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  • Writer's pictureBetter Truck Drivers for America

19 Santa's Tips For Safe Winter Weather Truck Driving

Updated: Dec 3, 2021

It’s that time of year where the snow and the Santa's of America are driving down the highways! With snow comes dangerous conditions. Winter weather can sneak up on even on the million milers, and all it takes is one tiny margin of error to make a disastrous mistake.

Winter truck driving demands heightened awareness and driving skills; and the ice, snow, wind, and cold weather will test each driver’s professionalism.

Top winter weather driving tips for truck drivers:

  1. Watch for brake and trailer lights on the vehicles ahead of you.

  2. Make sure your lights are on and working before you leave.

  3. Clean the ice and snow off the hood, mirrors, windows, lights, and reflective tape.

  4. Use your airflow to help keep windows defrosted. Conditioned air is dry air.

  5. Watch the cloud of powdered snow surrounding your unit. There may be a car hidden in it. Just kidding but it happens!

  6. Look out for other vehicles that didn't bother to scrape off the windshield.

  7. See and be seen. Be aware of your surroundings. Look ahead, to the sides and rear. Do this more in weather conditions

  8. Drive 5-10mph slower on entrance and exit ramps.

  9. Bridges are one of the first to freeze.

  10. Prepare before stoplights, intersections, and turning traffic by starting to slow down ahead of time.

  11. Allow for the wind. Be more cautious when traveling with little weight

  12. Stay off Cruise Control. Always be in control

  13. If the temperature is dropping then don't assume it is just rain-covered roads. It could be black ice.

  14. Increase your following distance to be able to react to other vehicles getting into trouble ahead of you.

  15. A good following distance (7-14 seconds or more) and your ability to recognize what the other driver might do.

  16. Don’t drive in the ruts of other vehicles. Their spinning wheels have packed the snow into ice.

  17. Accelerate/decelerate gradually. Remember that the tractor must pull the trailer. If the pavement is slick, the conditions are ripe for a jackknife.

  18. Slow down. Speed decreases traction. Slowing will increase your traction.

  19. Turn the engine brake off when on wet, icy, or snow-covered roads, when approaching bridges, on-ramps, or exit ramps.

Defensive driving saves lives. Remember, you make all the decisions. Sometimes, your

caution is the difference between getting home some nights.

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