Winter driving tips for commercial drivers
Check your vehicle
In winter, it’s especially important that windshield wipers work properly and washer fluid is topped up. Clear your vehicle of ice and snow, including the top of trailers, and check your lights regularly along your route for ice and snow build up. Consider using a fuel treatment product to prevent diesel from gelling. And make sure to always carry an emergency kit.
Plan ahead, be prepared
Plan your route, locate truck stops and check the weather forecast before you leave. Check road conditions on our website, Twitter or call 511 for hands-free, voice-activated service. If road conditions look bad, stay off the road.
Slow down, stay alert and drive according to weather conditions
Many winter collisions occur because drivers are going too fast for road conditions. Slow down and allow extra space between your truck and other vehicles. Focus on the road and other vehicles around you. Look for reflections on the road surface – what looks like water may actually be ice! Be cautious on bridges — they freeze first. If ice is building up on your truck then it may also be forming on the road.
Stay in control
Steer gently on curves and in slippery conditions. Sudden moves can cause you to lose control or jackknife.
Hard braking, quick acceleration and abrupt gear changes can cause you to skid. Stay alert and anticipate the need to brake. Know your brakes and how they react on snow and ice. A tractor trailer’s braking distance is four to ten times greater on ice than on a dry road. Avoid using cruise control on wet, snowy or icy pavement. It reduces reaction time and control of your vehicle.
Share the road, especially with snowplows
Avoid crowding the center line - this could result in head-on collisions. Also allow other vehicles room to travel safely.
It is dangerous to pass a snowplow. Slow down as you approach a plow from behind, be patient and give it room to do its job. It will pull off when it reaches the end of its route.
Obey Road Closures
Do not attempt to drive on closed roads until they re-open – it’s against the law and it’s closed for your safety! Always obey emergency road closure signs and barriers and follow directions of police officers.