Weather can change quickly. Winter storms can bring large amounts of snow and ice, along with blowing snow, whiteout conditions and black ice. The best advice is to check the weather forecast and plan accordingly so you know what to expect and are prepared to drive. Being aware of weather conditions when traveling is crucial to ensuring a safe journey. Below are some steps you can take to be prepared to the quickly changing weather conditions as you travel to different regions of the U.S. and Canada.

Utilize your local national weather service and Check the Road Conditions Along Your Route

One way to help you plan ahead is the AccuWeather.com Road Trip Planner. Road Trip Planner allows you enter your start and end points and time you plan to leave to give you hourly weather forecasts along your route.

Another helpful website is run by the US DOT. This website will list by state the road conditions and closures. If you are unable to open websites, 511 in any state will provide you with up to date road conditions. While at truck stops, watch the local weather reports. At Roehl, we suggest you keep your Truck PC volume turned up to know if we send a message regarding weather.

Stay mobile

Having access to the most up to date weather warnings and advisory information keeps you aware of rapidly changing road conditions. You can use your radio or SIRIUS XM Radio channels 113, 138 or 247. You can also monitor the weather in your region on your smartphone with an AccuWeather app.

Have a winter weather emergency kit

In case you get stranded; keep a kit of emergency supplies in your truck. Your kit should include a flashlight, first aid kit, food, water, shovel, ice scraper, blankets.

Understand the Warnings

  • High Wind Warnings – sustained winds of 40 mph or greater or frequent gusts of 58 mph or greater.
  • Wind Chill Warnings – a wind chill warning is issued when wind chills of -20F or lower are expected. 
  • Winter Storm Warning – is issued when a winter storm is about to occur in the area, usually within 36 hours with a prediction of 4-7” or more of snow or 3” or more snow with ice accumulation.
  • Winter Storm Watch – is issued when there is the potential for significant and hazardous winter within 48 hours. This is usually 5 inches or more of snow/sleet within a 12 hour period or enough ice accumulation to cause damage to trees or power lines.
  • Winter Weather Advisory – will be issued when 2 to 4 inches of snow, alone or in combination with sleet and freezing rain, is expected to cause a significant inconvenience.
  • Freezing Rain Advisory – ice accumulations of less than 1/4 inch.
  • Ice Storm Warning – ¼ inch or more of ice accumulation. 

Summary

While you are on the road it is crucial that you pay attention to all lights and signs. Keep your radio on in case of an emergency broadcast. Heed all watches and warnings carefully. If you think it is unsafe to drive where you are or where you will be going, find a safe place to park and let your company know. Communication is important. At Roehl, our drivers have the final call on whether it is safe to drive. Use the Safe 7 and travel safe when travelling in winter weather.

 
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