How Truckers Should Prepare For The Fall Season
As summer nears its end, truck drivers across the country will be making important adjustments to their big rigs and driving habits. To stay safe during the fall season, drivers should understand how the following hazards might affect road conditions and their safety.
1. Sun glare
Contrary to what you might think, the sun glare is worse during the fall season because it is closer to the horizon. The lower angle of the sunlight makes it difficult for drivers to see the road ahead, particularly when the sun is setting. The sun hits drivers’ windshields when it’s setting in front of them, but will bounce off the rearview mirror and create a glare when it’s setting behind them.
Dirty windshields exacerbate this problem, making it difficult to see at all. Drivers should keep their windshields clean every day and wear polarized sunglasses to protect their eyes and make it easier to see.
2. Fallen leaves
Leaf-covered roads impact tire traction. Dry leaves reduce tire traction, while wet leaves can cause tires to skid. Drivers should reduce their speed on leaf-covered roads, especially when making turns. Leaves can also hide potholes, bumps, and other obstructions in the road. Avoid parking next to piles of leaves, as they are a fire hazard next to a vehicle’s exhaust system.
3. Animals on the road
Elk, moose, and deer mate during the fall season, which means they’re more active and likely to cross the road more often, especially at dawn and dusk. Drivers should drive slowly during these times and use headlights when driving through regions with large deer populations.
4. Fall fog
The three types of fog are precipitation fog, freezing fog, and advection fog. Each type of fog occurs in unique weather conditions and makes it difficult for drivers to see the road ahead. Drivers should keep their headlights on but avoid turning on high beams. It’s also important to avoid making lane changes to reduce the risk of an accident.
5. Changing weather conditions
The weather can change fairly quickly in the fall season. Sunny mornings could be followed by afternoon rain and fog, especially as drivers travel across the country. Drivers should maintain their truck to reduce the risk of a mechanical failure or accident.