In Oklahoma, and the surrounding region, you need to be prepared for winter driving.
The recent winter weather should be a good reminder of proper winter driving procedures for commercial vehicles. Driving a commercial motor vehicle during the often extreme driving conditions of winter presents many challenges for the professional truck driver.
Safety management should be a top priority for your business. As part of your safety management, a comprehensive driving safety program should be established and reviewed on a regular basis.
Here are a few procedures to follow to reduce accidents:
- Get plenty of rest.
- Use your seat belt every time you get into your vehicle.
- Before heading out, make sure your vehicle is in good running condition. Check your brakes, headlights, windshield wipers, exhaust system and heater. Make sure they are in top condition.
- Know the road conditions before you travel.
- Be aware of wind conditions and load weight.
- Use extra caution when traveling across bridges and overpasses. They freeze before the roads.
- Make certain your tires are properly inflated.
- Assemble a disaster supply kit. Include a first-aid kit, shovel, ice scraper, flashlight and
- batteries, sand or cat litter, blankets, candles and matches, water, snacks and cell phone.
- Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line freeze-up.
- Brake early, brake slowly, brake correctly, and never slam on the brakes.
- Watch carefully for black ice. Black ice is a thin layer of transparent ice that forms when the temperature is close to freezing.
- Don’t text and drive, it is like driving drunk.
- Be extra cautious when driving in mountains. Mountain weather in winter can be severe and can change rapidly. Be ready for wind gusts in exposed positions and be aware of emergency vehicles and snowplows.
- If you become stranded in a winter storm, do not leave your vehicle. Stay with the vehicle and wait for help.
- Always use proper footwear which includes a rugged, non-slip sole that provides support for each ankle.
Even in the best weather conditions, commercial motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death and injury for all ages. Drive safe and arrive safe.