Operating a commercial truck already requires skill and experience, but even more so when driving in winter conditions. If you’re a commercial truck driver traveling through or to New Jersey, below are a few tips for staying safe this winter season.
When there is snow and ice on the road surface, you will need to drive slower than the posted speed limit, which is intended as the safe speed for ideal road conditions.
Keep an Eye out for Black Ice
Black ice refers to the thin, transparent ice that can form when road surfaces are wet and temperatures hover around freezing. Black ice can even form or persist when the sun is out. Signs that you may be driving on black ice include the lack of water spray from tires and a buildup of ice on the corners of the truck cab.
Make Slow, Deliberate Driving Inputs
In poor road conditions, you should never turn, brake, or accelerate suddenly. Always steer, accelerate, and brake in a slow, controlled manner. To avoid your wheels locking or losing control in slippery conditions, you should lightly pump your brakes if your truck is equipped with a standard brake system, or slowly and firmly depress the brake pedal if you have an anti-lock brake system.
Inspect Your Rig Before Starting Your Shift
Before hitting the road, you should check your vehicle’s oil, tire pressure, and antifreeze and wiper fluid levels. It may also be a good idea to have a mechanic inspect your truck at the beginning of the winter season to make sure it’s prepared for harsh conditions. You should also always remember to remove ice and snow from the top of your vehicle before setting off.
Keep a Safe Distance between You and Other Vehicles
Remember that in slippery conditions, your truck will need even more distance to slow down and stop, so take that into account when maintaining a safe following distance behind other vehicles.
Take Care If Caravaning
Many truckers prefer caravaning, or team trucking, in bad weather conditions, so that if one truck has a problem, the driver has other truckers available to help them. However, if you do decide to caravan during bad winter weather, remember to keep safe distances between each truck in the caravan, otherwise you run the risk of a chain-reaction accident if one truck loses control.
Keep Your Lights and Reflectors Clean
If you drive through snow, ice, or sleet, you should always remember to clean your truck’s lights and reflectors whenever you stop, since they can easily be caked with snow, ice, and slush from the road.
Keep Both Hands on the Wheel at All Times
You can best maintain control of your vehicle in slippery road conditions by keeping both hands on the steering wheel at all times.
Take Care When Crossing Bridges and Overpasses
Bridges, overpasses, and other elevated road surfaces will freeze quicker due to being exposed to the cold air. In many cases, elevated road surfaces will not be salted or sanded. That makes these road surfaces the perfect conditions for black ice.
Review Your Insurance Coverages
The start of winter is as good a time as any to review your insurance policy to ensure you have the proper coverage for yourself (and your truck, if you own it).
Contact a Perth Amboy Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Truck Accident Case in New Jersey
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a truck accident in New Jersey? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at CourtLaw represent clients injured because of truck accidents in Roselle, New Brunswick, Perth Amboy, Newark and throughout New Jersey. Call (732) 442-5900 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 163 Market St., Perth Amboy, NJ 08861, as well as offices in New Brunswick, Roselle, East Orange, Jersey City, Elizabeth, Linden, Newark, Paterson, South Amboy, and Trenton.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.