Better Skills Required for Winter Driving

Truck driving safety during winter weather relies heavily on the truck driver’s skills. If you read our earlier blog article, you know that AI has not yet mastered the skills of driving on ice and snow. The reason is: a safe outcome requires taking many factors into consideration during winter weather driving.

Tips for Truck Driving Safety During Winter

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) indicates that safe speeds vary depending on road conditions. Speed is all too often the cause of truck accidents. The following tips are safety guidelines for driving on rain, ice and snow in the winter:

  • Reducing speed. When rain begins to fail, it mixes with oil on the road. Until the oil washes away, the road becomes slippery. According to FARS (Fatality Analysis Reporting System), 25% of truck fatalities due to speeding occurred in severe weather conditions. You should reduce your speed by one-third on wet roads and by one-half or more on snow packed roads. This means if you would normally be traveling at 60 mph you should reduce to 40 mph on wet roads and to 30 mph on snow packed roads.
  • Navigating curves. Posted speed limits for curves apply to cars, not trucks. Trucks must drive even more slowly. Due to the fact that trucks are tall, they have a higher center of gravity and are more prone to rolling over on a curve.
  • Reducing speed on exit/entrance ramps. Truck rollovers happen more frequently on exit and entrance ramps. This occurs when truck drivers take the ramps at excessive speeds.
  • Driving loaded trailers. Sudden speed adjustments can cause cargo to shift, which can lead to skidding or rollovers. Driving more slowly helps avoid this. The likelihood of rollover is 10 times higher for a fully loaded large truck than a large truck with no trailer or an empty trailer.
  • Reducing speed in work zones. In work zones, truck drivers must be prepared to slow or stop suddenly. A greater distance is needed to stop when traveling fast, and the driver may not be able to stop in time. Therefore, drivers should slow down and merge into the correct lane in advance of lane closures.

Have You Been Involved in a Truck Accident?

A lack of truck driving safety during winter weather can cause a serious accident. If you were seriously injured in a truck accident, consult with an attorney. The Law Office of Michael R. De La Paz can help you recover compensation. We have assisted clients throughout Texas, from McAllen to Arlington and San Antonio.