Driving in the wintertime is a challenge even for the most skilled and experienced semi driver. And it’s important that your fleet drivers understand the best ways to mitigate risk on the road during the cold weather. Our experts at STTC have great experience in this area, and within this new post, we’re presenting our tips for driving on semi truck tires in winter conditions.
Conduct comprehensive pre-trip inspections
Ensure that your vehicle is in ideal condition before you set out on the road. You should pay close attention to tire pressure and to fluid levels before you begin your journey. Cold weather can cause a significant downswing in tire pressure, which will make your semi truck tires less stable on the road. Simply taking the time to take a tire pressure reading can help to mitigate dangerous driving conditions.
Pack a winter driving kit
Even the safest drivers are caught in bad weather from time-to-time and in these instances, it’s imperative you pack a winter driving kit to protect yourself against the cold weather. Within this driving kit you should include the following items:
- A blanket
- A flashlight
- Non-perishable food and water
- A bag of sand or salt
- Chains (in areas requiring them – such as mountain passes, etc.)
- Extra washer fluid
- Jumper cables
- A cell phone charger
- A windshield scraper and brush
Be sure to check your winter driving kit before you head out on the road and make sure the kit is packed in a secure place within your vehicle.
Brake and accelerate slowly
Winter driving conditions have a significant impact on how your vehicle handles. They make it more difficult for you to control the vehicle on the road, as your tires lose traction. And this puts the onus on you, as the driver, to be more cautious driving on winter roads. Make sure that you brake slowly when coming to a stop and accelerate with caution when lights turn green. You should also take great care in areas where you might experience wind shear and when making turns to avoid oversteering in conditions where it can be difficult to see over short distances.
Allow extra space between vehicles
Vehicle collisions are extremely common in the winter season, and so you should make sure you have extra space between your vehicle and the ones directly behind you and in front of you. Try to leave extra room in all driving environments, from parking lots to highways, to avoid a collision.