Summer thunder storms in the southeast can bring high winds and torrential rain. In such conditions, the commercial or owner operator truck has both advantages and disadvantages over automobiles. On the one hand, the big rig’s heavy weight gives it better traction on wet pavement. On the other hand, this heavy weight also increases its stopping distance. Because the tractor and trailer pivot at a hitch, jackknifing is an ever-present possibility. Although its larger size makes it more vulnerable to strong wind gusts, its heavy weight helps to resist the wind.
Regardless of how these big rig “pluses and minuses” work out, driving a semi truck in heavy rain demands caution and skill on the part of the driver. As providers of commercial or owner operator truck insurance in Georgia, we want to share these four safety tips:
Be Careful during the First Minutes of Rain
When there hasn’t been any rain in a while, dried up grease and oil can build up on the road surface. These deposits become very slippery during the first minutes of rain.
Heavy rain reduces visibility, and slowing down prevents you from driving “faster than you can see ahead.” This is important because not all motorists exercise good judgment in these situations, and may drive at a slow crawl. Should you suddenly spot such a vehicle in front of you, you may have to come to a stop.
Be Careful of Hydroplaning
Although your commercial or owner operator truck’s heavy weight is an advantage, it doesn’t make you immune to hydroplaning. Hitting a sufficiently deep puddle at a high speed can overwhelm your tires’ ability to channel away water, and cause hydroplaning. Look for light reflections or rain droplets on puddle surfaces. Avoid the leftmost and rightmost lanes, which tend to have the most puddles. Keep your tires properly pressurized, and replace worn out tires.
Exercise Caution When Carrying a Lightly Loaded Trailer
Trailers without cargo have little weight. This reduces their traction with the road and their resistance to high wind. A sudden gust can cause the trailer to rollover along with the tractor.
Does your rig have adequate insurance coverage? If you have any questions about commercial or owner operator truck insurance in Georgia, don’t hesitate to contact us.