21 Nov 12 DAYS OF WINTER DRIVING
On the first day of driving in the winter…remove snow or ice from your windshield, all windows, and mirrors. The professional driver will be able to see dangers in a 360-degree bubble around his vehicle.
On the second day of winter driving, ensure your antifreeze is full to protect your radiator from freezing.
On the third day of winter driving, make sure the defrosters are operating. Be aware that you can use the air conditioning (with the temperature set to warm) to remove the moisture from your vehicle’s windows.
On the fourth day of winter driving, check your wiper blades, replace any damaged blades. Fill your windshield washer with antifreeze liquid to prevent from freezing. The washer fluid and wiper blades will keep your window clean after being sprayed with tire spray containing salt, dirt, and water.
On the fifth day of winter driving, ensure your tires have enough tread depth to handle the accumulation of snow and slush on the road surface. The professional commercial driver will comply with DOT regulations and maintain 4/32-inch and 2/32-inch in the front and rear tires, respectively.
On the sixth day of winter driving, keep properly fitting chains in your vehicle, if you will be driving in heavy snow. The professional commercial driver will always have these, because chains give your vehicle the extra grip needed to get your vehicle to safety.
On the seventh day of winter driving, clean the vehicle’s headlights and taillights. The headlights give you maximum vision enabling you to react to situations before they become hazardous. The taillights allow the professional driver to communicate to the vehicles behind them, ensuring they have enough time to react. The professional driver will brake early, allowing their vehicle to avoid sudden stops and giving the vehicles behind them plenty of time to react and slow down.
On the eighth day of winter driving, get a feel for the road surface. Start slowly and ease onto the gas and brake pedals.
On the ninth day of winter driving, keep a constant speed. Avoid hard braking and sudden turning or lane changes.
On the tenth day of winter driving, avoid skidding by using the transmission to help slow the vehicle’s wheels. A skidding wheel is traveling at a higher rate of speed than the other wheels, which causes the vehicle to whip in that direction.
On the eleventh day of winter driving, know that higher temperatures mean higher risk of danger. Snow melting onto a colder road surface will freeze, and form black ice. The professional driver will be aware of increasing temperatures or bright sunny days, and the dangers of melting snow.
On the twelfth day of winter driving, maintain control. No cruise control on snowy or ice-covered roads. The professional driver will adjust their speed with the ever-changing road conditions.