Posted January 11, 2017 by Administrator
Winter snow and ice storms can be breathtakingly beautiful and dramatic because they deliver very cold rain that freezes on contact and coats everything with a layer of glimmering ice. But ice storms can be incredibly dangerous for anyone on the road because the roads become slippery like a skating rink. It is just as easy for someone to plow into your vehicle as it is for you to lose control.
Here are 9 tips you can use to increase your awareness of how to drive in inclement conditions. If an ice storm is in the forecast, it’s best to stay off the road, but if you’re already driving and rain starts turning into ice, follow these tips.
- Slow down
Slow down and maintain a safe distance from other vehicles to give everyone more time to react in slippery conditions.
- Accelerate slowly
Be sure to apply the gas slowly to avoid losing traction and skidding on the ice.
- Brake safely
Apply the brakes earlier than you normally would because it takes longer to slow down on icy roads.
- Look out for icy patches
Steer clear of glossy ice patches on the road. Be especially vigilant on bridges, entrance and exit ramps and roads near water because these areas will freeze up first.
- If you lose traction
If you feel your vehicle start to slide, remove your foot from the gas pedal. Don’t slam on the brakes because that can cause you to skid and lose control. Keep your steering wheel straight but if your vehicle starts to veer to one side, gently steer into that direction. Steer toward an area where you can regain traction. Do not apply the brakes until you’ve regained traction.
- Avoid cruise control
Even a light tap on the brake pedal to deactivate the cruise control can cause you to skid when driving on a slippery surface. Also, you have less control of your vehicle when it’s in cruise control mode.
- Watch for trees and power lines
Watch out for overhead trees and power lines. If you see a power line down, do not drive over it.
- Prepare ahead
Advanced preparation can help immensely when it comes to extreme weather driving.
- Check your tire tread. Make sure your tires have adequate tread.
- Inflate tires properly. Tire pressure drops significantly in cold weather. Check your tire pressure monthly and inflate your tires to the proper level.
- Install tire chains. When there is a lot of snow or icy conditions and the road is completely covered, install tire chains to get better traction.
- Keep fluid reservoirs full. It’s especially important to keep your windshield wiper fluid reservoirs full with the right freeze protection for the area in which you’ll be driving.
- Examine your windshield wipers. Check your windshield wipers regularly. If the rubber is cracked, broken, or falling off, replace your wipers as soon as possible.
- Check your coolant. Check your coolant or antifreeze with every fill up. Running low can potentially ruin your engine.
- Take an emergency kit. Prepare a winter emergency kit for your vehicle. Include a jump starter that is fully charged. Also, bring a spare phone with a charger. Often, 911 calls will go through even if your phone does not have service.
- Monitor the forecast
Always stay on top of the weather forecast. If you can, limit driving time when there are winter storm advisories.
Cline Wood represents top trucking and agribusiness insurance carriers across the country. We have access to all types of insurance programs. We treat your company as if it were our own. Contact us today to find out how we can help you manage your risk, which directly contributes to your bottom line.
Posted March 9, 2016 by Administrator
In February a 50 vehicle pileup in Fredericksburg, PA killed three, sent 40 people to area hospitals and closed I-78 for over twelve hours. This early morning crash was caused by the sudden snow squalls and high winds that hit the area as a storm front passed through Pennsylvania. It was a reminder that even with a mild winter, truckers still need to be vigilant.
Mild Winter Lowers Guard
With less snow and warmer temperatures, many people have become less cautious this winter. They neglect winter vehicle maintenance, don’t put snow tires on their vehicles, and tend to let their minds wander as they travel the interstate.
Truck Drivers Can’t Be Casual
However, truckers and other commercial vehicles can’t afford to have a casual attitude when it comes to winter driving. Even a mild snow storm can lead to slippery roads and once roads a plowed wind gusts can create white out conditions that will reduce visibility.
In early February, the white out conditions were caused by snow squalls where visibility would be fine one moment and the next moment drivers could barely see the taillights of the vehicle in front of them.
The collision involved fifty vehicles, including passenger cars, tractor trailers and commercial vehicles. The sound of the crash was so loud, nearby residents mistook the sound for thunder. Almost a hundred people had to wait in warming shelters for hours while the debris was cleared and the injured were transported to three local hospitals. Three people died from injuries sustained during the crash.
It is important for commercial trucking companies to maintain proper winter protocols, even if the weather is mild. Make sure your trucks are properly maintained and that drivers are vigilant when the weather report calls for snow, wind or ice.
Reducing your company’s crash statistics will help you reduce your insurance rates. For more insurance information and safety tips, contact us today.