The weather is unpredictable in Maryland, but especially in the winter. That is why, as a truck driver, it’s best to prepare for the worst. Fortunately, there are several guidelines to help you drive safely. Here are some things you can do to make sure that you get to where you are going safely, even in winter weather.
First, it is important that you have a good view of the road. Make sure that all of your lights are functional and turned on. You should also clean off ice and snow from your windows, mirrors, lights, and reflective tape as often as you can. When on the road, keep an eye out for other smaller vehicles that could be hidden by a plume of road spray or powdered snow. In general, your goal should be to stay aware of your surroundings.
In nasty winter weather, there will be an increase of road hazards. Have caution when using the entrance and exit ramps on the highway. And make sure you look out for icy roads, especially on sharp turns. Bridges are almost always the first thing to freeze in winter weather, so be careful when you drive on them. Another hazard that people don’t think of until they are in a large truck is the wind. High winds can be hazardous, especially when you have an empty trailer. Brace yourself for some shaking when you are on an open highway or come up from behind a hill.
It’s not safe to assume that all cars will behave properly in inclement weather. You should drive defensively, and keep an eye on traffic to avoid reckless driving or another car that might accidentally skid into your lane. A good rule of thumb is to maintain a following distance of at least seven seconds. Also, give yourself plenty of time to brake at lights and stop signs in case your truck starts to slide.
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