Winter truck driving is dangerous, how to stay safe

Driving a semi is never easy, but it becomes even more treacherous during the colder months. The weather can be so unpredictable. Ice can form on bridges and overpasses, black ice occurs on highways and visibility is often less. If you must still put in the miles regardless of road conditions, keep these tips in mind.

Get Away From the Pack

Vehicles almost always group together, but you should do your best to find a place on the highway where you can have the road to yourself. This gives you more space to get control of your vehicle if you start sliding, and it also keeps you from other drivers who are unprepared to handle slippery roadways.

Clean Your Equipment Often

Slushy highways can throw debris on your lights, and ice and snow can build up on your air tanks. Scrape all snow and ice off your windshield, mirrors and the top of your cab before you start rolling. Check your big rig often to ensure that your equipment will work when you need to count on it most.

Slow Down

While the speed limit may be 70, driving at that rate may not be safe when the roads are wet or icy. Go only as fast as you feel comfortable. In addition, ensure you leave extra stopping space between you and the vehicle in front of you.

Inspect Your Tires

Especially if you have come from a warmer area, keep a special eye on your tires. Tire pressure will drop about one per square inch for every 10 degrees temperature drop. Therefore, you can end up with a low tire. Furthermore, if you stop for a while, your hot tires can melt snow or ice on the ground. Then, it can refreeze, and you will have trouble when moving again. Always check the tires on any trailer you pick up before hooking it up.

Be Prepared

State officials often close highways when they feel driving on them is no longer safe. If you are lucky, you will find a terrific truck stop to enjoy while you are stranded, but often, you will discover you get to spend hours on the side of the road. Make sure that you have winter gear along so that you can stay safe and warm.

Stay in Control

Drivers who need to hire a truck accident lawyer in Colorado often give control of their truck over to dispatch or an employer who is not on the scene. Do not allow yourself to give up that amount of power. Even if you are only nervous about the weather, find a safe place to park and wait for conditions to improve. Looking for a different job is far better than facing substantial medical bills after an accident.

Keeping these tips in mind will allow you to come home to your family even in the worst winter weather.              

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