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8 Useful Winter Driving Tips for Truck Drivers

Winters in Canada can be really frightening. Especially, if you are a truck driver, you would know how dangerous driving a vehicle is during the freezing weather. You have to be extra cautious and alert. Apart from this, you must also have a proper winter driving routine which will keep you safe throughout the season. Here are some tips to help you combat with the unforgiving weather conditions.

◆ Inspection of the vehicle:

This is a must before you leave for any trip. Checking the condition of your truck every now and then is a wise precautionary measure. It should involve:

  • Cleaning snow from your truck.
  • Checking the tires for wear and tear.
  • Inspecting wipers and lights of your vehicle.
  • Checking fuel levels and maintaining at least half full tank.

◆ Winter driving gear:

You must have a separate winter driving gear with the following items:

  • Winter tires, as they provide more control.
  • Appropriate warm clothes with an extra pair of gloves and a blanket.
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Durable food and water
  • A first aid kit with specific medication for you, if any
  • A bag of salt and brush to remove snow.
  • Jumper cables, mobile phone, and charger.

◆ Careful driving:

Never increase your speed while driving during the winters. “Slow, steady, and patience” should be your key. This way you will get enough time to react whenever required. Remember, no sudden stops or brakes.

Do not forget to check weather conditions to avoid any kind of surprises.

Ensure that you give yourself some extra traveling time since you will be driving at a lower speed.

◆ Keep some distance:

Keep some distance between you and the vehicle in front as well as the one beside you. This way you will be able to avoid collision and maneuver around carefully.

◆ Watch out for clear ice:

It is a very thin layer of frozen water and has a see-through quality, making it very difficult to spot. It makes the road slippery. It is often the cause of many accidents during the winters.

It is formed when the temperature is very low and at places where there is not much sunshine like road below overpasses, on bridges, etc.

◆ What should you do if your vehicle slips and swerves?

It is better to avoid skids at all cost. But if you find your vehicle skidding, follow these steps to recover:

  • Do not take your hands off the steering wheel.
  • Do not accelerate or apply the brake.
  • Hand-eye coordination is very important. Look for a safe spot for your truck.
  • If it is a rear wheel skid, follow the direction of the skid.
  • In case of a front wheel skid, straighten the steering wheel.

◆ Keep your emergency numbers handy:

  • Call 911 (being the nationwide emergency helpline number) or your local helpline number in case of an accident.
  • You can reach the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) by calling 1 888 310-1122 (toll-free in Ontario).

Use your judgment:

  • This is the most important tip for a truck driver. Always be aware and use your judgment to assess the situation.
  • Never panic! Be calm and deal with the condition on hand.
  • If you don’t feel up to driving, do not take your vehicle on road!
  • If you feel the weather is getting worse, never hesitate to stop your vehicle and take cover until it gets better.

Now that you are aware of all that is to be kept in mind while driving in winters in Canada, be sure to follow them and use your presence of mind.

For more information on Toronto Driving Lessons, call us at 416 222 4190. You can also get in touch with us via the Contact Us page.

You can also skim through our blog “Driving Safe in Canada”.