Safety Tips for Truck Drivers: Navigating Severe Weather

Safety Tips for Truck Drivers: Navigating Severe Weather_MW Transportation_safety tips for truck drivers_Nashville TN

Hurricane season runs through the end of November, but severe weather doesn’t stop there. Heavy winds, rain, and fog can create dangerous situations for everyone on the road. Here are some safety tips for truck drivers that might find themselves in these precarious situations.

Heavy Wind

Wind rarely gets the attention it deserves when it comes to inclement weather. Outside of a tornado or a hurricane, wind is frequently overlooked despite its capabilities for causing damage. Downed trees and power lines can cause major damage to homes and buildings, but what about trucks?

Semis basically turn into sailboats on the highway when winds are heavy. Strong gusts of wind catch on the tall, long sides of the trailer and can push the truck around. This can lead to swerving, accidents, and even roll-overs. Trucks carrying a light load or no load at all are at a particular disadvantage and are more susceptible to problems.

We can’t change the size and shape of the trucks, so how do we account for heavy wind conditions?

Be Aware of Conditions

Check the weather forecast before heading out. Be aware of possible difficulties on your route so you aren’t caught off guard.

Be Mindful of Your Truck

As we said earlier, a lighter truck will have a tougher time in windy conditions. Knowing the possibility will keep you better prepared for an issue. You should also double check your doors and loads to make sure everything is secure. High winds have the capability of flinging doors open on the road.

Technique

Keep both hands on the wheel and both eyes on the road. You want to be paying close attention to the way your truck is moving as well as everything around you. The wind is going to push the truck in the direction it’s blowing so you’re going to have to account for the extra pressure. Keep your speed low and your hazard lights on.

 

We hope these safety tips for truck drivers help you on the road. Visit M&W Transportation to learn about their driving opportunities.

Heavy Rain

Nobody likes rain when they’re driving on the highway. It makes the road slippery, it reduces visibility, and it’s unpredictable. A wave of rain can crash down at any moment distracting you and your fellow drivers on the road. Prolonged bouts of rain can get tiring, but our attention is required to remain safe.

Check the Forecast

Knowledge is power, and knowing about inclement conditions beforehand gives you a headstart on safety. This will give you the ability to check for possible road closures due to flooding or to plan out possible stopping points should the rain become too heavy.

Focus on the Road

Avoid distracting yourself with phone alerts, intrusive music, or anything else that will take your attention off of the road. Remember, you are trying to avoid crashing your truck at the same as avoiding bad behavior from other motorists.

Technique

Reduced speeds are essential in wet conditions. Roads become slippery and it’s more difficult to stop. Turn on your headlights whenever your windshield wipers are activated. This includes during the day. This is the best way to combat reduced visibility. And if you see water pooled across the roadway, don’t cross it. Flash flooding doesn’t always look as dangerous as it actually is.

Heavy Fog

One of the main negative factors of rain is reduced visibility. However, fog can take that to the extreme. It’s estimated there are over 500 fog-related deaths each year. Fog is difficult to forecast and even more difficult to navigate when it becomes heavy.

Don’t Be Afraid To Wait It Out

Find a safe place to pull off the road like a rest stop or a gas station when the fog gets too heavy. Being unable to see in front of you on the highway is a recipe for disaster.

Slow Down

If you must drive through the fog, do so at a lower speed. Stopping for an accident or slower vehicle will be much easier. This is advantageous because you won’t have as much warning as usual. Being able to stop quicker when you’re going to be stopping later can help avoid an accident.

Put On Your Flashers

Other drivers might not be able to make out the exact shape of your truck, but they’ll be able to see your flashers. Simply being aware of another vehicle will make surrounding drivers more conscientious of the fact that you are there. You don’t want to surprise anyone.

Be Aware

Cars frequently pull to the side of the road or drastically reduce their speeds in heavy fog. Use your headlights and keep constant watch for slow or stopped vehicles.

Are you an experienced truck driver looking for work in the Nashville, TN area? Contact M&W Transportation to see their opportunities.