Pileups can happen for a variety of reasons. However, the risk is especially acute when the weather causes poor visibility such as a thick fog, or blinding snow, and when snow or ice make the roads slippery. As providers of commercial or owner operator truck insurance in Tennessee, we recommend using these tips for avoiding a pileup in bad weather:
- Slow down. Whether the visibility is poor or the road is slippery, you must slow down. Less speed shortens your stopping distances and reduces the consequences of a collision.
- Increase your following distance. Poor traction limits your ability to brake. Hard braking will only lock the wheels of your commercial or owner operator truck and induce skidding or jackknifing. Because braking is so weak, you will need more distance to come to a stop should you see a traffic accident ahead. In poor visibility conditions, motorists tend to closely follow each other which sets them up for a pileup accident. A good following distance plus a slow speed will keep you out of a pileup.
- Pay attention to tire spray. If there is a lot of spray, the road is wet either because the temperature is above freezing or because the road surface is treated. If the road looks wet but you see no tire spray, this probably means your commercial or owner operator truck is on black ice.
- Avoid over steering, hard braking, and hard acceleration. It’s important to stay calm but alert when the roads are slippery. Your commercial or owner operator truck doesn’t have the traction for quick steering movements, hard braking, or sudden acceleration. The road only allows for gradual steering and very gentle braking and acceleration. Last minute maneuvers are not possible, so you will have to remain focused on the road situation well ahead of you. Your driving must be controlled and deliberate.
- Keep your distance from other vehicles. Stay away from clusters of cars and trucks. Even if you have a good handle on the situation, some of the other vehicles on the road may not. You don’t know how capable the other drivers are in these conditions and any one of them may lose control.
- Take a different route. If extreme fog, a snow storm, or ice is in the weather forecast, seek an alternate route. If this causes a delay in your shipment, notify your customer of your weather related delay.
If you are looking for commercial or owner operator truck insurance in Tennessee that provides affordable insurance, contact us at J.E.B. Insurance Services, LLC.