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The holiday season marks the beginning of winter and travel for much of the country. Many companies have procedures for keeping hazmat drivers safe while on the road. Understanding those procedures, including driving on snow and braking distances, can help you avoid accidents and make it home safe to your family.

Driving on snow

The type of snow on the road plays a part in how you drive. Light powdery snow may blow off the road causing a few problems. If there is enough powder to cover the road, it can form a slick, smooth surface.

On the other hand, heavier, slushy snow can severely affect vehicle control. If the snow is packed tightly to the road’s surface, it can cause an ice hazard.

Tips for driving on the snow:

  1. Start out slowly and smoothly when you drive on a snowy road.
  2. If the wheel slips, take your foot off the accelerator and start the maneuver again.
  3. Steer and brake with care to minimize skids.
  4. In extremely severe conditions, put chains on the vehicle’s tires to improve traction.
  5. Slow down and increase following distance on roads and highways.
  6. Watch for spray thrown from other vehicles on the road.
  7. Always keep extra “no-freeze” windshield fluid on hand.
  8. Most importantly, don’t drive if you don’t feel comfortable!

Braking distance

You must pay special close attention to braking distance. Many accidents are caused each year because drivers don’t keep safe braking distances from other vehicles. Depending on temperature and road conditions, braking distance can increase four to ten times the average distance on a dry road.

Your supervisor

If you have questions or aren’t sure what guidelines to follow, contact your supervisor and ask for help. They can help you learn your company’s policy on driving in extreme weather conditions.