A Guide To Achieving Winter Fleet Safety

Winter is an important time for fleet managers to be diligent about vehicle and driver safety. Even when the sky is clear, the weather may be dangerous at this time of year. It is your responsibility as a fleet manager to take the lead on winter preparation, and the best place to start is with our guide to achieving winter fleet safety.

Tell Drivers to Slow Down

Here are some suggestions to get your drivers to slow down during winter:

  • Increase the length of your route estimation times
  • Beware of holiday pedestrians
  • Slowly drive across icy areas

Slowing down is one of the most crucial planning actions you can take. Tell your drivers to slow down, especially in poor visibility and slippery weather. Remind them to keep an eye out for pedestrians as well. During the holidays, more people go shopping, and visitor activity in city centers and attractions may rise. Finally, offer your drivers breathing room for safe driving by increasing the time you think it will take to finish each trip.

Suggestions About Handling Black Ice Skidding

Even the most cautious driver can occasionally find oneself skidding on black ice with no traction. It is critical that your drivers understand how to manage this circumstance if it arises. Here are some suggestions:

  • If necessary, aim towards the shoulder and snowbanks
  • Correct slipping or fish-tailing gently
  • Pump the brakes gently until traction is found
  • Concentrate on safely coasting across the ice to the next area of traction
  • Change to a lower gear
  • Take your foot off the accelerator
  • Maintain a straight steering wheel or gradually tilt it in the desired direction. Do not make abrupt turns using the wheels
  • Keep an eye out for vehicles veering unexpectedly ahead

Find a huge empty parking lot to practice in if you have any drivers who have never encountered black ice or skid-driving before.

Mark Out Dangerous Areas on the Map

There are usually a few problem places on winter roads, but contemporary fleet software allows you to flag these areas to avoid or drive cautiously over each time. Determine the iciest bridges and the most dangerous sections of the road with your drivers. Mark them on your software map and use this information to design routes or send drivers through recognized risky areas.

Vehicle Inspection

When the weather becomes frigid in the winter, your fleet should undergo fleet maintenance. Every vehicle should be inspected from head to toe to guarantee that none of your vehicles endangers your drivers or equipment on an ice road. The last thing you want is the battery dying in a client’s driveway, the heater going out on a cold route, or skidding caused by bald tires. Complete a thorough inspection of each vehicle at a service center. Change the oil and wiper fluid to the winter weight recommended for your area. Check the batteries, heaters, and engines to ensure they are in good working order. Finally, repack each vehicle with a winter-prepared emergency kit in case one of your trucks is involved in an accident.

Let’s keep truckin'.

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