3 Tips For Safely Driving Your Truck In The Rain

Posted on: 17 August 2016

While any automobile accident can be deadly if your vehicle slams into another vehicle, person, or piece of property the wrong way, accidents can be even more damaging and deadly when they involve a truck. Add heavy rainfall and a commercial truck to the picture, and you are the driving equivalent of someone running with scissors. If possible, pull your truck over and wait until it stops raining. If pulling over isn't an option, here are some tips to keep you and your truck safe when driving in the rain.

1. Avoid Hydroplaning At All Costs

Hydroplaning occurs when the tires on your truck come into contact with a wet surface and cause the tires to lose traction. This, in turn, prevents your truck from being able to react properly to your controls. A commercial truck can weigh anywhere from 34,000 pounds to 80,000 pounds depending on what it is hauling. As you can imagine, a hydroplaning 80,000 pound truck can be impossible to control. As the rain starts to fall, all of the oils, gases, and fuels are brought up to the surface of the road you are driving your truck on. This is why roads that are just a little wet because rain has just started to fall can be just as dangerous as ones that are soaked.

2. Remain Visible to all Drivers

As the rain starts to fall, it can become harder and harder to see the other drivers on the road. Despite the fact that driving a truck means you could be in one of the larger vehicles currently on the road, the rain can still make it hard to see you. Turn your headlights and tail lights on when it starts raining to maximize the visibility of your truck. This will make it easier for you to see what is in front of you, but it also makes it easier for other drivers to see your truck. It is ideal to use headlights when visibility is less than 500 feet.

3 Stay Alert and Watch Your Distance

It is advisable to retain a distance of three seconds behind the vehicle in front of you when the pavement is dry. When it rains, it is advisable to add a few more seconds to your follow time to ensure you have enough time to brake and come to a complete stop without hitting the vehicle in front of you. Fortunately, determining your follow time is easy. Just pick a marker, building, or road sign the vehicle in front of you has passed. How long it takes you to pass that marker is how long your follow time is.

Pulling over and not driving until the road has had time to dry is always the safest option. However, pulling over and waiting is not always a realistic option. Fortunately, these three tips should make it easier for you to drive your truck in the rain.

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