With severe storms hitting the southern United States, which has claimed several lives, it’s important to keep in mind the safety risks truck drivers face. Every season and region has it’s own set of weather challenges. From severe winter storms to winter mountains to hurricanes and tornadoes we have to be smart about the safety challenges bad weather conditions brings.

Trip Planning and Weather Reports

It’s always good check the long-term forecasts along your route before you begin your trip. This will give you an idea if there’s an area you need to keep an eye on. The weather service can tell if there’s a chance of a hurricane hitting or a severe snow storm in advance – these things don’t exactly sneak up on them.

Check the weather reports every day. Severe rain, tornadoes, and flash floods often don’t give very much advance warnings. Always take tornado warning seriously as the storms surrounding them can overturn trucks and cause severe flooding. It’s amazing how quickly a storm you weren’t aware of, because you didn’t check the weather reports, can turn into a crisis situation.

Know When to Stop

You simply cannot will your way through severe weather. When it gets too bad you must stop. We can’t shut down at the first sign of bad weather. Sometimes it is better to drive through it. But when safety is compromised, just shut it down. Notify dispatch and the customer and keep everyone in the loop.

A large part of a truck drivers job is risk reduction. We turn a lot of miles and the more risks we take increases the possibility that something bad will happen. There’s a difference between a professional who will shut down because it’s the safe thing to do and a “Super Trucker” who pushes their luck because they think they are superior. The difference is one makes it to their destination safely while the other has an accident.