Driving a truck can have its hazards and drivers must always be on the lookout for any potential problems on the road. Now that winter is here drivers must also contend with all the conditions and challenges that the winter weather brings.
The keys to safe winter driving are patience and planning. Winter weather conditions are a challenge to any professional truck driver. With all the slower speeds, reduced visibility and deteriorating road conditions that are common in winter, drivers must allow more time and that’s where the patience comes into play.
The planning part comes from having alternatives ready when winter conditions require a different course of action. Knowing the alternate routes that will allow you to safely reach your destination. Researching in advance other exits if your usual one is blocked by drifting snow or other road hazards. Together, patience and planning will help a driver deal with most of the hazards of winter road conditions.
Driving under winter conditions also means dealing with road safety equipment like snow plows. Snow plow drivers by definition work in the worst winter conditions, with the most limited visibility. Give them space, distance, and, most of all, patience to do their job.
But inevitably no matter how well your plan there are always unexpected situations that a driver must deal with. Drifting snow, icy bridges, snow plow activity and traffic accidents may cause unforeseen road closures. A good driver knows to slow down when flashing lights are seen and to follow the directions from road crews or law enforcement. It is also important to watch for variable message signs and listen to local radio for road advisories.
As mentioned before, patience and planning are the key elements of driving safely during winter conditions. Snow plows and road closures are there to keep everyone out of unsafe conditions. Dealing with these challenges is where all the patience and planning will pay off.