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Tips For Driving in the Snow

Snow or shine truck drivers are required to be on the road. It's important to keep you and the people around you safe. Here are a few tips for driving in the snow.

Pre-Inspection Check

You probably do this anyway, but it’s important to get into the habit of double-checking the following:

  • The brake and tail lights are visible and correctly functioning

  • Moisture has been drained from the air tanks

  • The heat and defrost work 

  • Mirrors are in the right position and cleaned

  • Wipers are good and you have extra wipe fluid in hand


Slow down. The most important thing you can do as a driver during hazardous weather conditions is slowing down. The majority of accidents are caused by driving faster than conditions allow. Slowing down will decrease the risk of vehicular accidents. If the roads are icy or snowy, you need to slow down, no matter what the speed limit it. Slowing down in everything will help- like steering to prevent skidding or jackknifing, applying the brakes slowly to maintain traction, and avoiding brakes from locking. Slowing down means you’re always in control. 

 

PRO TIPS:

With roads that have packed snow, check your rearview mirror to see the color of your tread. If the tread is black, your tires are hot and you’re driving too fast. Carefully slow down until the tread is white meaning you have more traction

If you are on wet roads and the amount of spray coming out from other tires is decreasing, black ice could be forming. Carefully slow down until the conditions pass. 

Slow down at bridges, ramps, and overpasses.


Maintain Safe Buffer Zone

Leave plenty of room between your truck and the vehicle in front of you, and the vehicle beside your truck when possible. A good rule of thumb is to leave a quarter of a mile of space between you and the vehicle in front so that you have a safe braking distance if there are sudden stops.


Avoid the pack

Traffic seems to move in clusters or “packs.” Avoid grouping with multiple vehicles in oncoming traffic and separate your vehicle from the pack. Safely allow them to move ahead so you can maximize the distance between vehicles and maximize the time to react in case of an accident. 


Avoid Stopping on the Shoulder. You don’t want to do this unless it’s an absolute emergency. Especially in low visibility situations, other vehicles could mistake your position for being another lane and potentially slam into the back of your truck.

Tips For Driving in the Snow
Vanessa Kuras

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