On Monday, truck drivers were involved in two major accidents on interstates in Pennsylvania; one on I-80 and the other on I-83.
Both were caused, in part, by sever winter weather conditions.
Several members of the RoadPro Family of Brands Pro Driver Council offered tips on driving during this sometimes dangerous season.
Know what you’re driving into. There are plenty of sources for real-time weather forecasts and road conditions, so use them, said Sierra Sugar, who rides with partner Allen Wilcher. “Lastly, and I can’t stress this enough, always use your CB.”
Check your mirrors. “Ice on the mirror means a good chance of ice on the road,” said Henry Albert, an owner-operator in North Carolina.
Watch the temperature. This might seem obvious, but temperatures can change in a few minutes of traveling or with a rise or fall in elevation, turning that wet road into an icy one. “Watch the outside temperature. Most trucks are equipped with temperature gauges on the dash. I watch this very closely since temperatures will change drastically from area to area,” said Joanne Fatta, a company driver in Pennsylvania.
Don’t get nervous. “If you are super-nervous or scared, you can actually be in more danger because of quick, emotional responses to sloppy conditions or sliding,” said Thomas Miller, an owner-operator who drives for Prime.
Watch the taillights. “If the taillights are glistening off the road, it means there’s a lot of ice,” said Maggie Stone, a livestock hauler in Iowa.
Keep your windshield clear. “When it’s real cold and your windshield wipers are icing up in the snow, stop and put your defroster on cold to freeze your windshield,” Albert says. “Once frozen, scrape it off with an ice scraper. Then put heat on your feet only and the snow will simply blow off without your needing your windshield wipers.”
Pack accordingly. Sugar has a list of must-haves for winter driving: snow shovel; rubbing alcohol for clearing windshield washer fluid lines and deicing windshields; bleach to make tires sticky; kitty litter for traction; sleeping blankets and blankets; extra water and three days of non-perishable food; extra medication; anti-gel fuel additive; waterproof matches or lighter; first aid kit and board games or cards to pass the time if you get stuck.