Trucking companies in Nashville, TN might not have to worry about large, frequent snowfalls, but that doesn’t mean they’ll never see it. Trucking routes can take a driver to many different parts of the country. And cold weather storms reach into the south every now and again. So what do you do when this happens? Here’s a guide to getting through the worst winter weather conditions.
Winter conditions can be scary. Loss of visibility, the potential for loss of traction, and improper techniques by fellow drivers leads many motorists to be nervous when weather conditions deteriorate. This anxiety not only makes for a terrible experience while navigating the roads, it can also lead to rash decisions. It is essential to maintain a clear head so you don’t make any mistakes.
Proper preparation will help manage this anxiety. Check the forecast before you leave. Know what you’re going to encounter. Simply knowing beforehand that the weather might turn bad gives you a headstart to staying calm. If you feel yourself growing nervous, take some deep breaths. Turn off the music. Stay focused on what’s in front of you and know that if you simply take it slow, your chances of an accident are greatly reduced.
It’s hard to stop in the snow. This is especially true when you’re driving a heavy truck. Take your time. It’s our business to get to the destination in a reasonable time, but you don’t want to sacrifice your personal safety for this. Keep your speeds down even if the other drivers seem to be speeding up. Their bad behavior doesn’t need to make you feel like you should go faster than you are comfortable with.
Switching lanes, accelerating, slowing down—all of this becomes more difficult as conditions deteriorate. Reducing your speed also reduces your chances of getting into an accident. Reaction time is greatly reduced when our evasive actions take longer to develop. So keep your speeds low to give yourself enough time to react.
Avoid Drastic Movements
Along with the idea of driving at reduced speeds, avoid making and sudden movements. This could be hard braking, changing lanes, or accelerating quickly. All of these movements can lead to a loss of control in inclement weather. Traction is greatly reduced in these conditions. And when there’s no traction, it’s easier for your wheels to slide in ways they normally wouldn’t.
Locking up your brakes stops the tires from moving. Once the tires stop moving, they essentially become sleds. This leads to a total loss of control. Suddenly pulling the truck from one lane to another can also lead to a loss of contact with the road, leading to sliding. Keep your speed down and your movements slow, deliberate, and fluid. This gives you the best chance at maintaining traction.
It can become difficult to see those around you when winter conditions become an issue. This means it’s equally difficult for others to see you. But you can still make yourself visible with headlights and blinkers even when your truck blends into the surrounding landscape.
Check all of your lights before heading out on the road. Even one dead bulb can drastically reduce your visibility when the weather gets bad. Turn your headlights on even if it seems bright out, and turn your turn signals on earlier than you normally would.
Don’t Stop in the Road
Sometimes the weather can get so bad you can’t see past the hood of your truck. These instances can be scary, but it’s best to keep moving. Stopping in the road during these conditions will lead to you being hit by another vehicle who can’t see you. Turn on your flashers and headlights. Continue driving slowly until you can find a way off the road. If you’re on a highway, find the next off ramp. If you’re on a city street, find a parking lot. Keeping your speed low and moving off the road is the best way to avoid ending up in a wreck.
It’s important to take your time in these situations. Moving slowly and driving cautiously will help avoid an accident. However, sometimes these conditions can get so bad that an accident is still likely even while adhering to safe practices. The best thing to do in this situation is simply wait it out. Find somewhere you can park your truck, go inside and get some food. Or maybe try to catch up on sleep. Do whatever you have to do to kill time until it’s safe to go out on the road.
We always want to get to our destination as quickly as possible, but slowing down or even getting off the road is more important when it comes to personal safety.