Red transport truck driving in winter

With winter quickly approaching, it’s time to start thinking about the do’s and don’ts of driving in snow and slippery conditions.  The roads can quickly become dangerous during this season and it’s important to not get complacent about the risks associated with winter driving.

Keep your distance.  One thing many drivers don’t do, is put enough room between them and the driver in front of them.  When you increase your distance between you and the vehicle in front of you, you also increase the time you have to react to a changing situation.  You want to avoid having to slam your brakes on or make sudden moves, which can cause you to lose control or jackknife.  Having more distance means braking more gently, and time to steer to avoid an obstacle.  And don’t forget, cars can stop faster than trucks.

Be aware of other drivers.  Keep your eye on other drivers around you as you may have to quickly react if they get into trouble.

Clean off your taillights.  Old-school incandescent tail lights would melt the snow off of themselves because they warmed up, but the same can’t be said about LED lights.  Check them and clean them off every time you stop.  They can quickly get covered in snow making it difficult to see them.

Plan ahead and always be prepared.  Know your route and check the local weather forecast.  If conditions look bad, stay off the road.  You also want to carry a winter survival kit so you are ready for every possible situation.  Here are some of the things you should carry in your kit.  De-icer and ice scraper, jumper cables, a shovel and bag of salt or sand, a flashlight, extra clothes and a warm blanket, food and water, and a high visibility jacket.

Inspect your truck. Before you set out you should check your tires, battery, fluid levels, lights, wiper blades and your exhaust pipe to make sure it’s clear of snow.  For more on this topic, please see our Winter Maintenance Tips article.

One last tip is to be careful when getting in or out of your truck.  Vehicle steps can get very slippery, and many drivers fall and injure themselves.  Invest in a pair of boots with a good grip, and watch your step.

Stay safe out there friends.