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4 Winter Truck Driving Tips For A Safer Haul

The holidays are here again and so is winter weather. Studies have shown that winter weather conditions can have a dramatic impact on the number of motor vehicle accidents. When the road is your office, it can be a dangerous time of year. Take the time now to brush up on your best practices, and keep these tips in mind.
  • Plan Ahead Make sure you have the tools you need in your truck to survive cold weather. Extra blankets, in-date ready-to-eat food, a battery-operated weather radio, and fresh batteries for your flashlight should already be in your cab. Consider investing in a catalytic propane heater. They're safe to use in the cab with a window cracked and may save your life if you end up off the edge of the road.
  • Plan Your RouteUse your GPS and your favorite trucker app to make sure you know where you are, where you're stopping, and possible stopping points if the weather takes a turn. Knowing it's thirty miles to the next stop may mean the difference between resting at a crowded truck stop or "chancing a few more miles" and resting on a highway.
  • Plan For DelaysTake it slow and keep control. Factor slower speeds into your trip calculations, and make sure your dispatcher knows what you're dealing with. Remember, the final responsibility for your safety is up to you, not a grumpy weekend fleet manager.
  • Plan For Extra BreaksEveryone is moving around for the holidays, which means more cars on the road and obstacles to avoid. That will wear down the saltiest of drivers. Fields covered with snow contribute heavily to eyestrain, and mile after mile of blowing snow across your windshield can leave you dazed and drifting. Stop and take a break as often as possible to stay fresh. It's best if you can get out and stretch your legs, but if not, at least get out of the driver's seat for a few minutes.

Safe winter driving often comes down to one thing: planning. Stay aware and make good decisions, and you'll make it home for the holidays in one piece.