Trucking Safety Tips for the Hurricane Season

June 23 2021

The hurricane season is officially here. Hurricanes are some of the most destructive, dangerous, and devastating disasters known. The latest proof for this is the horrific tornado that hit western Chicago suburbs. It was an overnight tornado with winds over 135 mph.

But the hurricanes not only destroy homes and streets, but they also affect truck drivers:

  • they can damage shipments and equipment
  • wash out roads
  • create route changes or idle trucks
  • increase prices due to fuel costs rising
  • pause emergency supplies delivery

In this article, we will give you safety tips during the hurricane season.

Be one step ahead of the weather

You can be prepared for weather situations like storms or hurricanes. The National Weather Service website is issuing 3 kinds of weather alerts: 

Advisory– potential hazard but not life-threatening

A watch–  potential hurricane or a tropical storm that will occur within 48 hours

A warning– this is the most crucial alert. The storm will occur within 38 hours. 

Before you take a load that is passing by hurricane-sensitive areas, make sure you check the route and the weather. Another way to stay updated about the weather conditions is to tune into the local weather radio station.

If by any chance you happen to be surprised by the weather:

  • Pullover when it becomes too windy. The hurricane never strikes without warning. There is always heavy rain and strong winds before this. A beneficial safety tip for truck drivers is to pull over when it’s safe to stop. The strong winds can flip over even parked trailer, not to mention an empty trailer while driving. 

Your safety comes before your appointment

Remember- Slow and Safe is better than fast and Sorry. We all know the weather is unpredictable. Be patient, keep an eye on the weather, and be prepared to schedule delays and changes. Communicate those changes and delays to the customer and your dispatcher, so they can see what you see in this sensitive situation. 

What to Do During a Hurricane?

  • The best advice is to stay off the roads unless there is no other option.
  • Keep a safe distance between the others on the road and drive with caution.
  • Be extremely careful when crossing bridges, on curved roads, or while making turns. The vehicles’ height reduces traction.
  • Avoid flooded roads. There could be deep holes, debris, and power lines on the road beneath the water. If there is no other way, just drive very slowly. 
  • Find shelter. You are safer in a building rather than in your vehicle. 

Essentials for your truck during the hurricane season

  • Extra road flares
  • Battery-operated lanterns or flashlights
  • USB chargers for mobile devices
  • Extra energy bars/ non-perishable goods
  • Multiple changes of clothes
  • Extra batteries
  • Rubber boots and rain gear

Safety always comes first to Matrix, Inc. Please be careful, watch the forecast and prepare yourself in case you get surprised on the road.