Safety Tips for Truck Driving in Rainy Weather
Commercial truck drivers in British Columbia will frequently encounter wet weather. This means that we have to know how to stay safe on slick roads with heavy loads and large rigs. As soon as the first drops hit your windshield, you need to understand the dangers of rainy weather and follow the best driving practices.
Hydroplaning refers to your tires losing contact with the road surface because they are gliding on a film of water. Without traction against the road surface, you could lose control of the truck.
Slowing down is your best strategy to keep tires touching the road. You might have to reduce your speed quite a bit. Even at 56 kph with brand new tires, you could hydroplane. Don't brake hard, however, because that could trigger hydroplaning as well.
Be Ready for Problems
Even if you're taking precautions, other motorists could make mistakes. In wet weather, you need more space than usual between your truck and the vehicle in front of you. The extra room will give you more time to react to unexpected traffic events. When rain reduces visibility and makes the road slick, you should also exercise greater caution when approaching intersections, navigating curves, or changing lanes.
As a truck driver, you need to take into account your load's weight and possible tendency to shift. A heavy or shifting load could make your truck prone to rolling over in a curve. If you've got a tricky load, then slow down for curves more than usual.
Stay Calm in a Skid
Mother Nature can get the upper hand with even the most experienced truck driver. If your rig does start skidding, you must fight your sense of panic. Do not slam on the brakes. You need to keep steering in your intended direction and strive to regain control.
A truck in good condition and maintained to proper standards will have a greater capacity to perform well when road conditions are bad. Maintenance includes you as well. A cup of coffee or a nutritious meal could help you stay alert. Don't neglect yourself because you, other people, and your cargo depend on your driving abilities when the rain pours.
Commercial truck drivers have demanding jobs, and we need clothing and accessories that stand up to hard work but are comfortable while sitting all day behind the wheel. In the fall, we also have to be ready for changing weather conditions. A morning that starts out frosty could end up hot and sunny. Dressing in layers with a T-shirt covered by a button-down shirt or hoodie will give you the ability to adjust clothing and stay comfortable in erratic weather.
According to a recent report, the transportation industry is facing a crisis: a severe driver shortage. Most American industry experts were estimating a shortage of 80,000 drivers by 2020, but that number has been updated to 200,000. In Canada, the shortage is expected to reach 48,000 by 2024.