In the late fall and throughout the winter, weather conditions are constantly changing. Severe weather, including blinding snow, freezing rain, ice, and fog, magnifies every hazardous situation you face on the road. Increased stopping distances, reduced traction, poor visibility, equipment failure, heightened stress levels and the need to watch for other drivers operating unsafely are a few of the hazards which professional drivers can expect to encounter during adverse driving conditions.
It is vital during adverse driving conditions that drivers keep greater distance both in front of your vehicle and along the sides of your truck. We all know that on dry pavement, a seven-second following distance between your truck, and traffic in front, is usually recommended. But when pavement gets wet due to rain or fog, drivers should add an extra 2 –3 seconds to provide an additional “cushion” of safety. Finally, when the pavement becomes ice- or snow-covered, a safe following distance may require a driver to double or even triple the 7-second following distance recommended for dry pavement. Try to anticipate traffic problems ahead and slow down, change lanes, or stop very gradually. Many drivers set a minimum speed, such as 30 m.p.h. and if either their vision or traction is so bad that they can’t drive safely even at this reduced speed, it is time to get off the road.