Winter is Coming: A Guide to Safe Trucking in the Snow

About 70 percent of the roads in the United States are in snowy areas during winter months. This presents a great opportunity for accidents to occur due to icy roads and wintry conditions. In fact, more than 116,000 people are injured every year due to a wreck caused by winter driving conditions like snow and sleet on the roadways. While this is a danger to every day drivers going about their regular commute, it’s even more of a serious problem for commercial drivers who see more time on the road during winter months.

From poor visibility to icy roads to less-than-adequate tires, there are a number of things to look out for if you’re a trucking operation preparing its drivers for dangerous hauls over the next few cold months. Here are some winter driving tips commercial driving truckers can heed to stay safe on the highways and byways this winter.

Inspect Vehicles Thoroughly

It’s in a driver’s DNA to give his or her truck a solid inspection before any trip is underway. From checking lights to kicking tires, it’s always a rule of the road to look over every inch of a truck. But during the winter it’s even more important to keep things safe. First, this can be accomplished by investing in commercial truck insurance to protect against major financial setbacks that come with traffic incidents. And beyond commercial truck insurance, proactively inspecting your trucks more delicately can prevent accidents from occurring in the first place.

Check the pressure, engine oil and liquid levels, like antifreeze, with the utmost care before the truck gets on the road. Mechanics can also step in to provide backup when making sure commercial vehicles are ready to hit the road with the best quality.

Tire Spray

Once you’re on the road it’s important to keep an eye out for possible issues that can turn into culprits of large-scale wrecks. One way to stay alert is to monitor the way water is coming off the tires of vehicles around you, especially in front of you. If a lot of water is being kicked up, the road is very wet, but if the water spray is relatively less, this may mean that the roadway is freezing, which means more caution is called for.

Slow Your Roll

No matter the conditions, it’s always a good rule of thumb to slow things down when you’re unsure of the roadway and traffic status. Most accidents occur because drivers don’t alter their speed. Drivers may need to compensate for bad roads and adjust their speed to keep things safe for themselves and those around them.

Give More Space

The stopping distance on wet roads is twice that of dry roads, and more than 10-times longer on icy roads. With this in mind, it helps to add more distance between your truck and others cars on the roads in winter. Overcompensating in this case is a good thing, helping to keep a safe distance to protect those around you. Leave plenty of room so you can move out of harm’s way or just stop with plenty of room to spare.

Check Tail Lights

It’s important to help out fellow drivers around you by keeping your taillights and license plate clean. If they’re covered in snow it will only create issues for drivers on the road who need to be able to see you. Even in a tailwind these can become covered by snow.

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.