As much as winter transport can be frustrating, spring definitely brings unique challenges for transportation drivers. As the snow melts and the temperatures rise, the roads can become hazardous in ways that they were not during the winter months with the influx of water, mud and debris, as well as rain and fog. Here are the five most common hazards of springtime travel for Horizon Transport trailer transportation drivers
WET & SLIPPERY ROADS
“April showers bring May flowers” is absolutely true for the Michiana area. Springtime arrives with wind and rain, which can make the roads slippery and increase the risk of hydroplaning. As a Wave Express truck driver, it’s important to reduce your speed and increase your following distance while driving on slippery roads. You should also make sure that your tires are properly inflated and have good tread to ensure maximum traction during your pre-route check-up. Before heading out, make sure to check the weather forecast for your route with the National Weather Service.
Rain isn’t the only thing that arrives with warm weather – the return of animals traveling in search of love and food can cause some major issues on the road. As always, keep your eyes ahead of you scanning for danger, and become aware of where wildlife tends to congregate, such as deer and elk near wooded areas. Keep in mind that steady bright lights tend to ‘stupefy’ prey animals, so if one enters the roadway, flashing your lights and tapping on your horn in addition to slowing down should shock them into moving out of your way.
Winter weather + repeated abrasion can cause potholes to form on the roads, and these can be particularly dangerous for truck drivers. Potholes can severely damage tires and suspension systems, and they’ll cause a driver to lose control of their vehicle. Avoid distractions, keep your eyes on the road and scan for any road damage in time for you to avoid it – your truck and trailer will thank you!
As everyone knows who has traveled during spring break, springtime is often the start of road construction season, which will cause delays and detours for truck drivers. Construction zones can be dangerous because of the presence of workers and the changes to the road conditions, as well as unpredictable actions from the drivers around you. To avoid accidents in construction zones, slow down and follow the posted speed limits and signs. Be patient and cautious in these areas to avoid accidents and keep workers safe.
The longer days of springtime and lack of leaf cover can bring more sunlight to your windshield, but this can also lead to sun glare. Sun glare makes it difficult to see the road ahead and can increase the risk of accidents. To avoid sun glare, wear polarized sunglasses and use your sun visor as needed. We recommend variable polarized sunglasses, so that your eyes are protected while still allowing you to see your dashboard on a bright, sunny day. It’s also important to clean your windshield regularly both inside & out to reduce glare from smudges and dirt.
To stay safe on the road, it is important to take extra precautions and stay alert at all times. Always reduce your speed and increase your following distance when driving on wet roads, keep an eye out for potholes and road damage, slow down and follow the posted speed limits and signs in construction zones, watch for wildlife, and wear polarized sunglasses to reduce sun glare. These tips will make your experience as a Horizon Transport driver better and safer!