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Professional Driver Winter Driving Tips

by Anna Mischke | Jan 05, 2018

The holidays may be over, but the winter weather has just begun. When on the road, it’s imperative for professional drivers to be the safest ones behind the wheel. Ensure your driving skills are sharp and your focus is on the road, particularly when in inclement weather. Being constantly aware can make the difference between a harmful accident and getting home safely.

  • Remove ice and snow from your vehicle to ensure maximum visibility. Falling ice and snow from your vehicle can also be hazardous for drivers around you.
  • Always wear your seatbelt. The simple lifesaving move is also a law.
  • Brake and accelerate lightly. Sudden and strong movements may cause your vehicle to spin out of control.
  • Decrease your speed. Chances of a crash triple when driving faster than the traffic around you and icy roads only increase the risk.
  • Watch out for ice. Just because the sun is out does not mean ice isn’t present.
  • Be patient. While it may be frustrating to wait behind a larger truck, they are heavier and take longer to make a complete stop. Don’t cut in front of large trucks and make safe decisions when navigating around other large vehicles.
  • Hold your steering wheel firmly. Guarantee you have control over your vehicle; sharp and sudden moves can cause loss of control.
  • Use extra caution when approaching and crossing overpasses and bridges. These tend to freeze first and are many times not treated.
  • Complete a pre-trip inspection. Before getting on the road check your truck and make sure that it is in driving-ready conditions. Check the windshield wipers and fluids before departing and make sure all systems are functioning.
  • Be prepared. Just as important as prepping your truck for travel is ensuring you are fit to drive. Distracted driving causes a majority of accidents. Being tired is also a distraction, so get enough sleep and fuel up your energy levels with healthy snacks and plenty of hydration.
  • Avoid impaired drivers. While they have chosen not to be safe and respectful on the road, it doesn’t mean you have to.
  • Map your route prior to driving. Knowing exactly where you are headed and the moves you are going to make eases the stress of getting to your destination on time.
  • If stranded, stay in your vehicle. Sometimes a storm can come out of nowhere and while it may be tempting to get out and seek help, but it can be easy to get lost in a storm. Keep your exhaust pipe clear of snow and open a window slightly for ventilation if weather permits to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.

Visit the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) website for more helpful adverse weather driving tips.

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