Every truck driver has more than enough experience to be aware of the hazards associated with bad weather, but it is good to be aware of road conditions that may exist in different types of inclement weather and how to respond to those conditions. After all, being prepared for the weather will save time on the road and prevent any kind of loss that will require coverage by your truck insurance.
To begin with, it is important to always be aware of weather conditions along the route. Have alternative routes available in case extreme weather will make it difficult or impossible to take the original route. Listen to local radio and information from other drivers on CB.
Hydroplaning can occur when there is water on the road, but even a light rain can be quite dangerous. When the road first becomes wet, the oils that have collected are lifted, creating an extremely slick film across the surface of the road. In addition to this, small amounts of water act as a leveling agent, smoothing the normally rough surface of the road, which reduces traction by approximately 30%.
-Visibility can be improved by turning on lights and defroster.
-Avoid sudden changes in speed.
-Try to drive in the tracks of the vehicle ahead of you.
-Puddles often hide deep potholes.
-If the truck begins to hydroplane, keep the steering wheel straight and take your foot off the gas. Do not hit the brakes or try to steer. As the truck slows, it will settle back onto the road.
Do not attempt to drive through a flooded roadway. While trucks have a greater weight to handle deeper and stronger waters, there is an increased chance of the floodwater turning the trailer against the momentum of the truck or causing the rig to overturn. If there is a flash flood, Abandon the truck and move to high ground.
-If you see fog ahead, slow down before entering the fog.
-Use low beam headlights in conjunction with fog lights.
-Turn on defroster and windshield wipers.
-Be alert for slow moving or stopped vehicles ahead.
-It is often helpful to roll down your windows so you can hear other vehicles.
-Stay on the right of the road.
-If the fog is too heavy pull as far off the road to the right as you can without endangering the truck and wait for the fog to lift.
Snow and Ice
-Be aware that bridges and overpasses freeze first.
-Keep the windows clear.
-Maintain a steady and slow speed.
-Be cautious when using brakes.
-Antilock brakes work best when constant, firm pressure is applied. If necessary, push the brake pedal all the way to the floor.
-Remember that your braking area will be between three and twelve times greater than normal.
-If the tires become stuck in snow, straighten the wheels and accelerate slowly. Use sand or cinders under the tires to gain friction.
-In the event of a blizzard, stay in the truck. Leave a window partially open. Make sure that exhaust pipes are clear of snow. Run the engine and heater for ten minutes every hour.
During strong winds, remain aware of the movement of your trailer. Also be aware of other drivers around you. Wind conditions can cause smaller vehicles to be sucked under the trailer.
Never try to outrun a tornado. If a tornado is near, leave the truck and find shelter. If no shelter is available, lay flat in a ditch or depression.
Your truck is the safest place during a thunderstorm. When parking, stay away from trees. Watch for down power lines and trees.
Your route should never pass anywhere near a hurricane watch. Hurricanes approach slowly enough that you should always have time to alter your route.