Driving in inclement weather can be dangerous, especially for semi-truck drivers. Here are some tips for truckers to stay safe when driving in the rain.
Driving in wet weather can be incredibly dangerous. As a trucker, taking extra precautions when driving through rain and other severe weather is important. Check out our tips for truckers to stay safe when driving in the rain. By following these tips, truckers can rest assured that they are doing all they can to remain accident-free while navigating wet conditions.
Check the Weather
Staying updated on the weather is one of the most important factors in staying safe on the road. Before heading out on a drive, truckers should always check for storms or inclement weather that could affect their route. The National Weather Service provides forecasts and updates online and through radio broadcasts, which you can access by tuning into NOAA All Hazards Radio or local stations.
Slow Your Speed
You must slow down when driving in inclement weather. Driving too fast in the rain can result in hydroplaning, which occurs when a vehicle’s tires lose contact with the road surface due to water on the pavement. Additionally, decreasing speed helps increase visibility, as thick raindrops can distort vision while driving at higher speeds. By slowing down, drivers can better observe their surroundings and identify potential hazards.
Keep Your Lights On
Keeping your headlights on while driving in the rain is also important. Not only does this help make other drivers more visible and aware of your presence on the road, but it also helps ensure you can properly see what’s ahead of you. They allow drivers to spot potential hazards before they become an issue. Pay attention to signs that your truck needs new headlights so you can replace them if necessary. Additionally, headlights are often required by law during inclement weather. In some states, failing to turn lights on in rainy conditions may result in a fine.
Avoid Your Jake Brake
Using the Jake brake in wet conditions is extremely dangerous and should always be avoided. When the Jake brake is engaged, it causes an abrupt deceleration of a truck, which can lead to skidding on wet roads and can cause serious accidents. It also increases the chances of hydroplaning due to sudden speed changes and water on the road surface. Therefore, avoiding your Jake brake is best to prevent these risks and allow for safer travel in wet weather.
Give Yourself Room To Stop
Truckers must also give themselves enough room to stop in the rain. Leave extra space between your vehicle and the one ahead of you to ensure that you have time to react appropriately if the car ahead of you stops suddenly. Truckers should practice defensive driving techniques such as scanning ahead for potential obstacles on the road so they can anticipate sudden traffic changes before they happen. Additionally, keeping a safe following distance at all times helps ensure ample braking room should an emergency arise.
Following these helpful tips to keep truckers safe in the rain can help you avoid potential accidents. Take all the precautions you can to keep yourself and the other drivers on the road safe.
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