Bad weather affects all roads. Adjust your driving habits to stay safe.
Sleet, snow, and ice are a part of winter driving in the Midwest. Knowing the road conditions and adjusting your driving habits are essential to safe winter weather driving. Remember, staying safe requires more than good driving skills. Preparation is needed. Make sure your work site vehicles contain an emergency kit and a full tank of gas. A little foresight will go a long way in foul weather conditions.
Preventing accidents can be simple
Many road accidents can be prevented using foresight. Here are a few common ones:
Not being properly rested. Winter driving is strenuous. Drivers need proper rest before every trip; fresh air can help keep drivers alert as they drive.
Not braking on top of blind hills. If you brake on the top of the hill, you can stop if the road isn’t clear ahead. Otherwise, the loss of traction and gravity will work against you.
Skidding from last-second stops and turns on slippery pavement. Avoid sudden maneuvers.
Driving through trouble spots. If other drivers have clearly had difficulty with road conditions, you may too.
Frozen brake lines in air brake vehicles. If your vehicle is not equipped with an automatic air dryer, you may have to manually drain air tanks every day.
Questions to ask yourself about driving in foul weather
Do you reduce your speed on slippery roads?
Do you allow more clearance between yourself and other vehicles or fixed objects in parking lots?
Have you checked your lighting system? Nearly 80% of all light bulb failures are due to environmental reasons. Inspect and clean headlights more frequently in the winter.
Are you experienced and comfortable driving through wintry road conditions?
Do you recognize and stop when conditions become too hazardous to proceed?
Do you carry a cell phone and other emergency gear (flashlights, blankets, food, etc.)?
There are occasions when conditions become too hazardous to proceed. Good drivers pull off the road at the first safe place and notify others of the delay.