That collective sigh of relief you’ve been hearing for the last couple of weeks is the trucking industry welcoming the arrival of spring. After what has been a brutal winter in most of the country, drivers and dispatchers are looking forward to the next several months of clear roads and warm temperatures. It’s an annual ritual that has been occurring since man started traveling on four wheels.
As much as the trucking industry welcomes the arrival of spring every year, drivers, dispatchers and managers cannot let their guard down. Trucking is still a dangerous operation long after the winter snows have melted. It’s still as competitive and demanding as well. At C.R. England, we encourage everyone in the trucking industry to enjoy the arrival of spring – but be sure to do so safely.
Weather and Traffic Accidents
Most people assume that the majority of weather-related traffic accidents are the direct result of snow and ice, making winter driving more hazardous. However, that assumption is false. Statistics from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) tell a different story. The first part of that story is the fact that only 23% of the reported traffic accidents every year are related to weather.
The next thing to consider is that only 17% of the weather-related accidents occur during winter driving conditions that include snow and ice. Just 17%! The data goes on to demonstrate that 74% are related to wet pavement; approximately 64% are the direct result of wet pavement during episodes of rainfall. Putting all of the data together suggests that more accidents occur as a result of spring rainfall than winter snow.
Sunshine and Driver Fatigue
One last thing to think about with the onset of spring is the relationship between sunshine and driver fatigue. Indeed, we all prefer sunny days to cloudy ones. Nevertheless, driving for extended amounts of time in bright sunshine can be very wearying on both the eyes and the mind. Drivers should take regular breaks to avoid sun-related fatigue.
Polarized sunglasses and hats are also useful tools for truckers on extremely sunny days. They’re especially helpful to reduce the glare created by the sun reflecting off a truck hood. And of course, be extremely careful during the summer months when driving eastward in the morning or westward in the evening.
A Look at Some of the Worst Storms
Truck drivers with decades of experience know how treacherous late winter and early spring storms can be. For example, CDL jobs in Utah, Nevada, and Colorado take drivers through steep mountain passes that can be snow-covered well into late spring and early summer. Drivers who frequent the Plains states are also familiar with how quickly storms can spring up. Please keep this in mind as you travel the nation’s highways and byways over the next few weeks. Spring is most certainly on the way, but winter is not ready to take a vacation quite yet.
At C.R. England, we are as thrilled about the arrival of spring as everyone else is. We are looking forward to a very productive spring and summer providing for our clients across the country with the reliable refrigerated services they have come to trust. We currently have openings for company drivers, team drivers, and experienced drivers. If you are not yet licensed, we can even help you through our CDL training partner.