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Tips for Safe Driving in April Showers

While April showers may bring May flowers, the rainy month also bring a lot of weather-related accidents for unsuspecting drivers. In fact, 70% of weather-related crashes happen on wet pavement and 46% happen during rainfall. For a truck driver, driving in less-than-perfect conditions is inevitable, but there are some very important steps you can take to avoid a rain-related crash. Here are 5 tips for safe driving in the rain.

1. Check the weather before you hit the road.

It’s important to know what kind of weather you will be facing. Check a weather app on your phone before you start driving. Not only will this help you mentally prepare for what weather you will be driving in, it will also allow you to properly prepare your truck for rain. Before you set out, check your brakes, ensure your windshield wipers are working properly, and check your tire pressure. Be completely prepared for driving in a downpour will make all the difference in pursuing a smooth route.

2. Slow it down.

In wet and rainy conditions, it’s important to control your speed. Dropping your speed below the speed limit is essential when it’s raining cats and dogs outside, but it’s also important even if the road is simply wet from a past storm. In addition, remember to leave a good amount of space between your truck and the car in front of you in case you need to make a sudden stop. You don’t want to slam on the brakes and skid into the person in front of you.

3. Turn down the music.

Any type of noise—whether it’s your favorite song or an exciting podcast—can be a major distraction when it’s raining. This type of distraction can actually reduce your response time by several seconds, and in a wet weather situation, those seconds can make all the difference. Turn down any distracting sounds so that you can focus all your attention on driving safely.

4. Always keep your lights on while driving.

Driving without your headlights on in the rain is not only illegal in many places; it’s also extremely dangerous. You need that extra light to see in front of your truck and to warn other drivers of your approach. If you neglect to use your lights, it can badly frighten a fellow driver, and thus cause an accident.

5. Pull over if the weather is too extreme to safely drive.

Occasionally, you will find yourself in such a bad thunderstorm that you simply cannot safely drive. In cases such as this, it’s important to know your rights as a truck driver. The adverse driving conditions exception allows you to add up to two hours to your shift and driving time, extending a shift to a maximum of 16 hours and your driving time to a maximum of 13, to complete the run or to reach a place offering safety. This can be done only if your run could have been completed within HOS under normal conditions and you or your dispatcher had no prior knowledge of potential adverse driving conditions.

Driving in the rain can be nerve-wracking, but with proper preparedness, you are much less likely to get into a dangerous situation. Remember that no matter what sort of weather you’re in, you can simply enjoy the ride when you’re prepared for anything! If you’re looking for easy ways to limit your stress and keep your body running as well as your truck does, tune into Healthy Trucking of America’s podcast Shift Into Better Healthy by clicking here. Just remember to turn the volume down or press pause if the weather gets rough—after all, the knowledge we have for you will be waiting when the sun comes out.



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