The fall season is upon us and will turn into winter in the blink of an eye. Depending on where you are, fall could mean rain and/or snow. Planning ahead can reduce seasonal risks and keep you safer while driving.
Visibility is a big concern any time, but when Mother Nature brings about a downpour or a whiteout, seeing clearly becomes even more of a challenge for the professional driver.
Your safety can depend on little things that seem insignificant. For example, ensuring your wiper blades are in good condition and work well prior to the arrival of poor weather can help you avoid climbing on the side of a wet, slippery truck to change them after you had to purchase overpriced blades at the local truck stop. Reduce the risk of injury and take care of this while at the shop or when you are in a dry location. There is likely a ladder at the yard that you can use instead of trying to climb on the side of the truck where there are no real foot- or handholds.
Bugs and grime deteriorate rubber, so be sure to wipe the blades off occasionally when you clean the outside of your window to help prolong their life. Wiping the blades also reduces streaks across your windshield.
Cleaning your windows on the inside can prevent build-up, which moisture sticks to, causing it to take longer to defrost your windows. Obviously, it’s nice to see through a clean windshield, as well.
If you still have a film on the outside of your window, make a baking soda paste and rub it on the outside of the window. This trick came from a bush pilot friend who used it to optimize visibility. He said the glare from the sun on a windshield is much worse at 5000 feet than it is on the ground. I’ve tried this out, it made my windshield as clear as a new one. (Don’t be sparing, baking soda is cheap!) Rub it on, then rinse with water.
Changing your cabin air filter will allow for more air flow to reach your windshield. When your windshield suddenly fogs up, it’s important to clear it as quickly as a possible. Another bonus to keeping the cabin air filter clean is that it ensures better air in your rig. We are all exposed to exhaust fumes and other particles that are not considered healthy for us to breathe, so give your lungs a break. If you have allergies, changing your cabin air filter more often could help reduce symptoms as well.
Ensure your windshield washer fluid is topped up with seasonal washer fluid before you start out on your run.
Keeping a pair of yellow safety glasses handy can help to reduce the glare from fog and snow in a pinch.