It’s no secret that winter weather creates many hazards for everyone on the road. Cold temperatures, ice, and limited visibility make it especially difficult for commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers to do their jobs safely.
Tips to Keep You Safe This Winter
It’s important that CMV drivers take extra precautions to ensure their safety and the safety of others on the road during winter months. Here’s our top 5 tips to help keep you safe:
1. Do Your Pre-Trip Inspection
Doing a pre-trip inspection is the most important thing you need to do before hitting the road. Completing a thorough pre-trip inspection will allow you to identify potential issues before they become a serious problem or lead to a violation.
Here are a few things to double check before you start driving in winter conditions:
- Make sure ice and snow are removed from your vehicle including the hood, roof, lights, windows, and steps
- Double check that the coolant level and antifreeze is full
- Ensure heating and defrost equipment is working
2. Be Prepard for the Weather
There’s no such thing as being too prepared! In the winter, you don’t know what weather conditions you may come across, so you should be ready for anything . Make sure you have these items as a part of your winter safety kit:
- Traction mats
- Extra warm clothing (boots, sweaters, waterproof gloves, jacket)
- A flashlight
- Food and water
- A blanket
- A reflective vest
- Jumper cables
- Extra washer fluid
3. Drive for the Conditions
Ensuring deliveries are on time is your job, but it isn’t worth risking your safety and the safety of others. Increased speed leaves more room for error and doesn’t leave enough time to react quickly. The smartest thing to do in bad weather is to keep to the right and maintain a suitable speed for the conditions. Use extra caution when it comes to bridges, on- and off-ramps, and intersections. Icy surfaces and sharp turns are no match for a large truck or motorcoach.
4. Give Yourself Room
Did you know that most winter accidents are caused by vehicles following too closely behind others? When you give yourself enough space between you and other drivers, you’re giving yourself more time to be reactive and defensive. The stopping distance in winter is almost double compared to warmer months for a reason.
It is crucial that you have enough time to brake slowly in order to avoid losing control of your vehicle. Winter conditions are dangerous even for the most experienced driver. Let vehicles pass and leave yourself enough space to move out of harm's way.
5. Stay Informed and Know Your Limits
It is important to know what type of weather conditions you will be driving through before starting your trip. Weather changes quickly but it is helpful to check the weather forecast ahead of time to prepare accordingly. During your trip, tune into local radio stations and stay up-to-date on the road and weather conditions around you. If the weather conditions are unsafe and you feel nervous, stay parked or find a safe place to stop. Use good judgement and know your limits. Stay safe out there!
How BigRoad Can Help
When driving in bad weather, it’s important to stay connected. With BigRoad you can! The BigRoad Mobile App has a two-way messenger that allows drivers and dispatchers to easily communicate. Dispatchers can also check to see where their drivers are in real-time using the BigRoad Web App. Start a free 30-day trial to see how easy communicating can be!