Trucking in the winter can be dangerous, especially with heavier winds, rain, ice and snow. Driving a tractor-trailer in severe weather requires special skills that not all truck drivers have, which is why it’s important for them to learn before they take on that kind of route or work in poor weather conditions.
Both good skid control skills and maneuvering skills are necessary in the winter months. Trucks require more stopping time in the snow and ice, and if it rains, the lack of friction can force the driver to slow down for longer as well.
What are some helpful safety tips for the winter? First, don’t travel in a pack. Traffic likes to move in packs on the highway, and while some believe there is safety in numbers, the truth is that isn’t so. Separate yourself from the pack to make sure you have enough space to speed up, slow down and maneuver.
Use good judgment. If the roads are getting slick, know when they’re too dangerous for you to be on. Find a place to pull over until the conditions improve to help avoid causing or being involved in an accident.
Braking is another important part of winter driving. Braking and especially locking up the wheels of a tractor-trailer could lead to sliding or a jackknife. A Jake brake shouldn’t be used on icy roads, and truck drivers should always tap the foot brake instead of slamming it on to avoid causing the trailer to swing out of position.
Victims who have been hit by drivers who didn’t learn to drive in hazardous conditions or who continued to drive when the roads were too dangerous can pursue compensation. They have a right to file a claim against anyone who causes and accident on the roads.
Source: Smart Trucking, “15 essential winter trucking safety tips,” CatMac22, accessed Jan. 05, 2017