Winter Driving Tips for CDL Drivers to Avoid Tickets and Accidents
Commercial truck driving is a profession that entails the handling of great responsibility and also preparing for the safety of everyone on the roadways. Even small errors in judgment can lead to traffic violations, the loss of a commercial driver’s license, serious injuries, or even death. With the addition of poor road and weather conditions, the job becomes increasingly more perilous. Something as simple as breaking too hard can lead to a multiple-vehicle collision when ice is thrown into the mix. It is important to review safety tips for driving in hazardous winter weather conditions to protect the security of drivers as well as maintenance of a CDL.
Frequent Causes of Winter Related Accidents
There are several causations that--if not taken into consideration and properly prepared for--increase the likelihood of a violation or an accident. These elements include:
- Limited visibility,
- Reduced tire traction,
- Braking too hard,
- Improper speed for current conditions,
- Incorrect shifting on wintery roads,
- Poor curve negotiation,
- Failure to prepare vehicle properly,
- Unsuitable route planning, and
- Not adjusting to changing weather patterns.
Tips to Remember
Along with understanding the behaviors that increase the likelihood of an accident or a ticket in wintery conditions, there are a few tips to consider this winter.
- Complete a pre-trip inspection. In winter, checks should occur more frequently. Check tires, windshield wipers, fluids, brakes, and lights.
- Slow down and maintain a proper driving distance. Failure can result in a ticket. In winter stopping distances are longer and hydroplaning is more likely at higher speeds with the wintery conditions.
- Brake and accelerate slowly. The tires can lock up and lose traction resulting in a loss of control.
- Watch for black ice. It is found many times on bridges and elevated roadways, which freeze first and are not treated like the rest of the road.
- Safely maneuver skidding. Take your foot off the gas and shift into neutral. Steer the vehicle where you would like it to go. Before the rear wheels stop skidding, shift back into drive and gently press on the accelerator. Never brake aggressively.
Is Your CDL Jeopardized?
There is a common myth that police officers do not issue as many tickets in winter as other times of the year. Although optimistic, there is no evidence to support these claims. If a CDL driver is thought to be driving unsafe for the weather conditions, the officer is more likely to use the weather against the driver, no matter how much they do not want to get out of their warm vehicle. If you have been issued a citation or are otherwise in jeopardy of losing your license, it is important to protect your future by contacting an experienced attorney. If you are interested in discussing your situation with a Maywood, IL CDL defense attorney, contact Stringini & Garvey, P.C. today at 630-834-9595 to schedule your free initial consultation. We use our over 65 years of combined experienced to defend our clients in Addison, Glendale Heights, Lombard, Bloomingdale, and all surrounding Chicagoland area.