The fall season is in full swing! The changing seasons can bring many elements that may impact truck drivers and their safety on the road. It is imperative to be on the lookout for any factors that can compromise the protection of the driver and everyone else sharing the road. Read on to learn more about driving issues that can arise during the fall season and how to combat them!
So long, late sunsets! With fall comes shorter days and more extended periods of darkness. As visibility decreases, accidents are more likely to happen. When driving a truck, you must take extra precautions for yourself and others on the road with you. It is essential to check your car's headlights and tail lights and make sure they are functioning correctly before going on the road. Increasing the following distance when the sun goes down is also imperative. Make sure you pass slowly, take caution, and have all the room you need.
Although the sun may be setting earlier in the evening, it shines even brighter in the morning. Like darkness, bright and sunny conditions can also affect a driver’s visibility. It can also cause a driver to overlook a pedestrian, other truck or vehicle, animal, or hazard on the road. To fix this issue, ensure the inside of your windshield is as clean as possible and utilize the sun visor in your truck. Bringing a pair of sunglasses can also help greatly. And although the temperature may be dropping, sunburn can still be an issue. Make sure to keep sunscreen packed!
Slippery Roads / Wet Conditions
Fall foliage is beautiful to admire, but falling leaves can pose a danger when mixed with increased rain or wet conditions. Leaves on the road can result in reduced tire traction, making it very easy for your truck to slide, no matter what condition your tires are in. Drivers must take caution when breaking, and if possible, do not slam on the brakes. Ensure you have enough distance from the vehicle in front of you to have adequate time to break.
As we head into the colder temperatures, we tend to see more of our furry friends on the road. Deer are especially more present during the fall and winter, as it is their mating season. It is imperative that drivers keep an eye out for wildlife, especially during the night. Deer and other animals may dart across the road at any time, so staying alert is key to safety. Keep an eye out for deer crossing signs, and ensure you abide by the speed limit!
Fall can bring increased rainfall, wind, fog, frost, and even black ice. These elements are less than ideal for a smooth trip and could decrease visibility on the road, ultimately prolonging scheduled deliveries. Most importantly, these conditions could impact the safety of your truck and other vehicles on the road. It is essential to check the weather before your trip and make sure you are prepared for any conditions you may encounter.
Low weather temperatures often mean low tire pressure. Tire pressure typically decreases by about 1 PSI (pounds per square inch) for every 10 degrees when the temperature drops. The reason for the decrease in pressure is that the air in the tire is condensing, not escaping. It is crucial to check on your truck’s tire pressure before, during, and after trips, whenever possible. Being on a time crunch for deliveries, you don’t want to be stuck with a low or flat tire when traveling.
Fall can be the most beautiful time of year, but it can also come with additional safety hazards for intermodal truck drivers. Drivers and their employers must ensure they minimize any risk of harm when on the road. Here at Northstar Transport Services, our primary focus has always been with our customer and the safety of our drivers. We realized through the implementation of strategic company goals which focus on commitment to service, we can do the best job of meeting our customers’ requirements in the most efficient and cost-effective manner with the same value-added service they have come to expect.