Truck drivers are confronted with challenges every day as they travel the long American highways from coast to coast. Life on the road is dangerous, which is why drivers must be vigilant and prepared at all times.
Storms and heavy rainfall create harrowing conditions, especially for drivers who aren’t used to the rain. This is especially important when driving in the Southeast, where summer showers are a daily occurrence (not to mention hurricane season).
Here are 4 tips to keep in mind when the rain starts to fall.
Concentration is paramount when you’re trying to squint through a rain-splattered windshield. That’s why limiting distractions can help.
Put your phone on silent until the storm has passed, and stash it in a compartment where you won’t be tempted to check messages.
Make sure your radio volume is low, and pack snacks that are bite-size and easy to grab.
Rain-slicked roads increase the risk of hydroplaning or skidding. The best way to avoid this is by slowing down- even below the speed limit if needed.
Traveling at a slower speed gives you enough time to react in case of an emergency.
Another way to prevent skidding is by beginning to decelerate sooner than you normally would. That means if you see a big curve coming up or traffic slowing down, give yourself enough time to come to stop by gently pumping the brakes.
You do not want to be on top of the person in front of you during a rainstorm.
Remember, even if you’re a seasoned pro, there are many other drivers on the road who may not be comfortable operating a vehicle in heavy rain.
Give them room to react if needed, by allowing 7 seconds or more of follow time.
Before hitting the road, get prepared by inspecting your truck. You’ll want to look closely at the tread on your tires, check the air pressure, the brakes, and make sure your windshield wipers work properly.