Ask The Trucker

Raising the Standards of the Trucking Industry


EducationSafetyTruckers HealthTrucking

4 Winter Tips to Keep Fleet Drivers Safe

Apr
1,
2020
1

4 Winter Tips to Keep Fleet Drivers Safe
Driving long distances during inclement weather is difficult for everyone. Even the most experienced drivers can find winter driving a serious challenge.

Winter driving

Winter Tips to Keep drivers safe

Many potential hazards can make navigation difficult, such as ice, fog, snow, and slush. Accidents can be dangerous for your drivers, and costly for your company. Of the estimated 5,891,000 vehicle crashes that happen in the U.S. each year, 21% are weather-related.

This is why drivers must take winter weather seriously. During the winter months, shorter daylight hours may also have an impact on driving conditions as well.

In order to prepare fleet drivers for the upcoming adverse weather conditions, your fleet managers need to discuss winter travel with your drivers. Providing them with driving safety tips and solutions can help prevent accidents in challenging weather conditions. This will keep your drivers safe on the road in any weather.

Here are four fleet safety tips to keep your drivers safe in the winter:

  1. Take an Assessment: Analyze your Previous Driver and Driving Data

One of the most important steps to ensuring fleet driver safety during winter conditions is to identify patterns in driving data from previous years. By reviewing both driver and driving data you will be able to spot any trends in your drivers’ behavior and performance. You will also be able to note the frequency of road accidents and if they reoccur on specific routes. Once you’re armed with this information, you can avoid past mistakes and forecast new outcomes.

Driver Data

To ensure that your driver and vehicle review can be performed as quickly and accurately as possible, you can use a fleet management solution such as Driveri. The software collects your drivers’ data as they are en route. It not only gives the drivers safety alerts and updates, but it also records their performance and can detect trends and details, so you can make informed decisions about your drivers’ safety.

It’s also a good idea to talk to your drivers about their winter performance and discuss any issues they may have faced. Questions you may want to ask your drivers include:

  • Did you log any complaints during last winter’s operations?

  • Did you experience more vehicle problems during the winter months?

  • Do you feel your driving performance declined during the past winter?

  • How do you think we could improve driver safety during the coming winter?

The next step is to examine data relating to the routes your fleet drivers took during the previous winter.

Route Data

Tracing the routes your drivers traveled last winter and pinpointing where challenges arose will help you and you and your team plan safer and more efficient routes in the coming winter. Preferable routes will be those which have no history of severe conditions such as ice, snow, and thick fog. It’s also beneficial to look for weather-related crashes that were not related to your drivers. This will highlight the most problematic routes and help your drivers avoid delays. Use all the information available to you to help you plan more efficient routes, such as past weather data and traffic analysis.

  1. Take a Review: Reinforce Training and Policy with Drivers

Don’t limit driver training to new drivers. Be proactive. Each year, before the winter season starts, it’s a good idea to go over fleet safety policy and the specifics of winter driving. Develop an annual training course that’s geared specifically to navigating severe weather conditions such as heavy snow, thick fog, icy roads, vehicle breakdown, and road accidents.

Place emphasis on specific behaviors that can heighten the risk of accidents in winter weather, such as:

  • Distracted driving

  • Sleepiness

  • Speeding

  • Aggressive driving

  • Intoxication while driving

You should also discuss driving techniques for road handling in severe conditions such as:

  • Safe following distances

  • Safe braking

  • Making quick stops

  • Handling a skid

  • Taking corners

  • Dealing with icy roads

  • Dealing with a breakdown

Create a culture of safety within your driving fleet, one that reflects your company ethos and shows how much you care about the safety and wellbeing of your drivers.

