Driving in rain, snow, or other bad weather always provides a new challenge, no matter what sort of vehicle you’re operating or how experienced you are. Of course, if you’re hauling a load in these conditions, it becomes extremely important for you to mind the weather and operate your truck safely. Here are a few tips to keep in mind the next time the weather takes a turn for the worse while you’re on the road.
Inspect Your Truck
Before you leave for your trip, inspect your truck to make sure that everything is in working order. You are legally required to do this before any trip, regardless of the weather, but it’s especially important when you might encounter dangerous conditions. Make sure that you have the tools you need to complete a minor repair on the road if needed. You should also have some basic necessities, like water and extra clothes, in case you get temporarily stranded.
Take Your Time
Cautious driving is more important than ever when the weather turns ugly. You should give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination. Obey the speed limits, and don’t pass aggressively. Be careful when you apply the brakes, and move slowly and carefully. It’s far better to arrive at your destination a bit later than expected than to speed and end up in an accident.
If you can’t see the road because of rain or snow, pull over. If you expect there’s black ice in your area, slow down or get off the road. Certain areas might be particularly dangerous– bridges may freeze even if the road has not, and driving in mountain areas can be risky with wind gusts and falling rock. Know your limits, and know when it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Watch for Other Drivers
Even when you’re doing everything right, sometimes the biggest risk in inclement weather is other drivers. Be mindful of cars that are driving with their lights off, following you too closely, or riding in a blind spot. Also watch out for other trucks who may not be as cautious as you are in the given conditions. Be sure to give yourself extra space to come to a stop if needed.
Get Help if Needed
If you find yourself stranded in bad weather, do not leave your truck– it is far safer for you to stay inside. Instead, call dispatch or emergency services and tell them your situation
If you keep safety in mind, your haul shouldn’t have any troubles. Just look out for the signs of danger in inclement weather and plan accordingly.