The fall season presents many unique hazards that truck drivers should be on the lookout for.
Recognize the Hazards:
Environment: Fall brings slippery road conditions due to rain, fog, early frosts, and leaves on the roadway.
Equipment: Equipment deficiencies, such as tires with insufficient tread depth, brakes that are out of adjustment, and inoperable window defrosters or windshield wipers, can create serious driving hazards in adverse conditions.
Personal Behaviors: Shorter days can disrupt sleep patterns, causing fatigue, which can in turn cause fatigue-related distracted driving.
Know the Defense:Observe Proper Speed for Conditions: In adverse conditions, reduce speed 2-3 mph below the flow of traffic, not to exceed the posted speed limit.
React Properly to Hazards: Slow down on curves, ramps, turns, and overpasses. React to animals in the roadway by slowing down, staying in your lane, and honking the horn to startle the animal away.
Maintain Proper Following Distance: Keep a minimum of six seconds behind the vehicle in front.
Be Attentive to the Road Ahead: Watch for potential hazards, especially in school zones and animal crossings.
Avoid Distractions: Wear sunglasses and use the visor to reduce sun glare. Put mobile devices away when driving. Get plenty of rest, stay hydrated, and avoid heavy meals to reduce fatigue.
Vehicle Inspection: Drivers should conduct a thorough pre-trip inspection and have repairs made before leaving.