Wintertime is beautiful, but the accumulation of snow and other dangerous weather conditions can also make this otherwise-magical time dangerous (especially for drivers). If you’re driving in an environment where a lot of large commercial and residential trucks are on the roadways, the dangers of a wintertime road environment are exacerbated. To help you stay safe, here are five crucial truck accident prevention tips for wintertime driving that you should know about:
1. Avoid Driving in Dangerous Blindspots
Driving in other drivers’ blind spots is a guaranteed way to put both your and other drivers in mortal danger. Blind spots on commercial trucks, in particular, are incredibly large. If you travel in these blind zones, the truck driver cannot see your car. To prevent a crash involving a large truck, you should never drive in the path of a truck (especially in its blind spot). If you’re not confident about whether or not you’re in another vehicle’s blind spot, you should simply assume that you are, and provide other drivers the space they need to stay fully aware and alert of their surroundings. In the wintertime, this becomes especially important.
2. Know Who to Contact In Case of an Accident
Even if you’re doing your best to remain safe while behind the wheel in the wintertime, accidents can still happen. To ensure you stay safe post-accident, you need to know how to behave, and who to contact in the aftermath. Calling all legal and medical authorities at this time is highly recommended. Truck accident lawyers can help keep you safe from legal consequences if you find yourself in a truck-involved accident through no fault of your own. Additionally, you want to get away from the roadways as quickly as humanly possible post-accident, so that you do not put yourself in further danger, or increase the chance of further accidents occurring.
3. Drive Carefully and Slowly
Staying calm while driving over snow and ice may be challenging, but worrying might make it more likely that you overreact and make a dangerous driving error. Slowing down during wintertime conditions is crucial as well, as speed limits are created with the best driving circumstances in mind. With the amount of time and effort officials put into crafting safety-focused traffic laws, you owe it to them (and yourself), to follow them. You should slow down when driving on icy roads during the winter to prevent accidents, and if the road is bad enough, you should avoid getting behind the wheel entirely.
4. Keep Your Tires Properly Maintained
You can prevent a winter weather mishap by ensuring your tire traction is in a safe, effective state. Make sure your car has all-weather or winter tires to be extra careful. Having these types of tires can help reduce your insurance rates in some cases as well, so be sure to ask your insurance provider about this possibility. Additionally, make sure to check the tread on your tires and replace them if necessary. For added traction in icy conditions, snow chains may also be useful. Staying on top of your tire maintenance, and the winter maintenance for your car as a whole is key to keeping your local roads safe in the wintertime.
5. Give Trucks Extra Room
As a general guideline, you should leave extra space between your car and a huge truck when sharing the road with them. Doing so can help you prevent accidents more efficiently. If you get into an accident with a large truck, the possibility of significant injuries occurring is much higher, so this is a crucial tip to pay attention to. Even in excellent weather, large vehicles can’t stop as quickly as their smaller vehicle counterparts, so respecting their power is a must. Therefore, if a truck driver loses control of his vehicle and crashes, you want to give yourself plenty of time to stop as well.
Watch Out for Snow and Ice Spray
In addition to the five tips that we’ve mentioned above, you should pay special attention to any tire spray other vehicles on the road are producing. The roads are most likely wet if the tires generate a lot of sprays. A lack of spray, though, would suggest that there is black ice on the roads. Even when you are driving directly on top of black ice, it is incredibly difficult to actually see it. You can prepare yourself to slow down by keeping an eye on the spray coming from the cars in front of you, and ensuring that you get off the road ASAP if black ice is affecting everyone else on the road’s ability to drive safely.