Driving through certain states, like Florida, can present truckers with unpredictable weather challenges, especially during hurricane season.
From slippery roads to blustery winds and weak visibility during a torrential downpour, it’s imperative for truck drivers to know how to proceed with caution and confidence to ensure safety for everyone on the road.
Here are 5 tips to help you be prepared for driving in the rain!
Thanks to technology, it’s easier than ever for truck drivers to be prepared for what Mother Nature has in store. Weather apps allow drivers to quickly check routes before embarking, so they can plan accordingly. Some GPS systems also send weather alerts, offering alternate routes so drivers can avoid storms altogether.
Before your next trucking job, do a thorough maintenance check to ensure your rig is mechanically sound to handle any weather surprises. Focus on your wipers, tires, brakes and lights and stock up on rain gear, such as raincoats, boots, hats and waterproof bags. Check the emergency kit to ensure that none of the gear is missing, and pack emergency food and water.
If you get stuck in a downpour, slow down by at least 5 mph and if you must increase speed, do so gradually. Increase the distance between you and the drivers that are in front and behind. Experts recommend at least 7 seconds of following distance for safety.
During a storm, you may come to a road that is underwater. First of all, you don’t know how deep it is, and taking a chance can lead to devastating consequences, such a trailer getting washed away if you’re dealing with flood waters. Turn around, get out of there and consult your weather tech to find a safer (drier) route.
If you’re not used to driving in the rain, it’s normal to feel a pang of anxiety, especially if you get caught in a sudden heavy downpour. Don’t panic! Gradually slow down and keep your lights on (NOT the hazards!). Wear your seat belt and stay in your lane. If you feel very uncomfortable, carefully pull over to the side of the road and wait until the storm passes.