Anyone getting behind the wheel of a big rig, no matter if they’re a seasoned trucking veteran or a newbie on the road, needs to be on their guard when driving through mountain ranges of any kind. From slick roads to low visibility to other dangers like falling rocks, there are plenty of risks waiting around every twisting turn for truck drivers.
Slick roads, weather, terrible road conditions, and distracted driving can all lead to major problems, including accidents and fatalities on the road. It’s important for truck drivers and the companies they work for to take heed of important tips that can help everyone and everything stay safe through a mountain range.
Keep an Eye on the Weather
Before a trip into and through the mountains, it’s important to know the weather along your intended route. There are so many weather apps available today to stay informed and help prepare for a trip. Weather conditions can change dramatically, and unexpectedly, with altitude, If tire chains are allowed, or required, make sure to have the correct number and size of chains.
Drive Slow and Steady
Truck drivers should be extra cautious when driving up or down hills, and especially when the road becomes windy. Pay attention to grade signs as they are meant to provide the right information needed to operate the truck safely. A general rule of thumb is to travel down the grade in one gear lower than you traveled up the other side. When on the ascent, choose a gear where you can pull the grade without having to downshift and maintain a steady mid-range RPM.
Truck drivers should look into the status of their brake system. Having a properly maintained brake system, including the engine brake, and tires are critical maintenance components to travel through the mountains safely and effectively. Most roadways will have brake check areas for drivers to pull off to the side and adjust the brakes, if need be, before heading down a descent.
Speaking of pulling off to the side, truck drivers should take advantage of runaway lanes on the sides of routes. If you are losing control or have lost control of the vehicle on a descent, make sure to use these lanes. They are available for the safety of the driver, the truck, and everyone around on the road.
Keep from Tailgating
No one likes to drive with someone directly behind them, right on their bumper. But when it’s a large truck carrying plenty of heavy cargo, this is even more important to note. Truck drivers should be sure to not tailgate and stay back with a significant amount of distance between them and the car ahead.
Staying Safe with Insurance
Truck drivers should be sure to invest in effective commercial truck insurance which can provide the right level of protection following incidents on the road. Trucking companies should make sure to look over their current level of commercial truck insurance and adjust accordingly to keep trucks, cargo, drivers, and others on the road protected.
About Western Truck Insurance Services
Western Truck Insurance Services is a commercial truck insurance agency with roots dating back to 1954. We have evolved into a highly respected, professionally managed, truck and transportation insurance brokerage. The hallmark of our organization is our desire to provide unparalleled service. We go way beyond what you expect to receive from an insurance brokerage. Equipped with state of the art automation, Western Truck Insurance can provide you with lightning fast truck insurance quotes, customer service, Insurance certificates, and coverage changes.