6 Winter Driving Safety Tips for Truck Drivers

6 Winter Driving Safety Tips for Truck Drivers

Written by Pierce Bryant
February 16, 2023

Taking your truck on a lengthy winter road trip? Make sure you are properly prepared with these 6 Winter Driving Safety Tips for Truck Drivers. Driving a big rig in a cold climate can be quite dangerous, especially if you did not take any precautionary measures beforehand. However, you will be on the road feeling confident and secure after learning these preventive safety tips for winter truck driving.

Thoroughly Inspect Your Vehicle

commercial truck inspection winter driving

Before you hit the road, be sure to do a full and thorough inspection on your truck. You never know what might need fixing unless you check. If you are going to be driving for a while you do not want to skip a quick vehicle inspection, especially if you are going to be driving in the winter season. Taking this step can set the stage for a safe and secure road trip, below is a list of things to check before taking off.

  • Tire Air Pressure
  • Vehicle Engine Oil
  • Antifreeze Levels
  • Tire Tread Levels
  • Air Conditioner
  • Brakes & Lights

Study the Road Conditions

winter road conditions truck driving

Paying close attention to the road conditions is extremely important. There are plenty of ways you can do this while protecting yourself, your vehicle, and other drivers in the process. Start by observing the tire spray of any vehicle ahead of you, if the road is wet you will see a lot of water spraying. If you do not see any water spraying, the road is freezing up and you will need to take extra precautions.

Another tip is to observe the road salt! If you are on a narrow road and notice small to medium salt rocks on the asphalt, use the nearest turn-out zone to allow vehicles behind you to pass. This will prevent any damage or immediate danger to the vehicles behind you and can potentially save a life.

Slow Down if Necessary

truck slowing down in snow

Adjust your speed according to the road conditions. If the road is covered in snow, it would be advisable to reduce your speed to compensate for any loss of tire traction. The same goes for an icy road. Driving slow and steady also allows you to react quicker if something goes wrong.

Slowly Apply Your Brakes

commercial truck brakes

You may already know this one, but I figured it would fit this list of safety tips. The worst possible thing you could do in any driving emergency is to forcefully lock your brakes, especially in rough winter road conditions! If your truck is properly equipped with an ABS (anti-locking braking system), and you find yourself in an emergency, you can safely press and hold the brake down as far as possible.

If your truck does not have an ABS equipped, the next best thing you can do is to slowly apply your breaks, avoid locking your tires, and ultimately prevent losing control of your vehicle.

Stuck vehicle? Stay put!

big rig stuck recovery tips

If you find yourself stuck or stranded, and do not see any close by areas to seek assistance, do not under any circumstances leave your vehicle! Freezing temperatures can be deadly, especially if there is a snowstorm or blizzard. The best thing you can do in this scenario is buckle up, stay warm, conserve gas, and occasionally clear your exhaust of snow buildup to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.

If you do not have any cellular service to call for help, use your CB radio to alert any nearby trucks on the road of your situation. If you leave your truck, the chances of somebody finding you will decline.

Be Prepared for The Worst

man walking in snow storm truck driver

This is common sense to the experienced truck drivers but may help somebody new to the game. Before you set off for the long-haul, take a minute to pack any items that may be useful along the way! This could include warm clothing, blankets, a window ice scraper, matches, flashlights, shovels, recovery equipment, and whatever else you believe could come in handy. Pack extra if you can.

Featured Product: Rhino USA Recovery Traction Boards

That concludes our list! You are now ready to hit the road with confidence. Thank you for taking the time to consider yours, and others safety on the road. We hope this article was helpful and informative. If you have any questions regarding Rhino USA products, please visit our site at www.rhinousainc.com.

rhino usa tow strapTruck Driver Safety FAQ's

Do I need special winter tires for my truck?

It is highly recommended and often required for truck drivers to equip their rigs with winter tires. In many states and countries, winter brings snow, ice, and dangerous road conditions. Using winter tires is a valuable additional measure to consider for optimal safety in winter conditions.

What should a truck driver do if they get stuck or stranded?

Having a heavy duty recovery tow strap is crucial for any truck driver who might find themself stuck or stranded. If the situation is more serious or a tow strap can't recover the stuck vehicle, we recommend reaching out to a towing company.