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Winter Driving Tips for Truckers

The winter season is upon us and with it comes beautiful winter weather. The snow can be fun and exciting but for many truck drivers, it means major driving hazards. Here are some helpful tips for truck drivers to ensure that this season stays just a bit safer.

Be Prepared

When planning your trip make sure that you plan ahead and prepare for whatever you may encounter. This means not only packing clothes that allow you to bundle up if the weather gets really chilly but also to make sure that you have some basic winter driving safety gear such as windshield scraper, sand or salt, chains, jumper cables, and a basic safety kit with a flashlight, water, and food.

Pre-Trip Inspection

While a pre-trip inspection is required, be sure to take some extra care before winter drives. Make sure to do your visual and hands on inspection to check that all important parts such as tires, lights, fluids and brakes are in good condition.

Take Your Time

Most winter accidents happen when drivers go too fast for the road conditions. Hydroplaning often occurs when at higher speeds and with the snow, slush and ice that build up during the winter season it happens more frequently. Be sure to stay at slower, more controllable speeds and make sure to allow plenty of space between you and the vehicle ahead of you to stop or move out of harm’s way.

Drive Lightly and Hold on Tight

Making any sudden movements when the weather is bad can quickly cause you to lose control of your vehicle. Keep a firm grip on your steering wheel to help stabilize your truck when the wind blows or through any ruts in the road. When braking, if you have an anti-lock brake system, press firmly on your breaks in the event of an emergency. If you do not have an ABS system, lightly pump the breaks to avoid them locking up on you.

Watch for Black Ice

Black ice is very dangerous and hard to spot. Keep an eye out for signs that the weather is cold enough to cause black ice buildup on the roads including ice buildup starting to form on the side mirrors or corners of your windshield, or water not being blown up from the vehicle in front of you. Black ice tends to build up on bridges due to the elevated surface. Approach bridges with caution.

Get off the Road
If the weather appears to be getting too bad to drive, pull off the road. Use your best judgment. If you do get stranded, stay with your truck. It is easy to get confused and lost if you go outside to try and locate help. Rescue crews will have an easier time finding your truck than finding you. Bundle up! Conserve gas and avoid carbon monoxide poisoning by keeping the exhaust piper clear and only running the engine for a few minutes every hour to take the chill out of the air.

At Metro Boston Insurance Agency, we understand how important your safety is while driving during the winter season. Call us today at 617.884.5480 for information on our policies.
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