You’re a driver trying to negotiate your truck through heavy rain. You set off expecting good weather as always, but the heavy had other plans; now you’re wondering if you have what it takes to proceed. Do you keep going and risk it? Or do you stop and sit the rain out? And for how long? What do you do while you wait? Bad weather can make driving pretty scary, even for very experienced truck drivers, no matter what time of the year. Rainy weather safety tips for truckers can come in handy all year long.
Every driver needs to know what to do when caught in an uncomfortable driving situation like this. The best and most effective rainy weather safety tips for truckers relies on you. You need to apply some basic safety measures, such as lowering your driving speed, avoiding slamming on the brakes on a skid, leaving enough room between you and other vehicles, etc. If you’re a trained driver, this is the time to apply everything you learned in CDL school.
So, what do you do when caught up in bad weather? Keep reading for some tips for driving in heavy rain and tricks to help you rule the road whatever the weather.
Even when you’re sure you paid attention to the weather forecast before setting off, bad weather can still catch you by surprise any day, any time. This can make it difficult to see obstacles ahead of you. Without the proper preparations, accidents are almost a given in such poor driving conditions.
Many car accidents happen because the drivers fail to drive to suit the weather conditions. Reducing your speed on a rainy day is vital to driving safely. Going with less speed gives more time to react should you fail to spot an obstacle or any road hazard on time.
Besides reducing your driving speed, you’ll want to create enough room between your truck and other vehicles sharing the same road, especially the vehicles ahead of you. It can be pretty frustrating to hold your patience during driving conditions, but it’s crucial when handling large vehicles.
For many truck drivers, primarily commercial drivers, pulling over during bad weather is an option they might not want to take, especially when it means not meeting their deadline or delivery time. But stopping is always the safest option, especially when the weather condition continues to worsen.
Truck drivers are well-trained when it comes to their vehicle’s safety concerns. Any driver who operates under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations should reduce driving speed in bad weather conditions. If the weather seems only to get worse, your best and safest option will be to pull over and not continue your haul until the weather conditions improve.
Most truck drivers commute far and wide across the country, exposing themselves to various weather conditions as a result. That means truck drivers should create a collection of essential gear for their travels that will help in times of bad weather. These should include things like a blanket, rain gear, a pair of gloves (or two), flashlight, tire chains, jumper cables, as well as any other essential equipment or relevant item.
It’s important to remember that even if you find yourself involved in a road accident due to bad weather, you will still bear responsibility if you were not driving according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.
Need to know what to have on the road? Check out our list of accessories for truck drivers and make sure you have the right gear ready at all times!
Anytime you face a terrible rainy weather condition as a truck driver, the downpour or drizzling becomes the leading cause of driving hazard. This is one of the significant causes of truck accidents on the roads. Even with your windshield wiper in full force, visibility can be poor during such conditions. Here are some rainy weather safety tips for truckers to leverage.
One essential safety tip to practice is the pre-trip inspection. No matter how reliable your vehicle is, you need always to take the time to conduct a thorough inspection before you hit the road - and this is even for any typical driving day. During the rainy season, your pre-trip check should be extra careful.
Before you embark on your trip, you need to check your truck’s various aspects or parts to ensure they are all working in top condition. The areas you should pay attention to include your tires tread, taillights, headlights, windshield wipers, etc., as these will help you through rainy weather. Aside from that, also make sure that you inflate your tires properly before you move the truck.
As mentioned several times already, one of the most effective safety tips any truck driver should apply is slowing down when driving in rainy weather conditions. While it is always possible to drive through rain, you’ll give yourself a greater chance of avoiding sudden obstacles when you move slowly.
Also, reducing your driving speed is crucial, as driving on a wet road can be dangerous. In most cases, hydroplaning occurs when a vehicle is moving too fast on a wet road surface. So, when you slow down your truck, you give yourself the chance to avoid unwanted incidents and accidents or even skidding off the road. Also, driving at top speed makes it very difficult to come to a sudden stop in case of the unexpected.
Another important need-to-know rainy weather truck driving tip already mentioned is leaving enough room between your truck and other vehicles on the road. It would be best to maintain a safe driving distance between your truck and the vehicle ahead of you.
If there is ever the need to come to a sudden stop in case of an emergency, stopping your truck will prove even more challenging on a wet driving surface or rainy weather condition. Leaving enough room between your truck and the vehicle in front will give you enough space to react if you need to come to a sudden stop.
Aside from leaving enough room, you should be alert and watch for sudden brake lights ahead of you, as visibility may be inadequate.
Remember, what you learned in CDL school. A fully loaded truck takes 600 feet to stop during ideal weather. Rainy weather can extend this distance. Don’t panic and increase following distance during rainy conditions.
As mentioned earlier, driving on a wet road surface can be very dangerous, especially when you’re already going at top speed. It is always possible to lose control of your truck and skid off the road, and you need to know the right way to respond should that happen
If you experience a skid, the first thing is to remove your feet from the pedals - stop accelerating and stop braking! Next, quickly turn your steering wheel in the direction you want your truck to go and avoid putting your feet on any of the pedals while you turn.
Once you begin to gain control of your truck, you can apply your brakes, but you need to do so as softly as possible. If your truck’s back wheels are skidding, you can press the acceleration slightly to stop the skid.
Need more tricks to stay safe on the road? Learn more from our post on truck driving training tips for experienced drivers.
Of course, you are confident that your truck can take on moving water, but that in no way means you should do it. Even when you drive through a puddle, it causes water to be splashed around. And when this happens, you can quickly put your truck at risk of hydroplaning, which can eventually lead to you losing control of your truck. The same can happen if you try to drive through moving water.
Hydroplaning happens when your truck drives through a body of stagnant or moving water. Anytime you face a body of water, your safest option is to avoid it, but if that isn’t possible, make sure you slow down considerably before you drive through it.
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Additionally, ABCO Transportation provides you with one of the best chances to create and grow a career in the truck driving industry, with the addition of many job benefits as far as truck driving is concerned.
For example, you can find exclusive driver resorts when you and your family or loved ones can enjoy a wonderful holiday experience. And speaking of holidays, you will also have access to enough vacation time to relax, recuperate, and de-stress.
When on the job, you will have access to more exclusive local and regional routes. That means you are more likely to spend less time on the road and more time at home. You will benefit from medical, vision, dental, and life insurance coverage in terms of health. This way, you can save up on those medical bills that drain your wallet.
So, there’s no need to hesitate. Get respect for your driving skills with ABCO. If you want to enjoy the full benefits of being an ABCO driver, take the time to fill out the truck driving job application.
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