As winter approaches don’t let the changing seasons catch you off guard. Winter weather conditions can sneak up on even the most experienced driver. According to the Federal Highway Administration (FWA), an average of 5,748,000 motor vehicle accidents happen each year, around 22 percent are weather-related. Poor visibility and reduced traction from rain, snow, haze, and sleet can make driving a challenge. Make safe decisions this year by following preventative safety measures for winter driving conditions.
Be prepared for winter weather with these tips:
1. Inspect your vehicle
Inspect your vehicle’s air pressure, antifreeze levels, gas, and oil before hitting the road.
2. Slow down
Adjust your speed according to road conditions.
“Slow down, others can go around you on snow, ice is a different story, the only way I do ice is in a glass with a cold beverage. Late freight is better than no freight, if you get all banged up you can’t answer to your DM, plan ahead. Be safe and live longer”. – Neil Bollington, Dedicated Fleet, Jacksonville FL
3. Keep a good following distance
Leave plenty of space between your truck and the vehicle in front of you.
4. See and be seen
Be aware of your surrounding, making sure to always keep an eye out for the unexpected. Be sure to look ahead and check blind spots regularly.
5. Pay extra attention to your surroundings
Be extra cautions while driving in hazardous winter conditions. Make sure to break early for red lights and stop signs, allow for extra driving distance, and slow down.
6. When in doubt, pull over
Find a safe spot to pull over and wait until the weather conditions improve.
“If you are not comfortabe yourself in certain weather conditions, PARK IT, you are only going to endanger yourself and everyone else. Everyone has a different comfort zone”. – Michael Echols, Dedicated Fleet, Jacksonville FL
7. Be prepared & Plan ahead
Plan ahead and look at the weather reports.
“Plan ahead. Look at the weather reports to get an idea of what you might see during the day. Don’t wait till the last minute to brake in slippery conditions, keep an eye out for potential spots you need to be slower and reduce to desired speed well before you reach the potential spot”. – Sean Cook, Dedicated Fleet, Greenbay WI
8. Always check twice
Make sure to always look twice before proceeding through an intersection, making a lane change, turning a corner, etc. Visability can be compromized in winter weather conditions.
While there is no way to avoid ever accident, following these tips can help you to prevent an accident. Making safe decisions during a winter storm could save your life and the others around you.