The truck drivers are the backbone of American commerce, but face daily risks on the job. Truck accidents, tight schedules, and fatigue are everyday stresses truckers endure, but winter brings even more concerns for truck driver safety. Being prepared for what winter has in store can make the difference between a safe trip, or one that ends with serious complications.
Global warming has brought milder temperatures to many regions of our country, but truck drivers hauling goods into frigid weather areas must take special precautions. Sudden winter storms are common in many areas of the United States. Drivers that begin their journey in one part of the country may find extreme differences in temperature and precipitation in another part of the country. Following precautionary safety routines can ensure the trip is safe and productive.
Routine inspections of commercial vehicles are required, but drivers should also perform their own pre-trip inspections. Tire inflation and condition, wipers, fluids, and lights are key essentials for a safe drive. Ensuring that a big-rig is in good working order before beginning a trip will help you be prepared for what lies ahead. It is also a good idea to keep extra clothing, flashlights, blankets, non-perishable food, bottled water, a windshield scraper, and jumper cables on hand in the event foul weather leaves you stranded.
Hydroplaning is more likely to occur at high speeds, particularly when traveling on wet or slushy roadways. Because of black ice and slippery conditions, a truck is more prone to skidding and running off the road or plowing into the back of another vehicle. Truckers should leave plenty of space between vehicles and brake slowly while holding the steering wheel firmly. It is best to avoid quick acceleration that can also lead to sliding.
Travel in mountain areas or high elevations can result in quick weather changes that dump large amounts of snow and ice on highways and byways. Drivers should always heed weather warnings and get to a safe place to pass a severe storm. Though some drivers will attempt to drive through a storm to stay on schedule, there is a high risk of accidents in snow and ice conditions. Dangerous wind gusts and avalanches can occur in these areas as well. In the event of a storm, drivers should avoid stopping in avalanche prone areas.
Drivers that find themselves stranded in poor weather should always stay with their vehicles. It is easy to be disoriented in a snow storm and getting out of the truck can lead to getting lost or being exposed to dangerous temperatures. Putting on extra layers of clothing and running the truck’s heat for short periods of time will keep you warm and avoid carbon monoxide poisoning that can occur if tailpipes are covered with snow.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a trucking accident, the Cherry Hill truck accident lawyers at Williams Cedar can help you claim the compensation you may be entitled to receive. Call us at 856-874-7500, or 215-557-0099, or contact us online to schedule a consultation today. Our offices are in Philadelphia and Haddonfield, New Jersey, and we proudly serve clients throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and nationwide.