NY Accident Attorney Offers Tips For Backing Up Tractor Trailers In Ice And Snow

Backing up a tractor trailer is one of the most difficult tasks of truck drivers. Not only is the sheer length of the vehicle difficult to maneuver, but wintry weather conditions can make the job extremely dangerous. While the media often focuses on winter tractor trailer accidents that occur while driving, many of these incidents happen just from backing up into a parking space or at a dock.

Here are a few tips for backing up tractor trailers on snowy and icy roads:

  • Maintain a straight line. Jerking the steering wheel from side to side will only increase the chances of the tires skidding on the road.
  • Take it slow. You may be accustomed to the vehicle, but extreme caution should be taken in wintry weather. Slow reversing can decrease the need for sudden braking and trailer turnovers.
  • Have someone guide the way. Snow can significantly decrease visibility through a truck's mirrors, so having someone stand to the side of the rear of the truck can decrease the risk of collisions.

While truck drivers may understand the dangers of ice and snow, much of the danger lies in the fact that they may not know the road conditions before backing up tractor trailers. There are a few ways you can determine the safety of backing up your tractor trailer in winter:

  • Use a weather app on your phone to determine outdoor temperatures. When the outside temperature falls below 32 degrees, wet roads are more likely to freeze.
  • Look at your windshield for signs of icing. Frosty windshields usually indicate frozen roads.
  • Maintain communication with other drivers, as well as those at your destination. If the roads are reported as slick, you may need to hold off on backing the truck up until conditions improve.