With winter around the corner, it’s important for truck drivers to remember basic protocols to ensure their safety and the safety of others on the road. There’s an increase of risks when driving in the winter since en-route habits change according to harsh weather conditions. Below are personal tips from the experienced truck drivers at Vantage Logistics. Don’t forget to keep these tips in mind this winter, and always.
1. Stay Informed: Checking the weather in advance helps you prepare for your drive. Whether you communicate with other drivers or dispatch, check the news, or listen to the radio, it is vital to know the conditions you’ll be facing. Knowing road conditions prior to leaving on a trip can mentally prepare you for the unexpected.
2. Have a Cellphone and Portable Charger: It’s important to have these items on hand in case of any emergencies. This will ensure that you are able to communicate with your company, family, and emergency services with no worry.
3. Be Aware of Your Surroundings: Pay attention to road signs, signal lights and other details like trees and buildings with ice and snow buildup which can obstruct your view and cause accidents. Always remember to brake earlier to ensure you and other vehicles are not at risk. Also, when getting in and out of the truck, take your time to prevent slipping.
4. Watch Your Speed and Keep Your Distance: Respect speed limits and slow down more than you normally would. It’s mandatory to keep a safe distance between vehicles in case of bad weather or slippery conditions.
5. Watch Your Speed and Keep Your Distance: Respect speed limits and slow down more than you normally would. It’s mandatory to keep a safe distance between vehicles in case of bad weather or slippery conditions.
6. Have Necessary Supplies: In case of emergencies, it’s always a good idea to overpack essentials in your truck like food, extra gear, and any tools provided by the company.
7. Wear Good Boots and Warm Clothing: As you will be entering and exiting your truck, wearing good winter boots is key to prevent slipping and hurting yourself. Warm clothing and boots will keep you bundled if you need to stop on the side of the road.
8. Conduct a Proper Inspection: It’s important to conduct inspections every season, but it’s extra important during the winter season. Make sure you never leave without conducting an inspection. Whether you stop for a break to sleep or are about to leave on your trip, constant inspections are a must.
9. Feel Prepared: Being in the right mindset before taking on a load is the most important thing before getting behind the wheel. Never prioritize any load over your own safety and those on the road. Bad road conditions, fear of driving, feeling unsafe or unprepared are all reasons you should not be on the road.
10. Take Your Time: Remember to take your time and watch out for sharp turns or sudden stopping. Being impatient and not driving smoothly increases the chance of accidents and losing control.
11. Have Strong Judgment: If you feel it’s not safe to drive on the road, then follow your instinct. Whether it’s about harsh road conditions or a potential mechanical issue, ensure to report to your supervisor to assess the situation.
12. Use Your Signals: Using your signal lights and emergency hazards is the only way of communicating with other drivers on the road. When others are aware of your next move, it reduces risks.