The most wonderful time of the year is here. There’s a slight drawback to this, and by that we mean the cold, wet, snow that seems to storm in just as many of us start our holiday shopping. But we want to make sure you and your fleet are prepared so here are some tips we recommend you take before sending your fleet out in a storm:
- Ensure your Drivers are driving their vehicles at a lower speed. Your vehicle will be undergoing a lot of stress from the freezing temperatures. You don’t want Drivers to be aggressive on the road during this time of the year as it will add an extra strain on your vehicle and on other Drivers as well. Instead, let Drivers know it’s okay to take their time in harsh weather and there safety and the safety of others on the road is more important.
- Ensure your Drivers are increasing their following distance. Typically it’s recommended you keep a 2 second distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you. However in the wintertime, this isn’t the case. Keeping a 3-4 second distance should give you the right amount of time to brake effectively. But keep in mind, the worse the weather is, the more distance you may need to leave especially if your operating commercial transport. The heavy weight of those transport trucks is hard enough to slow down quickly in normal weather, but in harsh weather, the more distance, the merrier your Drivers route will turn out.
- Ensure your vehicles are clear of snow and ice so Drivers have better visibility while driving. Not to mention you’ll be helping other drivers on the road by not having the snow and/or ice on your vehicles smash onto the windshield of the vehicles behind you.
- Ensure Drivers are extra alert and have more fuel in their vehicles than they normally would. Nothing is worse than being stuck in traffic during a snowstorm, driving 15 km/h and seeing your fuel light come on. A good rule of thumb to follow is ensuring your Drivers are keeping 50% or more of their fuel tank full. This will allow them to travel enough distance to either get off the road, take a detour or get to a safe location depending on the severity of the weather conditions. For transport trucks ensure you have a fuel treatment plan in effect to ensure the diesel doesn’t begin gelling.
- Provide Drivers with emergency kits in each vehicle. Things like blankets, a shovel, snacks, water, flashlight, a bag of sand and hat and gloves. In case of a serious emergency this should give your Drivers enough resources to get help and stay warm.
- And lastly, one of the greatest inventions of all. Implement a telematics solution in your vehicles NOW! At the end of the day if you have Drivers, it’s part of your job to ensure they are safe while on the road. Having a telematics solution will allow you to effectively monitor your own Drivers behaviours to determine further implementations your company can take. For example, you notice one of your Drivers was speeding and had a record of harsh accelerating during one of the biggest snowfalls of the year, with a telematics solution you will be given the proof you need to implement a more effective strategy to prevent these kinds of behaviours in the future.
According to this report there is a 3.1 to 4.7 percent increase in car accidents in the months of December and January and an increase in insurance claims of approximately 49%. Help your company stay on top of the winter blues by following some of our key tips. Be safe out there!