Summer is just around the corner. The warm weather and snowless roads are definitely a reason for truckers to rejoice. However, Summer carries with it its own weather hazards like thunderstorms and tornadoes. Passenger car drivers are told to stay off the road during these conditions, but what about truckers whose job requires driving hundreds of miles? Since truckers cannot easily push pause on the job, it’s important for them to practice proper trucker storm safety when driving! Read along as we outline some important trucker storm safety tips.
Trucker Storm Safety Tips
Severe Weather Terms
First things first, it’s crucial to make sure you know what these severe weather terms mean. One of the most important things is to understand the distinction between a “watch” and a “warning.” If there’s a watch for a thunderstorm, tornado, or flash flood, it means that the current weather conditions are likely to develop into severe weather. While the storm may not be on the radar just yet, people in the affected areas should take necessary precautions. On the other hand, a warning means that a storm has been spotted on the radar. People in the affected areas should take cover immediately.
Now that we’ve covered the difference between watches and warnings, let’s get into some safety tips. First, we’ll cover thunderstorm safety. As with any type of weather, the most important thing truckers can do is stay aware of weather conditions in the areas in which they’ll be trucking. Tune your radio to a local radio station, visit a weather website, or, if you’re able to, watch the weather on T.V. If you’re supposed to travel through an area that’s in a watch or warning state, try to find a route that avoids the storm. Alternatively, wait out the storm in a safe location. Your safety is your first priority!
Speaking of places to wait out a storm, stay away from overpasses! A common myth is that overpasses are a good place to wait out a storm, but they’re actually one of the worst. In a thunderstorm, overpasses can become wind tunnels and may create strong, powerful gusts. Stay clear!
Along with thunderstorms, tornados can sometimes follow. At home, we’re told to seek shelter in a low location, away from windows. On the road, what should truckers do? Sometimes, it’s not always possible for truckers to easily get out of their cabs. If you find yourself stuck on the road during a tornado watch or warning, there are a few ways to stay safe:
- Drive out of its path. Sometimes, it is possible to drive out of a tornado’s path. However, this could be seriously dangerous if the weather and traffic conditions aren’t in your favor. Make sure conditions are safe if you choose this option.
- Park, duck, and cover. There are varying opinions on whether or not staying in your cab during a tornado is safe. If you find yourself in a situation in which you can’t leave the cab, park, buckle up, and cover your head and neck with your arms.
- Make a run for it. If you’re able to leave your cab, park your truck and try to hide in a low place. Find a low ditch or ravine, stay away from any surrounding vehicles, and cover your body as best you can.
With both thunderstorms and tornados, it’s crucial to stay aware. Make sure you’re looking at the weather forecast regularly so you can plan your trip accordingly. Remember, safety should be your top priority! It’s never worth it to risk your life in order to make a delivery on time.
What are some ways that you stay safe while driving during a storm? Share some of your trucker storm safety tips with us below!
May 14, 2018
Honestly, I have nit expected to find such an informative post! Thanks for contributing it, guys! Your job is much appreciated!
July 7, 2021
Cone Distributing in Ocala Florida just forced all of its truck drivers to drive their trucks in a full blown Tornado Warning during tropical Storm Elsa at 0500 on Thursday July 7th, 2021. I am a family member of one of the truck drivers and had him call his boss to make sure they knew emergency management and the weather service had issued the warning. They said drive the truck or you will be fired.