Winter weather may not be as harsh in California as it is in other states, but it that doesn’t necessarily mean safer road conditions. Roads may be flooded or even ice over during the night, leading to heavy fog, rain, and even sudden gusts of high winds in the morning—and for truckers who are used to driving in colder states, these “low hazard” conditions may give them a false sense of security.
Preparation Can Help Truckers Avoid Christmastime Crashes in Los Angeles County
It is much easier to avoid an accident with preparation than in the moments before a crash. Truckers can do many things to keep both themselves and other drivers safe on the roads this holiday season, including:
- Pre-trip inspections. Truckers who are tempted to skip their vehicle checks are putting everyone at risk. Drivers should inspect their tires (both wear and inflation), brake lines, wiper blades, lights, and fluid levels at regular intervals. They should also ensure that they keep at least a half tank of gas in the tank at all times.
- Listen to the traffic. While blaring tunes can help keep a trucker awake during his long hours behind the wheel, it can also alienate the driver from his surroundings. Truckers who monitor the traffic conditions on citizen's band (CB) radio can get early warnings about accidents ahead, road closures, and hazardous conditions. Not only does this help a trucker prevent a crash due to sudden braking, it gives him the ability to reroute their rigs in order to make their deliveries on time.
- Monitor weather reports. If you know that a storm is moving through, you should be keeping a close eye on the conditions and be ready to leave the highway at a moment’s notice. You can also help other truckers behind you by telling them when the worst of the weather hit, and let them know if the road is slippery or flooded. If there is even a drizzle of rain, always reduce your speed.
- Refrain from using cruise control. Cruise control can compromise safety in the winter because it takes vital seconds of control away from the driver. Vehicles that are traveling with cruise control are less likely to stop in time to avoid a crash, and are also prone to sliding sideways, causing the trailer to “sweep” over adjacent lanes of traffic.
- Anticipate problems. Many truck drivers plan their routes with the shortest distance from point A to point B at a consistent speed. However, these trips rarely go off without a hitch—especially since the weather can be unpredictable in the winter months. While planning your route, allow for an extra two to three hours of delays not counting fuel or rest stops. This way, any issues that crop up will not cut into your arrival time, and will help keep your stress level low in an already hazardous situation.
If someone in your family was injured in a truck crash, it is vital that you find out as much as possible about the incident. Click the link on this page to order our free guide, 7 BIGGEST MISTAKES That Can Ruin Your California Injury Case, or call us today to find out how you can get justice after the loss of a loved one.