Winter driving is difficult for everyone on the road, but it is especially challenging for truck and other oversized vehicle drivers. Prevent accidents by ensuring your vehicle is equipped properly before you begin your trip in winter weather.
Radiator – There should be proper winter coolant and no leaks.
Tires – Winter roads provide very little traction, so be sure tires have good tread depth.
Heater, Defroster and Wiper Blade – Make sure you will be able to keep the windshield clear in the event of heavy snow, sleet or hail storm.
Battery – Cold weather lowers battery power; make sure yours is in good shape.
Fifth Wheel Lubrication – Use a winter-grade lubricant because a summer-grade lubricant could cause steering issues in low temperatures.
- If you become stuck in deep snow, do not spin your wheels. Instead, move them from side to side to push the snow away and pack it down.
- Accelerate slowly and gently to ease out of a patch of ice or snow.
- Leave a greater following distance and gear down when stopping.
- The best way to stop on ice without antilock brakes is by a rapid, light pumping of the pedal.
- During heavy storms with low visibility, take time to pull over and occasionally wipe off headlights, stoplights, and taillights so that other vehicles can see you.
- Beware of low underpasses in the winter, as ice or packed snow accumulated on the road could increase your vehicle’s clearance height.
- To recover from a jackknife on the ice, rely on steering rather than the accelerator or brakes.