As a CDL driver, you will encounter all types of road and weather conditions. Driving emergencies can happen anytime and anywhere—often when you least expect them. Knowing how to handle any emergencies that may arise can help you handle these situations quickly and intelligently to minimize damage to your truck and keep yourself and others safe.
Although brake failures are unlikely, they can be especially dangerous in a truck. If your brake warning light illuminates or you are having trouble getting your brakes to respond, take action immediately. Be aware that the distance it takes your truck to stop will be greatly increased when your brakes are not working properly. Shift to a lower gear and look for a place to pull over. Some high-grade roads have runaway truck ramps that you can use in an emergency. Try pumping the brake pedal, which may build up pressure and improve braking. Alternatively, you can slowly ease on the parking brake; if you start to skid, ease up until you regain control.
Hard road conditions and extreme temperatures can cause one or more tires to blow out. You may hear a thumping sound as a warning; however, your tire may blow out with no warning at all. When a tire blows out, it will affect the alignment and maneuverability of your truck. Hold the steering wheel tightly and compensate if necessary to keep your truck in your lane. Keep your steering smooth and controlled—jerking motions may cause you to lose control of the truck. Avoid braking, as this may cause you to skid. Instead, ease up on the gas pedal and pull over or pull off the road in a place where it is safe to do so.
During your CDL training at Phoenix Truck Driving Institute, you’ll learn how to safely handle your truck in all kinds of situations. If you’re ready to apply for CDL classes today, visit us online or call (877) 205-5372 to learn more about admissions, financial aid, and our Lifetime Job Placement Assistance.