Preparing for the weather conditions that may arise will result in a safer trip for you. You’ll also want to perform a pre-trip inspection before you leave. This is required regardless of weather conditions, but when the weather gets bad, you’ll want to be aware of how your truck is functioning. Faulty brakes or low tires could mean a disaster when the roads get slippery. Here are some precautions to operate efficiently
❗️ Slow down. Rainy roads mean slippery roads. The FMCSA suggests reducing your speed by ⅓ when roads get wet to avoid accidents.
❗️ Turn off Cruise Control. Wet roads are dangerous because the rainwater causes the oil and grease on the road to rise up to the top of the water. This creates a slippery, ice-like condition on the road, and causes Hydroplaning. Cruise control makes hydroplaning worse by trying to keep your vehicle going at a constant speed.
❗️ Always accelerate gradually! Your tires are likely to spin in place if you try to accelerate too quickly.
❗️ Give yourself plenty of space. Operating a semi means never following anyone too closely, but this is even more important while truck driving in rain. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety notes that loaded tractor-trailers take 20-40% farther than cars to stop, and when road conditions worsen, it can take even longer.
❗️ Turn your lights on. Many states require your lights to be on while it is raining, and for good reason. Illuminating your path with your lights helps maintain your visibility even in the rain.
❗️ Keep a safe distance from other vehicles. There should be plenty of space between you and the vehicle in front of you. In case there is a need to apply the brakes suddenly as you feel the tires are getting slipped, the truck will not run into the car.
❗️ Know your load. Trailers without cargo have little weight. This reduces their traction with the road and their resistance to high wind. A sudden gust can cause the trailer to rollover along with the tractor.
‼️ If you feel that it is not safe to drive you’d better stop at the truck stop or rest area and wait ‼️
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