T E T A L K TAILGATE TALK | 3 KEEP IN MIND, ground conditions can change throughout the day. It may be snow-covered in the morning, but be more slushy in the evening. • Don’t Follow Too Closely: We know, this is driving 101, but remember your Smith System Driver training. • Braking: Our trucks are equipped with ABS. Press and hold the brakes and the computer will automatically adjust, helping you maintain steering control. For vehicles without ABS, when braking in slick conditions, pump the brakes. Don’t press and hold the pedal or the tires may lock up and begin to slide. • Turn Into the Spin: If your vehicle does begin to slide, turn the steering wheel into the direction of the spin and take your foot off the accelerator. Turning the steering wheel in the opposite direction of the spin can lead to loss of control and “fish-tailing.” • Watch Out for Drifts: Open areas are prone to drifts and whiteouts. When a vehicle hits a drift, one can quickly lose control because the tires lose contact with the road surface. • Test Slickness: Test the slickness of the road by driving at a low speed and then braking hard. Do this only in a safe area, free of other vehicles. The late comedian George Carlin said, “Have you ever noticed that someone driving slower than you is an idiot and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?” Interesting observation, but when it comes to driving in winter weather, it’s best to drive at the speed safe for the conditions. Here are a few things to keep in mind when chugging through the cold and snowy days. WINTER DRIVING TIPS • Gas Up: Low levels of gas can cause the lines to freeze. • Low Tire Pressure: Tire pressure will decrease about 1 psi every 10 degrees Fahrenheit the outside air temperature drops. Low tire pressure decreases tire performance and reduces gas mileage. • Patience: Have patience with yourself and other motorists when struggling in poor driving conditions. • Weather Apps: Download weather apps to your phone and receive notifications about weather warnings. • Truck Washing: Keep your Flagger Force truck spic n’ span. It projects a positive image of you and the company. However, avoid washing the truck when the temperature dips below 32 degrees because the water may freeze shut the Tonneau truck bed cover and potentially the door handles.