When temperatures fall to five degrees, even those who perceive themselves to be the most experienced truckers can find it difficult manoeuvring the icy roads. Reduced traction, coupled with poor visibility makes the work of semi-truck drivers extremely difficult during the winter. Nonetheless, by implementing the right preventive measures and safety skills, you can successfully sail through without any difficulties. If you are a semi-truck driver, here are some pointers to keep in mind when driving during the winter.
1. Use Signals
You always need to remember the trucker’s rule of thumb when shifting lanes: signal for turns before you begin to slow down. This is an extremely important aspect to keep in mind because you could not only be saving your life but the lives of other road users as well. If your speed is lower compared to other vehicles around you, make sure you turn on the four-way hazards and safely allow everyone to pass you so as not to create a jam. Turning on the hazards allows other drivers to know you prefer moving slower for some reason, and this will help prevent a pileup.
2. Regulate Your Speed
Generally, when you are driving on an icy road, it is much safer to maintain lower speeds. While that might be the case, make sure you are also maintaining a steady speed. If you keep on accelerating and decelerating, you increase your chances of sliding on the ice and snow. As you drive, you need to be keen on how your truck reacts to the snowy conditions.
3. Traction is Everything
The loss of traction on icy and snowy condition usually does not occur because you are driving in ice. It implies you are hydroplaning in the microscopic film of water between your tires’ surface and the ice. The lack of cohesion in fluid significantly minimizes friction resulting in less traction. To be safe, make sure you are using all-weather radials with broad and deep treads or snow tires. Siping in the tread studs can assist with grip on icy and snowy roads.
4. Tire Spray
One of the most important, yet forgotten winter driving tips is paying attention to the tire spray. A good way for one to assess the condition of the roads is to carefully observe if there is water coming off the tires of other vehicles around you. If you notice a lot of water being sprayed, you are driving on wet roads. If the spray is relatively less, then it implies that the road has begun to freeze and you will need to take extra caution.
5. Be Prepared
When driving during the winter, remember to take blankets and warm clothes with you. If you are planning on an extended trip, you’ll need a shovel, matches, flashlight, a bag of sand, and traction devices. Being prepared is always a good thing as it will help you prevent incidents and accidents from taking place. In case of an accident, however, you’ll need to seek legal assistance. Reputable professionals such as Keller & Keller truck accident lawyers can assist with any case involving semi-trucks or any other vehicles.
When it comes to driving during the winter, you are ultimately responsible for your own safety. For that reason, make sure you exercise your best judgment when driving in snowy conditions.