WINTER DRIVING TIPS FOR THE PROFESSIONAL
Recognize the special hazards of winter driving and know the techniques needed to drive safely in spite of them. The facts are here, the rest is up to you.
- Be able to see and be seen – Clean all the snow and ice off of your windshield, other windows, outside mirrors, lights and reflectors. Make sure your vehicle is equipped with good windshield wiper blades and that the wiper arms are exerting enough pressure on the blades to ensure a clean sweep. If moisture or ice builds up on your windshield, stop and clean it off.
- Tires – Tires with good, deep treads are essential for good cornering and handling on slippery roads. Check the tire pressure frequently to maintain the manufacturers’ recommended pressure.
- Get the feel of the road – Occasionally try your brakes or gently depress your accelerator while driving, adjust your speed according to the existing conditions. Rising temperatures greatly reduce traction on ice and snow.
- Stretch your following distance – Knowing that winter road surfaces may increase stopping distance 3 to 12 times, the smart driver increases his normal dry road following distance. Heavy trucks require longer stopping distances on slippery roads than passenger cars – don’t tailgate.
- Brake before curves – All vehicles are particularly sensitive to overpowering, over-steering and over-braking on curves. Unseen hazards around the bend may require evasive action, so turn your steering wheel slowly and smoothly, keep a constant speed in the turn, and pump the brakes carefully if it’s necessary to slow down or stop.
- Be extra cautious at intersections where snowbanks can reduce visibility.
- Steady threshold braking – The key to stopping under control on slippery surfaces is to avoid locking the wheels. A rapid pumping of the brakes will provide short intervals of braking and rolling which will enable you to maintain steering control while stopping. With air brakes, watch your air pressure.
- Watch for reduced clearance – This is caused by accumulated snow or ice.
- Drain air tanks daily.
Winter Time – Any Time – The Key to Safety Is You!