DRIVING IN WINTER
Make sure your vehicle is ready before driving
in winter weather. Make sure the cooling system
is full and there is enough anti-freeze in the
system to protect against freezing. This can be
checked with a special coolant tester.
Defrosting and Heating Equipment.
Make sure the defrosters work. They are needed
for safe driving. Make sure the heater is working
and that you know how to operate it.
Wipers and Washers.
Make sure the windshield wiper blades are in
good condition. Make sure the wiper blades press
against the window hard enough to wipe the windshield
clean. Otherwise they may not sweep off snow properly.
Make sure the windshield washer works and there
is washing fluid in the washer reservoir. If you
can’t see well enough while driving (for example,
if your wipers fail), stop safely and fix the
Make sure you have enough tread on your tires.
The drive tires must provide traction to push
the rig over wet pavement and through snow.
Exhaust system leaks are especially dangerous
when cab ventilation may be poor (windows rolled
up, etc.). Loose connections could permit poisonous
carbon monoxide to leak into your vehicle. Carbon
monoxide gas will cause you to be sleepy. In large
enough amounts it can kill you. Check the exhaust
system for loose parts and for sounds and signs
Driving Slippery Surfaces.
Drive slowly and smoothly on slippery roads.
If it is very slippery you shouldn’t drive at
Stop at the first safe place.
The following are some safety guidelines:
• Start gently and slowly. When first starting,
get the feel of the road. Don’t hurry.
• Adjust turning and braking to conditions. Make
turns as gentle as possible. Don’t brake any harder
• Adjust speed to conditions. Don’t pass slower
vehicles unless necessary. Go slow and watch far
enough ahead to keep a steady speed. Avoid having
to slow down and speed up. Take curves at slower
speeds and don’t brake while in curves. Be aware
that as the temperature rises to the point where
icebegins to melt, the road becomes even more
slippery. Slow down more.
• Adjust space to conditions. Don’t drive alongside
other vehicles. Keep a longer following distance.
When you see a traffic jam ahead, slow down or
stop to wait for it to clear.
Try hard to anticipate stops early and slow down
• Wet Brakes. When driving
in heavy rain or deep standing water, your brakes
will get wet. Water in the brakes can cause the
brakes to be weak, to apply unevenly, or to grab.
This can cause lack of braking power, wheel lockups,
pulling to one side or the other, and jackknife
if you pull a trailer. Avoid driving through deep
puddles or flowing water if possible.
If not, you should:
• Slow down
• Place transmission in
a low gear.
• Gently put on the brakes.
This presses linings against brake drums or discs
and keeps mud, silt, sand, and water from getting
in. • Increase engine RPM and cross the water
while keeping light pressure on the brakes.
• When out of the water,
maintain light pressure on the brakes for a short
distance to heat them up and dry them out.
• Make a test stop when
safe to do so. Check behind to make sure no one
is following, then apply the brakes to be sure
they work right.
If not, dry out further
as described above. (CAUTION: Do not apply too
much brake pressure and accelerator at the same
time or you can overheat brake drums and linings.)