Motorists typically dread winter driving for good reason. The traction and visibility are poor during snow storms, and black ice can take you by complete surprise. For the commercial or owner operator truck driver, winter driving is even worse. Handling a semi-truck is far more difficult in winter conditions than the average car. On top of this, the actions of some motorists increase the hazards faced by truck drivers. Stay safe while driving your rig this winter by watching for these four motorist habits that may cause an accident:
Failing to Use Their Turn Signal
Although required by law, turn signal use often isn’t enforced and many people aren’t inclined to comply. Failing to signal becomes so ingrained that it carries over to adverse driving conditions where giving other drivers an advanced notice of one’s intent is important.
Keep this in mind when passing motorists on a multi-lane road or at intersections. Don’t assume that others will signal their turns. Never rule out the possibility that motorists could make unexpected turns in front of you or even into you.
Cutting You Off
A very dangerous scenario is the motorist that suddenly pulls out in front of you from a side road as though the pavement were clear of snow. The motorist’s inability to “punch it” and rapidly accelerate out of your way because of the poor traction, combined with your diminished braking could mean a collision. Look for signs of this intent such as a car that’s rolling its wheels slightly or has aggressively positioned itself well into the road in front of you.
Failing to Turn on Lights in a Snow Storm
Some motorists fail to appreciate the daytime use of lights such as increasing their visibility in a snow storm. The truck driver’s high vantage point makes seeing the cars immediately in front more difficult in stormy weather. The snow covered top of a light colored car can be practically invisible against the snow covered road. Road surface movement immediately in front of you is a good indicator that what you’re looking at is empty road and not the top of a car.
Not Giving Semi Trucks Enough Space
Keep in mind that motorists will often do the same dangerous things regardless of the weather such as lingering in your blind spots, passing on the right side, and cutting back into your lane way too close to your front bumper for comfort.
Finally, make sure your Illinois commercial or owner operator truck insurance policy provides enough coverage this season. Don’t hesitate to contact us for any information or assistance with your insurance needs. We provide insurance in the states of Florida, Georgia, Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Iowa & Nebraska.