Truck drivers have to deal with all kinds of inclement weather eventually, and wet weather conditions are one of the most frequent. Many people are used to driving in the rain, and they don’t think too much of it, but professional truck drivers need to always be mindful of road hazards, including inclement weather, and take steps to ensure the safety of themselves as well as everyone else sharing the road with them.
When dealing with any kind of inclement weather, the most important safety tip every truck driver should always follow is slowing down. When inclement weather hits, it often means that the roads will be more difficult to traverse safely, and every driver should be driving more slowly and carefully to account for the higher risk.
In wet weather conditions, vehicles are at risk of hydroplaning—losing traction while driving across a body of water on the road. By slowing down, you offer yourself an easier time to respond to hydroplaning and maintain control of your vehicle. If you’re going too fast, it will be much more difficult to react quickly enough and maintain solid control of your truck.
Slowing down protects you, as well as any other drivers around you who could get caught up in a major accident if you lost control of your truck.
Increase Following Distance
Semi-trucks are already known for taking longer to stop than most other vehicles on the road, which is why they are expected to leave more space between themselves and anyone in front of them. During wet weather conditions, all truck drivers should increase the following distance to ensure that they still have enough time to stop, even if they start to hydroplane or experience a loss of traction.Increasing the following distance is meant to give truck drivers an opportunity to come to a full stop without the risk of hitting anyone in front of them.
Avoid Cruise Control
Cruise control is an amazing bit of technology that makes long drives a lot easier, but it should be strictly avoided during wet weather conditions. When your semi-truck is in cruise control, you might not notice when the truck begins to hydroplane. This is dangerous because you don’t get the necessary information to understand that your truck has lost traction, and you are at risk of losing control if you’re not careful. Knowing when you’re hitting large puddles and starting to hydroplane allows you the opportunity to react immediately and practice safe driving habits as you go through these dangerous areas.
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