Stay Safe on the Road: Emergency Preparedness Tips for Truck Drivers

A truck driving on an empty road with storm clouds in the sky overhead.

If you’ve been in the trucking industry long enough, you’ve probably seen your fair share of natural disasters, road closures, and other dangerous conditions. Odds are, what got you through everything was your critical preparedness and emergency tips that helped you adjust to unexpected situations. All drivers should know what to do during some of the more common emergencies on the road, as this information can be life-saving. Here’s how to stay ahead and ensure every drive is a safe one.

Always Stay Prepared

Preparation should always be first on your checklist. It’s always better to have something than to need it, and on every ride, you should have an emergency kit or a set of tools that can help you in a pinch. Additionally, pay close attention to road conditions or listen out for any emergency-related road closures you can avoid beforehand. Your carrier should alert you to much of the information and sources you need, but don’t forget to factor in your own safety needs as well.

Pay Attention to Weather Forecasts and Conditions When Driving Through Hurricanes

All truckers should know the weather of the locations they’re traveling through. This is especially true if you’re going through high-risk states during hurricane season. Depending on the storm’s size, truckers may find themselves in the path of a hurricane, meaning they’ll have to deal with road closures, evacuations, floods, and other dangerous weather conditions. Be prepared for high winds and gusts, and don’t drive through pools of water. If necessary, be willing to reschedule deliveries or pickups. Always prioritize your safety. 

Tornados Can Occur at Any Time, So Stay Alert!

Tornados are one of the scariest sights for anyone. They seemingly appear out of nowhere and pack heavy winds and destruction in a fast-moving and powerful force of nature. But there are many ways to stay aware of the possibility of a tornado. Listen for any tornado watches and warnings, and try to avoid those areas along your route. If you do find yourself in the path of a tornado, try to find a safe structure or, at the very least, hunker down in your truck and away from the windshield to avoid debris.

Coordinate With Others

During natural disasters or emergencies, coordination is key. Law enforcement might tell drivers to stay in place or alert them to unsafe conditions ahead. Heed their warnings — they’re not there to disrupt your day but to keep you safe. Rely on multiple sources of information as well. Trucking carriers should provide ample references for up-to-date weather information, road closures, and more. Additionally, coordinate with others on the road if you require emergency tools like snow chains, traction mats, or ice scrapers. 

Always Prioritize Safety

At the end of the day, be aware of the situation ahead of you. Specific warnings can only come out after a crisis has occurred. So if you’re not hearing a tornado warning but see a potential swirling or funnels in the air, be alert and avoid the area. Likewise, if you’re dealing with heavier winds, rain, or hail than reported in the weather forecast, don’t hesitate to pull over or delay your delivery. Emergencies are rapidly changing, and in order to ensure safety, you should do the same. 

A Solid Backbone of Support From American Driver Training Academy Can Set the Tone for Your Emergency Preparedness

You never really know how you’ll react to emergencies until you go through them, but the next best thing is preparedness. The hope is that truck drivers won’t have to deal with many emergencies, but they do happen, and you don’t want to be caught flat-footed. It’s why you should start your CDL journey with American Driver Training Academy. 

We offer complex training courses that prepare you for all truck driving aspects. Our small class sizes allow you to get the most out of your instructor and hammer home key driver training tips you’ll carry on every trip. Learn more about our CDL training in Pennsylvania and around the Northeast, or reach out to American Driver Training Academy today to start your trucking career.