December 19, 2022

Homeward Bound: A Trucker’s Guide to Getting Home Safe for the Holidays

December is halfway through, the holidays are upon us, and we’re all ready to spend some quality time with our friends and family while lounging in a warm house on a cozy couch. But before you can do that, you’ve got to make the trip back home. That means tons of holiday traffic as millions of people are also on the road hoping to see loved ones. Getting home safe is priority.

An increase in traffic, severe winter weather, and the fact that gets darker out earlier during winter months, are a few reasons that can lead to more accidents on the road this time of year. Around 17 percent of all vehicle accidents happen in the winter, resulting in 1,300 deaths and 117,000 injuries.

Winter is a dangerous time to drive, that’s why it’s important to practice these precautions on the road to make sure you, and everyone else on the road, gets home for the holidays safe and sound.

Don’t feel good? Don’t drive.

If there’s one thing we’ve all learned over the last few years, it’s to take illness seriously. Even if you just have a headache and a small fever, you’re not at your best. And if you’re sick, your ability to drive will be compromised to some extent. Similar to how it affects you if you drive fatigued.

Stay in the know about the snow.

Have a favorite weather app? Turn on your push notifications. You can also check The National Weather Service’s notifications and warnings on their website if you’re parked at a rest stop. Just be sure you have more than one way to stay in the loop about weather so you don’t drive into any unsafe severe weather surprises. You can also have a weather emergency kit with a weather radio in case your truck breaks down or your phone dies.

Pay extra close attention to the road, drive defensively.

First things first, if you can, avoid any unfamiliar roads or roads with large hills or heavily mountainous terrains. But if you can, be sure you follow the best trucking practices for maintaining traction on slippery hills and roads.

Be sure to avoid any potential distractions; if you’re in a heavy traffic area or are driving through intense winter weather, consider even turning off music or podcasts, at least until it gets a little less congested or until the weather passes.

Keep an emergency kit in your truck, better safe than sorry

Emergency kits for your semi-truck should include obvious items like a first aid kit, a flashlight and tools, but it should also include things like bottled water and an insulated sleeping bag. For an easy to follow list of items to include in your truck’s emergency kit check out our blog post on emergency kits for truckers.

Holiday driving can pose a lot of challenges, even for experienced drivers. Driving during the winter naturally puts all drivers at a higher risk of experiencing an accident. When you’re on your way home for the holidays, keep this winter safety information top of mind.