Winter is a difficult time to drive, even for the most seasoned professionals. In recent years, conditions have become even more unpredictable during the winter months, making commercial driver safety in winter a critical component in winter preparedness for fleets.
Even drivers who have successfully operated during the winter months should take the time to review tips and tactics that help ensure commercial driver safety in winter. It can make the difference between completing their routes safely or placing themselves at a higher risk for getting into a crash.
Winter Preparedness for Fleets: Keeping Drivers Safe
The following tips can help fleets better protect their drivers. Reviewing these ideas should become a part of getting ready for winter fleet operations. Each allows drivers to better manage the risks that come with winter. Driving in winter weather can put drivers into potentially dangerous situations. Preparation is key to avoid them or deal with them when they happen.
Additions to the Emergency Kit
All vehicles should have an emergency kit that includes items such as a solar blanket, water, road flares, fire extinguisher, reflective triangles, chains and jumper cables. During the winter months, drivers should also store extra gloves, jackets, hats and boots built to provide warmth and withstand cold, wet conditions.
Stay Alert for Black Ice
The Winter Safety Driving Alliance in British Columbia – where people know a thing or two about driving in adverse winter weather – lists black ice as the top issue truck drivers need to stay alert for on the road. Black ice is a thin, transparent layer of ice that forms when temperatures drop close to freezing. A clue to watch for: ice building up on your windshield. Also, vehicles spun out on the median or side of the road up ahead.
Install Carbon Monoxide Monitors
Engines produce carbon monoxide, which is an odorless, tasteless and colorless gas that can cause loss of consciousness or death quickly if not detected. Fleets should consider installing detectors in cabs, especially those with sleepers.