Spring Storm Safety Tips for Over the Road Truck Drivers
Spring has sprung! It’s time to welcome April showers and May flowers. Now is the time to be more cautious of heavy rains, thunderstorms and flooding. Thunderstorms are characterized by heavy rains, thunder, and lightning. Thunderstorms become severe if hail is one inch or more, a tornado becomes present, or if the winds go above 57.5mph. Thunderstorms are more common during the spring and summer seasons. There are approximately 100,000 thunderstorms in the US every year, and about 10% of those are severe thunderstorms.
Thunderstorms are more likely to occur in the afternoon if you are driving through the gulf coast, the southeastern states, and western states. If you are driving through the plains of the US, thunderstorms are more likely to occur in the late afternoon and night.
Here are 7 tips to keep you safe on the road this spring.
7 Safety Tips for Driving in Storms
- Plan ahead
We can’t see the future, but we can at least make our best guess. Before heading out on your route, especially for OTR truck drivers, you should look at the weather ahead. If it’s clear skies, great! If it looks like rain, remember these tips.
- Increase following distance
When driving through heavy rains or any dangerous weather conditions, leaving extra space between you and others on the road is your best safety cushion. Wet roads make it harder to come to a complete stop because of the decreased traction to the ground. If you brake abruptly, you could end up jack knifing.
However, remember that not everyone on the road is as cautious as you are. Be wary of other drivers skidding into you.
- Lean into the Skid
Yes, despite a semitruck’s enormous size, they can also skid. The number one rule for when this happens is to remain calm. Do not panic. First, slowly attempt to straighten your trailer by steering in the direction of the skid. Don’t overdo it. Second, do not hit the brakes. Take your foot off all of the pedals and let your truck naturally slow down.
- Avoid flooded areas
Your truck may seem indestructible, but semitrucks are just as likely to get stuck or swept away by flood waters. It is never safe to drive through flood waters. 12 inches of moving water can sweep away most cars. If you add another 12 inches, the water can sweep away SUVs and Trucks.
- Clean your lights
Visibility is a problem in almost any driving condition, except for when its sunny and 75. When it comes to dark skies and heavy rains, smaller cars, or cars stopped on the shoulder of the road are harder to see. Give your head lights a good cleaning so you can see others, and others can see you.
- Morning Fog
Getting a jump start on the day can sometimes start with dense fog, especially in early spring. For better visibility, use your low beams, wipers and defrosters to evaporate the moisture on the windshield.
- Pull Over
If visibility becomes zero, or you feel that the conditions are truly unsafe, find a suitable place to pull over. Continuing to drive not only puts your life in danger, but others also on the roadway.
Safety Bonus | OTR Jobs with Mid South Transport
At Mid South Transport, we are looking for safety-minded OTR truck drivers to join our team. An over-the-road truck driving career will give you a lifetime of job security for you and your family. We offer many benefits, which includes a safe driving bonus, a free $15,000 employee life insurance policy, and a 401k with company match.
Trucking Jobs in Memphis, Tennessee
Mid South Transport has multiple truck driving job openings for safe and reliable drivers in and near Memphis, Tennessee. We also offer OTR trucking jobs in the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, and Virginia.