Professional Driver's Handbook

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Winter driving

Driving collisions increase at a chilling pace in winter. That's because many drivers don't understand the winter driving picture. They fail to take into consideration the hazardous conditions created by winter weather – tricky traction and poor visibility.

Years ago most drivers worked out their own winter driving problems. Those were the days of partially deflated tires, back off or removal of front brakes, wheel sanders, etc., but skidding, jackknifing and traffic tie-ups during the winter kept on happening.

Front brakes were often blamed because drivers learned that locked front wheels could not steer, regardless of how the steering wheel was turned. The idea of backing off or removing the brakes during the winter months was considered, but it didn't help; in fact, it reduced effective braking and lengthened stopping distances. Jackknifing and rear skids increased because of this practice.

Winter driving demands special defensive driving skills and adjustments, as well as just plain common sense.

Prepare early for winter

The trucking industry has often been criticized because its heavy vehicles have jackknifed or skidded, blocking traffic on crowded roads and highways. The first step in preventing these unnecessary occurrences, which cause adverse publicity as well as much property damage, is to make sure equipment is ready for that first unexpected freeze or storm.


Rev: 2017