It’s the most wonderful time of year, as the song goes, with festive holidays and sparkling snow. But winter also brings concerns that must not be ignored in order to stay safe and healthy. Truck drivers know that the beauty of the season can also bring dangerous driving conditions. Cold weather can cause issues with our vehicles, the roadways, and our bodies. Be prepared with winter safety tips for truck drivers and their trucks.
Winter Tune-Up for Your Body
You’ve likely heard the saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Winter weather brings increased likelihood of illnesses like the common cold, the flu, and pneumonia, as well as more broken bones due to falls on slippery surfaces. But the good news is you can help avoid all of these with a bit of prevention, self-care, and other winter safety tips for truck drivers.
When you’re healthy, you inspire others, like a chain reaction of positivity. Here are more than 17 ways all of us can be healthier this winter.
5 Easy Ways to Eat Healthy
One of the easiest ways to start is to eat a balanced diet to strengthen our immune systems and ward off illnesses. Eating lots of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and complex carbohydrates help keep our body running in top form. These five winter-friendly foods are recommended to bolster our immune system and keep us healthy:
- Citrus Fruits – Oranges, grapefruits, tangerines, and other citrus fruits contain a lot of vitamin C, which is great for warding off winter bugs. Plus, citrus is in season during winter, making it more affordable than usual and readily available.
- Dark Leafy Greens – Kale, collard greens, escarole, and chard offer a wealth of vitamins A, K, and C, as well as folic acid. They’re also in season during winter, so they’re easy to find and incorporate into your winter meals.
- Winter Squashes – Winter squashes like acorn, butternut, and spaghetti squash are wonderful for providing vitamins A, B6, C, and K, plus folate and potassium. Their rich taste and huge winter variety to choose from make them tasty additions to your hearty cold-weather meals.
- Oatmeal – Oatmeal is high in nutrients, particularly zinc, which is great for improving immune function. Oatmeal is a warm, stick-to-your-ribs breakfast ideal for cold winter mornings, but you can also enjoy it in cookie or pie form for a little treat.
- Berries – Berries such as strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries are easily accessible sources of many nutrients. Though they are in season during warmer months, frozen berries are easy to find in the winter in your grocery store’s freezer section. They are great right out of the freezer and can be added to many recipes as well as smoothies, oatmeal, and yogurt.
Don’t Forget to Drink Water
Most health authorities recommend around two liters of water a day for average adults to stay properly hydrated and keep the body running like your own well-oiled engine. Water helps the body regulate temperature, bolsters your immune system, and keeps cells and tissues operating properly. Drinking water can help you feel fuller, too, which can help you avoid winter weight gain, excessive snacking, and bad food choices.
Throughout the snowy season, it is tempting to stay indoors instead of being active outdoors. But being toasty warm in heated environments can dry out your skin. Drinking a little extra water can help prevent that.
Stay Strong with Exercise
Even though the cold can be very discouraging, it is important that we still get outside and go for that run/walk/hike or head to the gym for a workout. Whether you do yoga at home or have a complex workout with a professional trainer, it is important that we all exercise at least three times a week throughout the winter. It keeps our muscles and body strong, helps ward off illness, and keeps our metabolism burning calories efficiently. It also helps ward off depression and seasonal sadness disorders.
Keep Vehicles Running Safely, Too
As cold weather approaches and winter storms are forecast, expert drivers follow these winter safety tips for truck drivers:
- Vehicle Upkeep: During winter, trucks must be kept running in top form. Keep fluids checked and filled. Make sure that regular maintenance is performed on time. Check to be sure that winter weather gear is on board such as jumper cables, road flares, first aid kits, chains, and safety cones. Make sure that each of these are in good working condition.
- Inspect Lights, Tires, Wiring, Brakes: Make sure all wiring is in good shape with no frays or worn places. Ensure all lights are working and no light bulbs need to be replaced. Have brakes and windshield wipers checked to be sure they don’t need to be replaced. Check all tires for proper air pressure and have a good spare ready. Be sure that all lights, tires, wiring, etc. are in proper working order on the tractor trailer as well. Get more winter safe driving tips.
- Review Safety Plans: As chemical tanker truck drivers, it is so important to know the safety plan inside and out in case of an accident. Be sure that you are able to implement the plan automatically if necessary.
- Monitor Weather on Trucking Routes: Be prepared by checking the weather at starting and ending points of the driving route as well as points in between. Continue to monitor weather for changes that occur so that bad weather does not present a surprise.
- Be Considerate: It is always a good idea to just take a moment to consider the importance of the job and contact your manager if necessary. Be sure that you are using caution during winter, especially on overpasses or bridges, giving yourself extra distance between other vehicles, avoiding unnecessary hard braking, reducing speed when necessary, and pulling off if roads become unsafe.
5 More Winter Safety Tips for Truck Drivers
- Be prepared for a breakdown, accident, or traffic delay by keeping extra warm clothes in your truck or car, including socks and waterproof shoes; winter coat, hat, scarf, and gloves; a blanket; bottled water and protein-rich snacks like nuts or jerky; safety flares; and a poncho or raincoat. Add pet food and water if you travel with a furry friend.
- Don’t let your fuel tank get below half full whenever possible.
- Keep your cellphone charged and location tracking on in case of emergency.
- Have a printed map on hand in case GPS systems are down.
- Even if you have a roadside assistance membership available, rescues in severe winter weather can be delayed or unavailable. A standalone car battery jumper and the tools and ability to change your own flat tires are wise to have on hand.
Drive for Highway Transport
The winter season can be tricky and even dangerous for tanker truck drivers. However, if we keep our mind, body, and vehicle ready with these winter safety tips for truck drivers, we can all enjoy a happy, safe winter season on the road.
Interested in working for a company that keeps your health in mind? Concerned about passing your Department of Transportation physical? We can help you with that. Discover more when you check out Highway Transport tanker truck driver opportunities, or simply call toll-free 1-800-800-5856.
Fun Facts About Highway Transport Drivers
Highway Transport drivers (and all employees) receive FREE health coaching via the health coaches at Rolling Strong.
This is Highway Transport’s promise to deliver to its partners: not just chemical products but services and solutions; not just safely but on time; not just a transaction but a fulfillment of our word. Highway Transport drivers are held in very high regard, whether it is keeping a watchful eye out for signs of human trafficking or helping deliver chemical products safely to customers. Banners are posted at all service centers welcoming drivers home and wishing them safe travels when they head out on the road.