Truckers, whether they are long haul or day to day, all encounter some hazardous conditions on the roadways. These conditions aren’t always caused by nature, but often the result of other motorists’ inattentive driving. We’d like to share a few tips we’ve either overheard or developed through our own experiences behind the wheel of a big rig.
Know Your Ride
That might sound like the most obvious statement we could’ve made, but seasoned drivers of the open road will surely agree with it. Having a dialed-in feel for your heavy truck and how it handles with various weights and types of loads, will give you a distinct advantage with the actions you’ll need to take to ensure a safe maneuver during hazardous conditions. Having a good idea of how your vehicle acts in different situations will also allow you to leave an appropriate amount of “room for error” should something abruptly enter the path you’re traveling.
Keep an Eye on the Weather
It can change in an instant but there is rarely an acceptable excuse for why you weren’t prepared for it. Sure, 15 years ago you couldn’t simply pull up an real-time weather report on your phone. Even ten years ago that would have been a bit rare. Now, with smartphones being the norm for cellular phones, you should always know what you could be headed into on your drive. We recommend downloading a reliable weather app so it can alert you while you’re traveling into other zones of the country. While you should not only keep an eye on the forecast, you need to then be sure that your truck and whatever it may be pulling, are capable of handling the pending conditions by doing a full inspection while taking an extra long look at the tires.
Keep Your Eyes Peeled When the Sun Goes Down
This is another thing that goes without saying but surprisingly still needs to be addressed. When conditions become dim, it is always a good idea to increase the amount of “room for error” between you and the vehicles traveling around you. This might mean slowing down a bit to do so. Sure, that will take more time initially but could save you hours, even days, which an accident can easily take up.
Take some time to go through various scenarios and develop a plan for how you would handle them. It’s a crazy world out there, but you have the ability to make it a safer one for you and those you share the road with.