Important tips for truck drivers when winter strikes

Posted by Harriet Mills on Jan 5, 2018 12:07:09 PM

As we enter the cold winter months and the roads become increasingly hazardous, it’s important that drivers are taking measures to stay safe and reduce the risk of accidents. After the last few days of East Coast bomb cyclone Grayson, drivers have been put to the test! The average number of traffic accidents always spikes during the winter season, and with unusual storms like these, drivers will need to take extra precautions.


Truck in snow

Fleet managers and truck drivers, in particular, will be looking for ways to ensure that journeys are completed safely, while still maintaining efficiency and time management. This can be especially challenging with the pressures of HOS laws and the ELD mandate now in place. 

To help you stay safe on the roads this winter, here are a few things to keep in mind:

Know your vehicle

It can be easy for drivers to get comfortable with their vehicle and assume that everything is fine, but problems can build up over time and cause issues when you least expect it.

Engine issues and faulty parts often go unnoticed for lengthy periods of time, which results in unexpected breakdowns, so it’s vital that you perform regular checks and run diagnostics on your vehicles.

View our trucking in winter infographic. 

Most fleet managers will carry out scheduled checks throughout the year, but the harsh winter weather can be unkind to your vehicle’s engine, so it’s a good idea to increase the number of checks during this period.

Be prepared

Although you can do everything possible to maintain a healthy engine and reduce the risk of your truck breaking down, sometimes accidents do happen.

Truck drivers traveling in the winter may one day find themselves stranded at the road-side, so it’s vital that they’re prepared for the worst.

It’s a good idea for anyone operating a fleet to provide their drivers with an emergency kit that includes things such as a flare, flashlight, blanket, shovel, jump cables and spare fuel.

Use technology

Although there’s nothing that can beat a qualified and skilled truck driver, there are services and programs available that will improve the process of organizing journeys and improving safety during the winter months.

By utilizing modern GPS technology, fleet tracking software can update drivers in real time, with accurate information regarding travel routes – which ensures that they are traveling on the safest and most efficient route.

Fleet management software can also streamline truck maintenance processes by centralizing all information regarding servicing and repairs which, in turn, makes it easier and quicker to improve the safety of your trucks.

Know your distance

One of the biggest risks to truck drivers during winter is losing control on slippery roads. Rain and snow can drastically change the state of surfaces and increase the risk of accidents.

If you’re driving a large truck, it’s vital that you are aware of increased stopping distances, which will depend on the state of the road. If there is snow or ice on the ground, be sure to leave a much bigger gap between you and the driver in front.

Check the weather

If you’re planning a long haul or driving on roads with poor visibility, it’s a good idea to check weather reports before you head out. Keeping up to date with live weather reports also gives you the opportunity to change your route to a safer one if you need to.

Tags: driving tips, winter driving tips, tips for winter driving, driving in the snow, fleet management tips


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