While winter is traditionally considered the most dangerous season for drivers, spring can also be challenging. Often, spring weather varies dramatically, even in a single local area. Plus, it can bring unique threats in some regions, all of which need to be on your radar.
Luckily, by embracing the right spring driving safety tips, you can stay safe no matter what the weather throws your way. With that in mind, here are some tips that can help you stay safe this year.
Watch Out for Wind
In many parts of the country, wind becomes a bigger issue in the spring. While empty trailers may be at the greatest risk of being pushed around by the wind, even with a full load, high winds can knock a trailer around, potentially in very dangerous ways.
Not only should you frequently check weather reports to look for wind warnings, but you should also be vigilant as you drive. Look at the movement of the trees and tune into how your vehicle feels as it moves down the road. Also, be particularly cautious in mountainous areas or any spot with dramatic curves or steep drop-offs. Always have a strategy in mind in case winds pickup and, when in doubt, take it slower than you might think is necessary, just to be safe.
Be Wary of Potholes
Potholes are always a pain, even under the best of circumstances. However, in the spring, they can be particularly tricky. Winter weather, especially in areas that experience freezes, can make potholes larger. The same goes for tire chains or studs, potentially making what was once a smooth road pitted.
Not only should you try to dodge potholes when possible, but you also shouldn’t trust the depth of any that have filled with water. The presence of water makes it impossible to gauge how bad a pothole really is, and that could spell trouble if you hit it head-on.
If you can’t avoid a pothole, try to take it slowly. That will reduce damage to your vehicle and the load and make it easier to stay in control.
Even though the days are getting longer and the temperatures are rising, that doesn’t mean freezes are over. Many areas can experience late freezes, springtime black ice, and even late snows, making the road more dangerous.
Make sure that you plan ahead for late freezes. Have the right equipment ready, including engine heaters, blankets, and more. Additionally, check the weather to learn more about the current and overnight temperatures and remember that shaded areas may stay frozen well after the sun rises.
While April showers may bring May flowers, spring rains also bring wet roads. Increased rain amounts make hydroplaning a more common issue. If a puddle is large enough, your tire may lose contact with the road, and that can spell disaster.
If you spot puddles, try to avoid them. If that isn’t possible, avoid accelerating or breaking once you touch the water. Keep an eye on how your truck feels and, if you suspect hydroplaning, try to avoid drastic movements. If you start to skid, go about correcting it methodically. A quick reaction could make the skid worse, so exercise caution as you make adjustments, ensuring you don’t overcorrect.
We are Looking to Hire More Safe Drivers Right Away!
All of the spring weather driving tips above can help keep truckers safe this year and beyond. If you’d like to learn more about our recent CDL opportunities, the team at PTS can help. Contact us today.