In some regions of the United States, winter has already settled in with sharp drops in temperature, precipitation, and ice. While the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has predicted warmer-than-usual temperatures throughout most of the country, Arctic oscillation may yield more precipitation than usual, especially in the northern regions and along the coastal states.

At Express Freight Finance, we want to help truckers get a jump start on safety with winter driving tips.

1. Keep your truck stocked with supplies

While most drivers keep jumper cables and flares in their trucks, winter weather requires a different set of supplies. Truckers should stock up on things like:

  • Tire chains
  • A bag of salt or sand
  • Extra blankets
  • Ice scrapers
  • Flashlights
  • Gloves
  • A change of warm clothing
  • Non-perishable foods in case of overnight storms

2. Don’t follow the tail light of the vehicle ahead of you

Fog, heavy snow, sleet, and more distort light and obscure visibility. This means that if you are following the tail lights of the car ahead of you instead of the road, you are too close. Keep a safe distance from other vehicles.

3. Be extra careful on bridges and overpasses

Bridges and overpasses tend to freeze over more quickly than ground-level highways, gathering more black ice which is extremely hazardous.

4. Pay attention to yesterday’s, today’s, and tomorrows weather

Knowing the weather forecast on the day you are driving is extremely important and allows you to plot alternative routes in case of storms. But looking at the previous day’s weather will also give you alerts in case you are driving to an area that just experienced a lot of snow and ice the day before.

5. Anti-gel is your friend

Freezing temperatures can cause diesel fuel to gel, making it difficult for trucks to start and keep running. Stock up on anti-gel early, before the big rush in December and January.

6. Pre-trip checks and diagnostics

Before you head out this winter, make sure you do a thorough once-over on the vehicle. Check tire pressure, lights, batteries, blinkers, and everything you can think of to make sure your truck is in top condition to take on whatever the cold weather brings.

If your vehicle is in good condition, then the chances of you getting into an accident are greatly reduced.

Stay safe out there, from all of us at Express Freight Finance.