Although winter is not officially here yet, cold weather definitely is. As you prepare for changing weather conditions, here are some things to remember:
Be ready: Get your vehicle winter-ready with a maintenance check-up. Don’t wait for winter to have your battery, belts, hoses, radiator, oil, lights, brakes, tires, exhaust system, heater/defroster, wipers and ignition system checked. It is Werner policy to conduct an adequate Pre-trip inspection, protect yourself and others by ensuring you are ready for the road.
Carry supplies: In the unfortunate event that you end up stuck, spun out, wrecked, or just sitting in a backup it is important to have a winter survival kit in your vehicle. Having essential supplies is critical. Some recommended items include: water, non-perishable foods, extra blankets, tow rope or chain, flashlight and batteries, extra clothing and footwear, shovel and first aid kit.
Stay alert, slow down and stay in control: These are three key elements of safe winter driving. Drive according to highway and weather conditions. Keep a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front of you to avoid situations where you may have to brake suddenly on a slippery surface. Remember, following too closely is one of the top CSA violations in the industry and is easily spotted by law enforcement. Do yourself a favor and slow down and back off in city traffic as well as on the highways. Practicing this simple step regardless of the road conditions will help you avoid issues with CSA and keep safely driving.
Ensure visibility: Clear snow and ice from all windows, lights and mirrors. After starting your vehicle, wait for the fog to clear from the interior windows so you will have good visibility all around.
Be prepared: Weather conditions can be unpredictable, placing extra demands on your vehicle and your driving skills. Ensure you are well prepared for winter roads and always adjust your driving speed to existing conditions. Pay attention to traffic signals and be prepared to stop in the event the light changes. This is another top CSA violation in the industry, disobeying traffic control device. Keep your record and your conscience clean and be prepared to stop. Allow for more time when you are traveling in inclement weather.
Talk to people: Make sure your CB radio is on and talk to the drivers around you. If you are a new driver, try to find a seasoned driver who isn’t talking a lot of big talk. We’re all a little nervous out there, especially when you think about what we’re really dealing with. You want to find a seasoned driver with a healthy respect for physics to help talk you through it.