As we count down the days to spring, commercial drivers face weeks of dangerous roads and unpredictable winter weather. Wintertime is one of the busiest and most stressful times for medium-duty truck drivers.
Bad weather brings a range of troubles for drivers as they struggle to maintain control of their trucks in parking lots and on slippery roads. They have to navigate around unpredictable and panicky drivers. And they’re forced to take extra precautions to avoid injuries every time they step outside their vehicles.
To help prepare drivers for the road, we asked Thom Schoenborn, vice president of marketing for Instructional Technologies Inc. (ITI) for some recommendations. When drivers are mentally prepared to deal with winter hazards, it lowers their stress levels and improves their ability to handle common problems. Here’s what he had to say.
Q: As we finish out the winter months ahead, what can drivers do to prepare for unexpected weather hazards?
A: When we think of tips to handle winter road conditions, everyone usually thinks of special driving tips or techniques to avoid dangerous conditions. But the best safety tips start long before drivers hit the road. We think the best way to ensure drivers don’t overlook the most common causes of winter weather breakdowns, DOT violations or accidents is to remember that safety starts with a thorough pre-trip inspection. Taking 10 extra minutes to prepare for bad weather can prevent hours of misery on the road.
We suggest checking the basics like making sure your battery will hold a charge, that your brakes are in good condition, that your chains are solid, and that your tire treads are above the required minimum standards.