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5 tips for truckers to stay safe in a hurricane

8/19/2020

5 tips for truckers to stay safe in a hurricane

Just as truckers in the Midwest and Southern U.S. are still dealing with the tail end of tornado season, many whose routes take them along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts face similar dangers in the middle of hurricane season. That period of heightened danger typically runs from June to November, and while the risk of such storms actually making landfall in the U.S. is low on either end of that spectrum, the danger tends to rise sharply in August and September in particular.

What can truckers do to protect themselves? The following tips should help keep them safe:

1) Remember how dangerous strong winds can be

First and foremost, it's important to keep in mind that it's not just hard rain and flooding that cause problems — and it's not just hurricanes that bring them, according to All Truck Jobs. Even a tropical storm brings winds of up to 73 miles per hour, and that's easily enough to bowl over a trailer, or knock it off course. As such, drivers need to be aware of wind speeds and adjust their driving habits or schedules accordingly.

2) Check weather warnings regularly

Along similar lines, it's a good idea for drivers to be prepared to alter their plans on short notice, All Truck Jobs noted. When a hurricane is predicted to make landfall, conditions can change quickly, and an open road can quickly become fraught with peril. Officials and experts update warnings regularly, so if you're in the potential path of a storm, you need to be aware of the latest information.

3) Plan carefully

Especially if you know a few days in advance that your route will take you into the potential storm path, it's always advisable to craft a strategy for how you will travel in that situation, according to Trucking Info. Not only is a good Plan A important, but so is a safe Plan B and even Plan C, so you always have a fallback position no matter what conditions arise.

4) Don't drive if you don't have to

While truckers are often on a tight deadline, there's no reason to put yourself or your load in needless danger, Trucking Info said. If you're choosing between getting to your destination on time or staying safe during a big storm, it shouldn't even be a decision. Always get off the road and get to safety when you have to — and err on the side of caution.

5) Be aware of potential flood risk

If you plan to be driving through a low-lying area, risk from hurricanes can increase exponentially because flooding may occur with lethal speed, according to Penske. With that in mind, having a route that allows you to avoid such areas whenever possible is always a good idea, and serves to highlight why careful planning is so critical at this time of year. Indeed, you can't assume that an area will be safe even if you've driven through it 100 times before. Conditions change all the time and you need to be prepared for any eventuality.

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