Driving in Extreme Weather Conditions

The weather can be unpredictable and can create hazardous conditions on the road. As a truck driver, these conditions make your job much more dangerous. It is important to learn how to handle various severe weather conditions so that you can take proper safety precautions and remain safe on the road.

Rain, Thunderstorms, and Tornadoes

  • Turn your headlights, wipers, and defroster on to increase visibility.
  • Drive in the tracks of the vehicle ahead of you and reduce your speed.
  • Allow increased space between your vehicle and others, and leave extra time to stop.
  • If you begin to hydroplane, hold the steering wheel straight and remove your foot from the gas pedal.
  • If you are caught in a thunderstorm, pull off the road in an open area and away from trees (to avoid a lightning strike).
  • If you are driving in a tornado, get out of your vehicle and find shelter. If there is not a building nearby, lie in a ditch and place your arms over your head.

Winter Weather

  • Always remove ice and snow from your windows, hood, and headlights before departing.
  • Drive with extreme caution and at slow speeds. You will need 3 to 12 times the amount of stopping distance than you need without precipitation.
  • If possible, avoid bridges and overpasses since they freeze first.
  • Do not brake quickly as you may spin out of control.
  • If you should get stuck, straighten your wheels and accelerate at a slow pace.

Fog

  • Slow down before you reach a patch of fog in front of you.
  • Use only your low beams or fog lights, and put on your defroster and windshield wipers to increase visibility.
  • If the fog is extremely thick, roll down all of your windows to hear other vehicles around you.
  • If you cannot see the road’s edge, pull off on the right and put on your emergency flashers. Do not start driving again until you can see.

Make Safety Your Priority

Deadlines are important but more important to is your safety. If the weather conditions are ever too severe to drive, make a wise decision and wait until it is safe to resume driving.