storms that truckers shouldn’t drive through. They need to know when it’s simply not safe to drive. Some want to be a hero, the only trucker on the road, to impress an employer. It’s not worth it.
- If they have to stop, truckers must get off the road. Visibility can be terrible in the snow, especially at night. It’s dangerous to stop on the shoulder or anywhere near the road.
- Give extra distance. Assume stopping distances need to be longer. It’s hard to bring an 80,000-pound truck to a stop even when it’s not on the ice.
- Check the truck before every job. Test out the battery, the windshield wipers and the brakes. Test the defrosters for every window. Check the heat. Winter conditions are harsh, and trucks are safer when they’re in optimal condition.
These tips can help, but they won’t stop every truck accident. Those who have an accident with a commercial vehicle this winter must know what legal rights they have and what options exist to seek financial compensation.
Source: Smart Trucking, “15 Essential Winter Trucking Safety Tips,” accessed Jan. 4, 2018