Tips for Driving Your Truck Safely in the Rain

April 18, 2019 Published by Leave your thoughts

We’re midway through the spring, and for many parts of the United States, this is the wettest time of year in terms of rainfall. While you might not see a whole lot of rain around here in Arizona, if you’re going to be going on any long hauls you can certainly expect to experience some significant rains here and there, especially if you’re heading to the Great Plains or the Midwest.

Rain makes driving a little bit more challenging for everyone on the road, but this is especially true for drivers of large commercial trucks. As the driver of a semi, it’s critical that you understand how you can safely handle your vehicle if you have to go through rainstorms. With this in mind, here are some tips from a mobile mechanic in Flagstaff, AZ for how you can stay safe as a commercial truck driver when you’re heading through heavy rain:

  • Slow down: This is the best piece of advice we can give a truck driver when the rains come in. While it’s understandable that you have deadlines, it’s much more important to stay safe on the road, so slow down. At higher speeds you face the risk of hydroplaning, in which the tires rise up on a film of water and lose their traction. The best way of preventing hydroplaning is to reduce the speed of your vehicle. The more rain that’s on the roadway, the more you should reduce your speed. And in particularly heavy storms, it may be better to completely pull off the road altogether.
  • Increase distances: Another way to stay safe on the road and avoid hydroplaning is to leave more room between your truck and other vehicles on the road. You should never assume that other drivers know what they’re doing when bad weather conditions hit. Because your vehicle is much larger and heavier than others on the road, your stopping distances are much larger. It’s always a good idea to avoid tailgating anyway, but this is especially true when the weather gets bad and there’s the potential for your vehicle to lose traction. Slamming on the brakes only makes hydroplaning even more likely than it already is.
  • Know how to respond to skids: There are some circumstances in which you follow all the proper safety protocols while out on the road, but you still experience a skid anyway. Sometimes it’s impossible to avoid. It’s easier said than done, but don’t panic—panicking is the worst thing you can do in this scenario. Instead, keep steering in the direction you want the vehicle to go. Do not slam on your brakes—this will make it even harder to regain control. You can let off the gas, but keep the wheel pointed in the direction you intend for the vehicle to go.

For more information about how you can drive safely in the rain with your semi truck, contact the experts at Maclin Truck & Trailer today to speak with a mobile mechanic in Flagstaff, AZ.

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