Winter in St. Louis, MO is a challenging time for drivers. For some, it seems like the mere presence of snow is so otherworldly they can only stare in abject horror, creeping along at 10 MPH as the fluffy flakes fall. For others, flurries encourage them to hit the gas and make cool, spinning tracks in the slush. Yet, shockingly, both types seem to end up in the ditch when given an afternoon left to their own devices. For truck drivers, sharing the road with these challenged motorists is not only a hazard, but in fact one of a great many hazards dealt with on a daily basis. As the drivers at Bay & Bay transportation will tell you, safe winter driving in variable climates means knowing the tips and tricks for getting your cargo, and yourself, where you need to go in one piece.
Blizzards may not be a daily occurrence in St. Louis, MO, but that doesn't mean winter isn't a tricky time for safe driving. In fact, weather that frequently dips below and bobs above freezing can be slippery and misleading for drivers of all types, but particularly if you get a lot of driving done in the night and evening. When snow (or rain) falls the day before a temperature drop, an incredibly thin layer of ice can form on the roads. Hitting a single patch of this ice during a turn or lane change can cause your truck to veer or spin unexpectedly. You don't need to drop your speed to 10 MPH, but slow, steady driving and deliberate turns the day after a freeze can save you a lot of grief.
Another hallmark of a fluctuating winter is slush. Slush is less misleading than black ice, but it can certainly cause problems on the road, especially for smaller vehicles. A large transport truck may be able to plow through slush with ease, but smaller, compact cars can spin out or slide unexpectedly when encountering a particularly thick layer. In slushy areas, make sure you keep your eyes on the cars around you as well. But this isn't to say that slush isn't hazardous for truck drivers; anything that makes the road slick is something to keep an eye on.
And finally a lesser hazard, but still one that will probably rear it's blurry head this winter: fogging. Whether it's the weather or your windows, fogging can make any drive more difficult. If the fog is outside, keep your lights on, your eyes open, and your speed moderate until your field of vision is restored. If fog is forming on the inside of your windows, that just means it's warmer inside than it is outside. Lower the temperature of your cab or adjust your defroster. No matter what the road conditions are, safe driving always requires
Above all, if you ever feel as though conditions are dangerous, find somewhere safe to pull over and wait it out. Winter driving in St. Louis, MO can be perfect on one day and miserable the next. It's better to err on the side of caution instead of crossing your fingers every time you make a turn. If you're interested in finding out more safe winter driving tips, check out the Missouri Department of Transportation's page on . If you would like details on how to get involved in a truck driving career, contact Bay & Bay transportation or visit our website here!