Millions were and continue to be affected by winter storms across the county. January brought Winter Storm Izzy which impacted much of the eastern United States. Georgia, Virginia, and the Carolinas declared states of emergencies due to high winds and their inability to handle clearing snow-covered and icy roads.
In February, Winter Storm Landon spread from New Mexico all the way up to Maine, where more states declared emergencies for the same reason. The Rockies saw 37 inches of snow. In portions of Indiana, New York and Vermont, over 15 inches were reported. North to south over 330,000 people lost power from the storm’s wake; thousands of flights were canceled, and hundreds of car accidents occurred. The storm even produced three EF2 tornadoes in western Alabama, killing one person and injuring eight more.
Additionally, the recent inclement weather shut down many businesses and schools. It also greatly impacted roadways with ice reported to be a half-inch thick in some places, which made driving conditions extremely dangerous. So dangerous that 50 National Guard troops were deployed in Indiana to help stranded motorists and over a 12-hour backup occurred as a result of icy conditions on Interstate 10 in southwest Texas.
Dangerous Winter Weather
Winter weather can be devastating, and it’s crucial to understand how to keep yourself and your truck safe while on the road in hazardous conditions.
First, remember to watch out for black ice. Roadways may appear to be clear, though often unseen ice formulates from the precipitation, and low temperatures that occur during snowfall. To avoid issues, drive and steer slowly. If you happen to slide, remain calm, steer lightly and do as little as possible until your truck passes over the ice. Additionally, when driving on snow or ice it is key to ensure that you do not hit the brakes or accelerate too quickly. The best practice is to continuously, slowly and lightly pump your brakes as you drive, which will safeguard your tires from locking up.
Another good way to combat issues with snow and ice on the road is to outfit your truck with snow tires. Snow tires are made specifically for wintery conditions and have better traction on ice. It is best to only use snow tires during the winter months for peak performance.
Help Your Neighbors
As a truck owner, you have the unique and honorable ability to help your neighbors.
A snowplow will allow you to get out on the road in conditions you wouldn’t be able to usually navigate, and it is a much more efficient option than a shovel or snow blower. You can be a community hero helping your neighbors clear their driveways following a winter snowstorm. The Meyer Home Plow is an efficient and affordable option in which you can choose between wired and wireless controls, depending on your price point and what you are looking for.
While protecting your neighborhood, make sure to keep yourself safe, as well.
If you decide to brave the weather and hit the road, make sure to have some essentials, especially if traveling a long distance. It is a good idea to keep blankets and tools with you in case you break down and need to make a quick fix or wait in the cold for help. Adding a tonneau cover on your truck will allow you to have plenty of space to store these items, along with others. This will give you space to focus on the road and keep your truck’s interior clean.
For example, the BAK Mx4 tonneau cover is a great option in the winter because it has ethylene propylene diene monomer (EDPM) seals along with drain tubes which provide maximum water resistance. For your tools, an undercover swing case truck bed toolbox is an organized way to keep them in one place rather than rolling around your truck bed. Some final purchases that can help with safety while out in harsh conditions are auxiliary lighting and a N-Fab EpYx Step System.
Wintery weather can hinder visibility on the road and extra lighting will help, particularly at night. As for the step system, it provides a place to kick off snow and sleet as you enter your truck, which will help prevent your feet from sliding while operating your vehicle.
With more winter storms predicted to hit over the coming month, it is sensible to get ahead of the weather by outfitting your vehicle with the appropriate gear. These tips and products are bound to keep you out of harm's way.
About the Author: Tony Ambroza is chief growth officer of Truck Hero, the parent company of the online retailer RealTruck.com. This article was authored and edited according to WT editorial standards and style. Opinions expressed may not reflect that of WT.