As the holidays and severe winter weather approach, the roads only get busier. More people will be out on the road due to shopping, traveling, and delivering packages. With increased traffic and questionable weather conditions, it is crucial to be extra attentive when working this time of year, especially while truck driving. Here are some tips you can follow while on the road this holiday season.
Maintain your Truck
Drivers should know how full their fuel tank is. Not only should your tank be full, but you should try to keep it full to add more weight and give your wheels more traction. A full tank will also prevent any build-up of condensation in the fuel lines that inhibit the truck from turning on.
Drivers should also maintain their headlights to prevent anything from obstructing their view. If lights aren’t properly working or are covered in dirt or snow, drivers should find a safe place to pull over and clean them immediately to keep debris from building up.
Not only will that result in safer driving conditions for you and others on the road, but it will be easier to see road conditions and any animals that may try to cross your path.
With the holiday stress of traveling and the pressure to arrive at your destination on time, it can be hard to remember to be patient. Motorists on the road may drive chaotically with less patience, which could cause accidents. It may not be your fault if someone cuts in front of your lane, but how you handle the situation is up to you. Avoiding being in a rush and speeding will prevent rollovers and jackknifes. Going slow during holiday traffic and unpleasant weather conditions is the easiest way to avoid an accident. You must not tailgate and give extra space between you and the person in front of you. Winter weather is unforgiving sometimes, so cautiously keeping your distance can prevent a very problematic situation. Even when there isn’t snow or slush, holiday traffic can be just as troublesome - so be patient and maintain your distance!
Be Aware of Surroundings
It may seem self-explanatory, but there are a few things to be aware of while truck driving in winter weather. First, maintain control by using a firm grip on the wheel. Both hands should be gripped on the wheel while driving through snow and ice in case of a sudden occurrence. Keep a firm grasp throughout driving situations such as lane changes, bridges, and work zones.
Lane changes should be limited since big rigs have a lot of blind spots. When changing lanes, alert others on the road early so they can move out of the way. It is advised to stay in the right lane and cruise to lower the risk of sideswipes. This will make driving easier for everyone.
Another condition to be aware of is driving over bridges. While going over a bridge, you should go slower than normal to prevent hydroplaning or causing a possible accident. Bridges freeze much faster than roads, so there is a greater chance of black ice on the ground. Slowing down and approaching with patience will lower the risk of harm.
The last area to pay close attention to is the work zone. Even during the holidays, construction does not stop. There is a hefty fine if you do not slow down to ensure the safety of the workers on site. Slow down for the workers’ safety and yourself as well.
Following these tips during the holiday season can ensure the safety of yourself and other drivers on the road. At Northstar Transport Services, our goal is to provide a fast, safe, and cost-efficient movement of our customer’s container shipments with a staff of trucking professionals. We provide local, regional, and over-the-road services and specialize in full containers, reefer containers, heavy overweight containers, transporting hazardous materials, and transload services. Learn more about our company and services on our website and request a quote today! Stay safe this holiday season, and enjoy time with family and friends.