While the Winter season is a bit different for each trucker around the United States, whether you are in Minnesota or Texas, it is possible you will receive snow and other winter weather that makes driving more difficult. 

Even the most seasoned truck drivers can find it difficult to pass through snowy roads and unmaintained road conditions throughout the United States, and with night-time showing up earlier than before, it is important to keep yourself safe this Winter season! 

These are some of the biggest winter driving tips from TransWood! 

 Safe winter driving tips for truckers 

Be prepared

The very first step in all of this is to make sure to have your cabs prepared for any situation that arises. The Winter months are unpredictable and the last thing you want is to be stranded without supplies or ideas until help arrives. 

This is a small list to continuously have on hand within your cab: 

  • Hand warmers 
  • Blankets, gloves, hats, an extra jacket 
  • A couple bottles of water 
  • De-Icer windshield fluid 
  • A bag of kitty litter or sand 
  • Jumper cables
  • A flashlight and emergency flare

How are your tires? 

17 percent of all accidents on the road happen during the winter months, and one of the culprits could be the tires on the truck.

While tire maintenance and pre-trip inspections can help to diminish the reasons behind accidents this season, sometimes as humans, we simply miss the smallest things! The deeper the tread on the truck’s tires, the better the tires will perform this winter season. 

While this is on your mind, don’t overlook the tire pressure as well. It is estimated that for every 10 degree drop in temperature, the tires will drop at least one psi. Having the right tire pressure in place before the cab is warmed all the way up, helps to decrease blowouts and being stranded out in the cold weather. 

Heavy winds 

On an open interstate, highway or in a snow storm, the wind can be gruesome for truck drivers. It is important to keep your truck steady on the road, and if need be, merge into the farthest right lane on the interstate and take your time. 

Ensure chains are on properly 

For those who are in the upper midwestern region or on the East Coast, chains should oftentimes be added to help grab more traction on the slippery roads. For those who are newer to adding chains or need a refresher from last season, follow this helpful guide. 

Continue to adapt to pandemic traffic 

This is one of the newest safe winter driving tips for truckers dealing with the global pandemic happening, research is showing that roads are less packed since those working from home are not on the highways. However, the biggest downfall of this is due to the lack of carpooling in major metropolitan areas and cities due to the CDC social distancing guidelines in place. 

While this is a major win in our industry, do not always assume that the roads will be less traveled. With the holiday season approaching, always keep in mind that the roads can be busier during this timeframe. This means remembering to follow safely behind vehicles and other trucks while maintaining a good speed. 

Remember to break sooner 

Even with less people on the road, it is important to ensure you give yourself plenty of time to break properly. Always break earlier and decrease speed earlier to allow for optimal room between other trucks and vehicles on the road. 

Always double and triple check everything 

Sometimes, while we drive, we start to think about other elements in our lives. The mortgage needs to be paid, you have to make that doctor’s appointment, but this leads to small mistakes. One of the ways to avoid this is to always double check every light, road sign, mile marker and everything else in-between. This keeps you alert and updated on everything going forward. 

For the best season yet, fleet managers and owners and operators should always encourage their drivers to follow these seven winter driving tips!

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