  1. Take a Safety Check: Make Sure all Vehicles are Winter Weather Prepared

Vehicle safety checks should be performed before and regularly throughout the winter season. Preventative measures can help your team avoid breakdowns and prevent unnecessary accidents. This is also a good time to make sure all vehicle policies are up to date. For additional safety, make sure each of your drivers is carrying the following items:

  • First aid kit

  • Fire extinguisher

  • De-icing kit

  • Jumper cables

  • Road flares and warning signs

  • Flashlight and spare batteries

  • Shovel

  • Blanket

Drivers’ vehicles should be equipped with tires that can operate in heavy snow and ice. All winter tires should bear the three-peak mountain snowflake symbol on the sidewall. This indicates that the tire meets the required standards for snow performance.

Vehicles should also be stocked with winterized wiper fluid that contains an antifreeze component so that drivers can maintain maximum visibility at all times.

  1. Take a Tech Review: Examine Areas Where you Could Use Technology to Enhance Safety

When used properly, technology can be a valuable tool for ensuring driver safety during adverse winter road conditions. Driveri is a good example. This safety system captures every moment of driving time using a smart, vision-based approach that functions in real-time. The software enhances driver safety in three ways:

  • External view: cameras identify key risk factors such as safe following distance and speed.

  • Side views: cameras enable real-time views of the vehicle’s complete surrounding area.

  • Internal view (optional): inside cameras keep an eye on your drivers to make sure they don’t get distracted or violate company policies.

With a combination of cameras and artificial intelligence, Driveri can assist fleet drivers by alerting them of any dangers in real-time and preventing potential accidents. Monitoring your drivers consistently during the winter months not only helps them improve their driving performance, but it also helps you ensure their safety.

Driveri also provides you with a rating system that is driven by real-time driver performance updates. This can be used to provide feedback to your drivers and will enable you to offer rewards and incentives for optimized performance.

Keep Drivers Safe and Mitigate Risk

Managing the safety of your fleet drivers during the winter is crucial if you want to ensure optimum driver safety, reduced risk of road accidents, and minimal company downtime for repairs. Minimizing these risks also means saving your company money by avoiding lost business, heavy repair bills, and high insurance premiums.

Although there is no way to reduce the risks of accidents or breakdown during the winter months 100%, you can reduce these risks as much as possible by taking the right measures to give your drivers the best chance of staying safe.

Driveri enables fleet drivers to make informed decisions in any conditions, wherever they are.

 

© 2020, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,

Previous

Next

By: Allen Smith

Allen Smith is a 37 year veteran who started at an early age in a household goods family moving business. He began driving straight trucks in 1977 and moved to the big rigs in 1982. His experience within the industry includes; owner operator, company driver, operations manager, and owner of a long distance HHG moving business, taking many of the long haul moves himself when needed. Allen Smith, a truck driver advocate who is driven by the desire to help others succeed within an industry where injustice, unrewarded sacrifice, and lack of respect and recognition exists. Allen and his wife Donna are hosts of Truth About Trucking ”Live” on Blog Talk Radio. Other websites include AskTheTrucker, TruckingSocialMedia, NorthAmericanTruckingALerts, TruthAboutTrucking, and many Social Media websites. In 2011 Allen and Donna hosted the first Truck Driver Social Media Convention, designed to create unity and solutions for the trucking industry. This is now being extended through the North American Trucking Alerts network as those within the industry join forces for the betterment of the industry. Allen strongly supports other industry advocates who are also stepping up to the plate to help those who share honesty, guidance and direction. He believes that all those involved in trucking need to be accountable for their part within the industry, including drivers, carriers, brokers, shippers, receivers, etc… The list of supporters and likeminded people grow daily, networking together and sharing thoughts and ideas for the betterment of trucking. He has coined the popular phrase "Raising the standards of the trucking industry"

View all posts by Allen Smith →

Tagged: , , , , ,

One Response to 4 Winter Tips to Keep Fleet Drivers Safe. - Post a Comment

  1. […] Desiree Wood,one of the founders of TEAR, has also created the Facebook page Covid-19 Trucker Support Page […]

What do you have to say about this?

To the top