Winter Weather Driving: Preparing for the Unexpected

October 19, 2017 Comments Off on Winter Weather Driving: Preparing for the Unexpected

Winter is coming.  It’s not a teaser for the next season of Game of Thrones – temperatures are dropping and, sooner or later, the unpredictability of winter weather will be felt across the U.S. While the severity of the seasonal weather may vary depending on your location, awareness of proper winter safety protocol may help prevent accidents and injuries.

Snow and Ice

  • Ice may first build up around the truck, particularly on the mirrors on your truck, antennae and windshield corners
  • Look for black ice using clues such as road surfaces that appear wet, but with little or no spray coming from vehicle tires
  • Approach overpasses, bridges and traffic lights cautiously
  • Proceed carefully at all traffic lights, intersections and stop signs
  • Brake and accelerate lightly
  • Avoid cruise control

Heavy Winds

  • Anticipate severe weather by paying close attention to the radar using websites such as Weather Underground
  • Keep an eye out for areas prone to heavy wind gusts such as bridges
  • Watch for large vehicles that could swerve due to wind gusts
  • Avoid deadheading or bobtailing during high winds

Severe Rain

  • Reduce speed as needed to maintain traction; rain reduces the amount of friction your vehicle creates with the road surface and increases the risk of hydroplaning
  • Turn on all lights to ensure your vehicle remains visible to all around you
  • Increase your space cushion with the vehicles in front of you

Most importantly, pull over and park in a safe and legal location if you feel unsafe or if conditions worsen. Safe protocol for all situations includes:

  • After exiting the road and parking, turn on hazard lights and remain in the vehicle until the storm passes
  • Plan for the unexpected – you may be caught in a winter storm for a few days so pack enough supplies to get you through
  • Never overdrive your visibility
  • Keep a continuous and close eye on your surroundings
  • Allow everybody on the road enough space to account for unforeseen issues

 

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