Safe Winter Driving Practices for Truckers

Posted on January 31, 2022 by D&D Sexton

semi truck winter driving conditions
Photo by D&D Owner Operator Earl Sherwood

Safety is a Core Value at D&D

Those of us behind the scenes at D&D Sexton Inc. have always taken great pride in our award-winning safety record. Now more than ever, the country needs truckers on the road, delivering goods not just efficiently, but also safely. Our drivers share the road with your families and friends and we do everything we can to make safety a top priority when hiring new drivers and sending them out on roads across the country.

Now is an excellent time to talk about winter truck driving safety with winter in full swing. This blog will cover some important aspects of road safety in the wintertime. Hopefully, this will be a helpful refresher for experienced drivers and help you newer truckers out there avoid some dicey situations.

Avoid Dense Traffic

One of the most important things in winter driving is to give yourself space. Traffic on highways tends to get bunched up. And that means when one vehicle loses traction, the whole group gets involved, leading to large and dangerous pile-ups. It’s much better to let the traffic move on ahead of you and keep your distance.

Slow Down

It is essential that you understand your truck and the load you are carrying. It’s very easy to drive faster than your truck’s traction can handle. Slow down to a safe level for you and your vehicle. Ignore those who are driving faster and let them go around. You won’t regret it. 

snow covered truck in winter
Photo by D&D local driver Shaun Oswald

Keep Your Brakes Warm

In cold weather, your rig’s brakes may freeze. We recommend that you gently apply your breaks during normal driving to keep them warm so you can stop effectively. It is also wise to slow way down in icy or snowy conditions and test your traction by gently applying brakes. But be sure you have plenty of space around you before doing this.

Keep Your Fuel Tank Full

Keeping your fuel tank full is useful because it makes your truck heavier and gives it more traction. Also, it will be beneficial to you if you do get snowed in, so you can keep warm without running out of fuel.

Carry Tire Chains

In some states and jurisdictions, it is the law for you to carry tire chains. For instance, in Colorado, you must carry tire chains on I-70 between September and May. But whether it is mandated or not, carrying chains in the winter and knowing how to use them is a good practice. Tire chains are helpful for providing additional traction in the snow, but they are not magic. You should still drive slowly to avoid over-running your traction.

Keep a Winter Emergency Kit in Your Truck

It is wise to keep winter emergency supplies in your truck. Things like a shovel, an emergency blanket, extra food, and gloves are all useful to have in emergency winter conditions. 

Get a CB Radio

One of the most useful things you can have in winter driving conditions is a CB radio. By using it, you can hear about the road conditions ahead from other truckers. If you don’t yet have a CB, now is a great time to get one.

Be Smart

No list of winter driving tips will keep you safe without common sense. Stay alert, don’t get distracted, and put your phone away. It is essential that you think clearly and don’t drive tired. At the end of the day, winter road safety is up to you.

Truck-in-winter-Earl-Sherwoodfeatured image