Truckipedia Blog Category - 5 Safe Driving Tips for Truckers This Holiday Season
The holiday season is officially here and our 12 Days of Giving at First Truck is well underway! Enter for a chance to win some incredible giveaways, holiday downloads, and fun activities for the whole family. Make sure to check back and stay tuned to our social media channels for a new way to take part every day until December 23rd.
This time of year is certainly busy and the roads see an increase in traffic with Christmas shoppers, people travelling to visit loved ones, utility vehicles, and delivery trucks. Combine that with extreme weather conditions and it’s no wonder there are statistically more stressed-out drivers and accidents during the holidays.
Truck drivers operate what are likely the largest vehicles on the road. This time of year (and really, all year round) requires truckers to remain vigilant and mindful of other drivers. Stay safe this holiday season with our top driving tips below.
1. Keep your truck well-maintained
As a heavy-duty truck service provider, we’ve seen significant truck problems that could have been avoided with preventative maintenance. Simple repairs and routine servicing such as oil changes, hose inspections, tire maintenance, brake checks, engine tune-ups, fuel system inspections, and more are designed to prevent costly problems and extensive downtime.
The last thing you want to deal with on the road is a mechanical problem. Keeping up with regular maintenance and routine pre-trip inspections are the first steps to staying safe on the road. If you have an emergency repair, find your local First Truck service centre for available services.
2. Be extra cautious in winter conditions
This goes without saying, but is a great reminder – be extra cautious on the road when the inevitable snowy and icy conditions arrive. Be sure to:
- Allow a safe space between vehicles in case of an emergency stop
- Approach bridges with caution as they tend to be more icy
- Take your time on sharp turns
- Give yourself time to brake at stop signs and red lights
- Avoid excessive lane changing
- Take your time and never speed
- Be aware of work zones
- Use winter chains when appropriate for additional grip and safety
3. Stay within your driver’s hours
In Canada, a truck driver cannot drive more than 13 hours a day and must have 10 hours off-duty in a day. It’s important to never go over your driver hours to make your delivery time. The potential consequences of driving while sleep deprived and fatigued is not worth it. This law exists to protect drivers and reduces the risk of accidents due to sleep deprivation. Be sure to get a good night’s rest, eat well, and have plenty of water to stay alert behind the wheel.
4. Keep your emergency kit well stocked
Just recently, a large snowstorm in Vancouver caused road closures, gridlock traffic, and drivers stranded on the road for up to 14 hours. Some drivers were without food and water, highlighting the importance of being prepared to deal with unexpected conditions and worst-case scenarios. Have a well-stocked emergency kit in your truck, including:
- Food that won’t spoil
- Extra water
- Blankets and sleeping bags
- An extra change of clothes and shoes
- Flashlights and batteries
- An extra phone charger
- First aid kit
- A copy of your personal documents
First Truck Centre locations will be able to support you with an emergency roadside kit to ensure you have the proper safety requirements for your long, or short hauls.
5. Remember, rushing is never worth the potential consequences
Last but certainly not least, take your time on the road and have extra patience. As an essential truck driver, you’re tasked with the responsibility of making your deliveries on time. However, rushing is never worth it. It’s better to arrive late than not at all because of a serious collision.
From all of us here at First Truck Centre, we wish you a happy and safe holiday season and we thank you for your continued support!