While truckers are trained to drive in poor conditions, even the most highly skilled driver will be affected by bad weather. With the wind and rain during hurricane season, you may need to read up on how to stay safe before getting back on the road to avoid trucking accidents.
This may seem obvious, but pay extra attention to your pre-drive inspection. Faulty brakes are bad anytime but they’re more likely to be fatal during a storm when others are already driving erratically. Consider putting together an emergency kit with food, water, and a blanket in case an accident does happen and you’re stuck in the truck for any length of time. Park your truck if you need to, and try to stay facing the wind to avoid being blown over by it.
It is undoubtedly stressful to drive in dangerous conditions but it is important to stay as relaxed as possible to avoid trucking accidents. Drive only as fast as you and your truck can handle, and don’t swerve or brake quickly. Slamming on brakes will likely result in jackknifing. This is especially important in heavy rain when hydroplaning is a high risk.
Pay Attention to Other Drivers
If there is a hurricane warning, there will likely be many cars on the road driven by people scared of the storm. Expect erratic behavior, and keep as much distance between you and the cars around you as possible. Three million people are injured in U.S. car accidents annually, and storms dramatically increase the likelihood of a crash. Make sure your headlights are on even in daylight during inclement weather to ensure others can see your vehicle.
Make Sure Your Truck Can Handle the Weather
You may be used to driving over debris or puddles without risk when driving heavy commercial vehicles, but poor weather conditions make this extremely risky. What may seem like a puddle could be very deep water. What seems like harmless debris could be something that could hurt your truck. In hurricane weather, it could also be a person or animal that’s been trapped under something. It’s best to stop driving to avoid injury. Wind can also be detrimental to a tractor trailer if your load is too light. Be aware that high winds can tip a truck over if it isn’t heavy enough, endangering the driver and anyone else on the road.
In all, the most important thing to do in dangerous weather is to drive as safely as possible and know when it’s time to get off the road and wait out the storm. Trucking accidents are no joke so know your limits and don’t let a deadline endanger your life or others.