winter

Safety in the Snow

on Thursday, January 16, 2020 in Life on the Road


So far, in 2020, we have had a seemingly mild winter. That changed over the week, and it looks like intense weather conditions are here to stay. We thought this would be a good opportunity to offer a refresher course on safe winter driving practices.

Here at our headquarters in Des Moines, we are no strangers to navigating the cold, snow and ice. After snow last weekend brought melting and refreeze, the Midwest is bracing for another round of snow and below freezing temperatures. Wind will also be a factor. This kind of weather makes getting from place to place even more difficult, and the last thing any driver wants is to be involved in an accident.

Semi-trucks certainly have it hard when the weather takes a turn for the worst. To add to this, some motorists are unaware of how to drive properly around these trucks. In fact, according to the American Trucking Associations, nearly three quarters of accidents involving trucks are the fault of the other vehicle.

TMC Safety Manager, Josh Perry, outlines great advice on winter driving habits that will keep both truckers and motorists safe.

  • Slow down.
    • Motorists and truckers alike should exercise extreme caution on wet or snow and ice covered roads. Reduce your speed and use your brakes gently. It’s better to arrive late than never arrive at all.
  • Don’t cut in front.
    • Trucks take much longer to stop than the average vehicle. By cutting in front of trucks or other vehicles, you risk creating an emergency braking situation for those around you. This can quickly cause a serious accident, especially if weather conditions are already unfavorable. Give yourself and other drivers plenty of room to switch lanes.
  • Buckle up.
    • Slick roads can be unforgiving. In the event of an accident, wearing your seatbelt is the most important thing you can do to save your life.
  • Know your blind spots.
    • Large trucks have blind spots, or ‘No-Zones’ around the front, back and sides of the truck. Avoid spending too much time in these spots if possible. Remember, if you can’t see the driver in the truck’s mirror, the driver can’t see you!
  • Be attentive.
    • Distracted drivers are some of the most dangerous on the road, especially in winter. Put your phone down and avoid scrolling through radio stations. Expand your following distance and yield to brake lights and signals. Bottom line: keep your focus on the road. If you need to attend to another matter, safely pull into a parking lot or rest stop.

From the driver of a big rig to the average motorist, highway safety is everyone’s responsibility. Always share the road and be aware of the limitations of larger vehicles.

From all of your friends at TMC, be safe this winter season!