Haulage Drivers: Tips for Driving in Adverse Weather Conditions

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The weather can play havoc with drivers in the UK throughout the year, not just in the winter. Drivers are often told not to make a journey unless it is absolutely necessary, but that is not a luxury that haulage drivers can afford when they are working on transport contracts.

If you work on transport contracts in the haulage industry, or you have to drive for a living in any way, here are some tips for dealing with the worst that Britain's weather can throw at you.

Cold Weather Driving

When the temperature plummets below zero, things can get tricky on the road. The two main hazards are snow and ice, so here are a few ways to deal with these.

€ Always drive even more slowly and carefully than normal.

€ Keep about double the normal distance between you and the vehicle in front to allow for a longer breaking distance.

€ Carry food, drink and a shovel in the vehicle in case you get stuck, and make sure your mobile phone is fully charged.

€ Brake slowly and gently, and don't slam your foot down on the pedal.

€ Drive with dipped headlights where visibility is reduced significantly.

€ Consider fitting your vehicle with snow tyres or snow socks to provide extra grip.

Dealing with Fog

Fog can occur when you least expect it, and even if you are driving in clear conditions you can suddenly find yourself surrounded. Always find out if there is fog around before you set off on your journey, and be alert to the possibility of reduced visibility. Here are some tips for driving in the fog.

€ Make sure that you drive slowly in fog. Visibility can be significantly reduced, so go as slowly as you have to in order to avoid colliding with any vehicles or objects that could appear.

€ Always have your fog light on in thick fog to help to alert other vehicles to your presence.

€ Drive with dipped headlights rather than on full beam to avoid the light shining back into your eyes.

€ Always check that your lights are working properly before setting off on your journey.

Coping with High Winds

High winds can cause problems for large vehicles, which could affect haulage drivers working on transport contracts in high-sided vehicles. If you are aware that winds could be high while you are on the road, here are some of the things to do.

€ Be very careful of other road users, especially cyclists and cars with caravans, as these could be more affected by high winds.

€ Try to avoid the most exposed roads where high wind could be more of a problem, even if this means increasing your journey time.

€ Keep an eye out for breaks in buildings or trees because the wind could gust out and disrupt your driving.

Stay Safe on the Road

When you are working on transport contracts, keep the above tips in mind if the weather should decide to play havoc with your day. Haulage drivers don't have the luxury of being able to avoid driving in bad weather conditions, so you have to ensure that you are extra safe in snow, fog and high winds.
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