Winter Trucking Safety

Winter can present special dangers for truck drivers across the United States. Winter trucking safety is especially important for northern truck drivers, as ice and snow can create dangerous driving conditions. Icy, slippery roads can be disastrous for trucks carrying thousands of pounds of cargo. Winter trucking safety involves caution while driving. Driving slowly and obeying all traffic laws can play a key role in preventing winter trucking accidents.

Winter Trucking Safety Preparation

One of the most important winter trucking safety tips is to be prepared. Truck drivers should leave early and always know their destination and which routes they plan to take. As an extra precaution, drivers should map out potential routes in case they may need to exit off of the highway. Indecisive driving may contribute to trucking accidents.

Emergency Kit

Winter trucking safety precautions should also involve having an emergency kit on hand. An emergency kit should contain items that drivers may need in the event of several types of road emergencies. Supplies should include items for first aid, vehicle repair, driver safety and well-being, and nourishment in the event that a driver becomes stranded.

An emergency kit should include:

  • Battery-powered radio
  • Flashlight
  • Extra batteries
  • Jumper cables
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Blanket
  • First aid kit
  • Flares
  • Tire repair kit
  • Bottled water
  • Non-perishable food items

Avoiding Road Hazards

Drivers should check weather conditions in advance. If conditions are dangerous, drivers should consider delaying their trip for more favorable conditions. Conditions such as ice, hail, and snow are particularly dangerous. In these cases, the best winter trucking safety precaution is to avoid driving all together if possible. Drivers should also try to limit driving to during the daylight when traveling through harsh conditions.

Checking for Black Ice

Black ice is a term referring to a thin layer of transparent ice that develops when temperatures are near freezing. Black ice earns its name from its appearance. Its transparency often makes the ice difficult to tell apart from the black color of the road. When visible, black ice often appears as though the road is wet.

Black Ice Warning Signs

Drivers should check their truck’s mirror arms, top windshield corners, and antenna for ice build-up. These signs often indicate the possible formation of black ice on the roads. Additionally, drivers can predict black ice by paying attention to the spray from the tires of the vehicle in front of them. If the spray eventually stops, the water on the roads may have frozen.