Professional truck driving comes with many hazards on the road. Whether you’re just getting behind the wheel or you have been an experienced CDL trucker for years, find out how to avoid driving in bad weather with Duncan’s dedicated Class A driving positions. Review how many poor weather-related hazards are non-existent in Phoenix and the I-10 corridor before checking out great tips for safe driving by Duncan and Son Lines.
What are the Common Types of Adverse Weather to Drive In?
Fairweather driving is a great chance to get to know your rig and clock in some long days on the road but there are also many adverse weather conditions that make it much more difficult to continue to drive safely. Find out how snow, rain, wind, and fog can all affect your truck and your driving performance.
From a light sprinkle to banks measured in feet, snow can pose a serious risk to truck drivers. Snow can cover the road and fill the air causing reduced visibility along with reducing the traction of your semi-truck. In some instances, roads can be completely closed until snow-plow trucks can clear the way.
Chains are often required when driving through certain states during winter months and you should always keep warm clothing in your emergency kit just in case you encounter a situation that requires you to stop for a long duration.
As a company based in the Southwest, our CDL drivers at Duncan Trucking rarely encounter the harsh conditions that come with any amount of snowfall. With our Class A dedicated routes between Arizona and California, via the I-10 corridor, snowfall is not an issue that our drivers have to be concerned with.
You may not think a little rain can do much to affect your rig, but even 18-wheelers need to be cautious even around a little precipitation. Rain reduces visibility, particularly at night. If the temperature drops to low as it rains in the fall or winter, a typical rainstorm can quickly turn into freezing rain like experience during February 2021 in Texas. This coats the road in a sheet of ice, increasing the risk of jackknifing, rear ends and other dangers.
Duncan and Sons maintains regular routes between Arizona and California, where rain conditions are largely predictable by season and daily forecasts. While these conditions can sometimes require serious caution, they are commonly brief, lasting only hours while stationary, or moments while in route.
Severe wind can blow a semi completely over on its side. Don’t underestimate strong winds, particularly when going over mountain passes or traveling across western states. Wyoming, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota are all particularly known for high winds. Wind conditions in the arid Southwest route corridors, however, can also require cautious driving or maybe even stopping for periods of time. As with rain conditions, this is often forecasted with seasonal weather, and the in-depth training provided by Duncan and Sons will have you prepared to make the right decision for any wind conditions.
Driving Tips for Truckers
Don’t let a little bad weather cause you to damage your truck or injure someone. Cruise the I-10 corridor confidently with these tips for your daily drive. Practice these pre-driving and driving steps to reduce the risk of a serious accident.
Inspect Your Truck
You need to know that your truck is prepared to handle any weather conditions. Adverse weather can cause visibility issues, poor traction, and even prevent you from continuing your journey. Prepare for these conditions by traveling with a fully stocked emergency kit including clothing, food and other necessities you might need to wait out a storm for a couple days.
Work With Other Drivers
You may be going against the clock, but you aren’t competing against other drivers. Work together and avoid passing drivers in risky areas. Communicate with fellow drivers, particularly if you’re attempting to pass anyone in poor weather. Failure to communicate could result in a collision or loss of traction.
Drive at a Safe Speed
One of the most important driving tips for any weather condition is to drive at a safe speed. Responsible speeds can vary depending on the severity of bad weather. For clear, sunny days, this means driving within the speed limit. During a thunderstorm, snowstorm, or foggy morning, it may mean driving at slower speeds.
Increase Follow Distance
Your air brakes may still operate at the same speed in bad weather, but your reaction time and stopping time can be affected. Stopping on icy roads requires significantly longer distances than stopping on a dry road, and fog can reduce the distance you can safely see. Extend your following distance to give other drivers plenty of space. Make sure a sudden stop doesn’t end up in a collision.
Stay Safe Out There With Duncan and Son Lines
The American Southwest is known for ideal year-round weather conditions, which is why this region has been a hub for growth for the past several decades, with no signs of slowing. From adverse weather driving tips to state-of-the-art trucking technology, find out how Duncan and Son Lines helps you stay safe as you drive. Apply now to work with a leader in trucking.
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