With increased workload, more traffic, and possibly inclement weather, the holiday season brings a feast of risk for truckers. Ensuring holiday season safety for your fleet involves two components. The first component requires checking, updating, and stocking the vehicles for cold conditions. The second consideration involves educating drivers in the best practices for winter weather driving. Combining the two offers the best protection for fleet owners and independent truckers.
Preparing Commercial Vehicles for Holiday Season Driving
Commercial vehicles carry greater safety concerns due either their weight or whether they carry passengers. Both of those factors pose safety issues of major importance. Prepping a vehicle for winter may add a bit of time and extra vigilance, but the results are well worth it. Regularly inspect tires, batteries, and antifreeze, at minimum. FleetEquipmentMag.com also recommends having “cold-weather clothing and footwear, a shovel, flashlight with extra batteries, blankets, first aid kit, flares, radio, anti-gel fuel additive and food and water.” Drivers and commercial truck driving companies should create, build upon, and adhere to their own lists.
Preparing Commercial Drivers for Holiday Season Driving
Following a thorough winterization of your fleet for the holiday season, you should also prepare the drivers. An essential part of any fleet operation includes safety training. Preparing for winter driving should be no exception. Ryder posts a helpful list of safety tips for truckers. Prominently mentioned on those lists are driver stress and fatigue, the risks of which can increase with winter driving conditions. Experts overwhelmingly agree that pulling a vehicle off the road when drowsiness or fatigue sets is the best course of action. The added risks of winter driving should make a yearly appearance in addition to other training.
Continuing Education Improves Winter Driving Safety
Education for fleet drivers for holiday season driving should also include reminders of troublespots. A fantastic list of safety tips by DMV.org points out such winter driving hazards as black ice, exit ramps, bridges, intersections, and areas prone to high winds. Keeping drivers up to date on training and alert of conditions is a step in the right direction.
Drunk Driving Hazards for Truckers during the Holiday Season
The holiday season also sees an increase in drunk driving. Independent truckers and fleet drivers should exercise extra caution on dates historically known to have a higher number of impaired drivers on the road, as well as any other time during the season. Transportation.gov reported that in the U.S., 781 fatalities related to drunk driving crashes occurred in 2016, just in the month of December.
Continued Insurance Coverage Assurance for Winter Driving
With road dangers higher during the holiday season for trucking and transportation, insurance becomes a major concern as well. A fundamental and rather simple means to improve safety for fleets and drivers is to confirm current insurance coverage and that it provides for all of the potential risks.
Peace of Mind for Truckers this Holiday Season
Getting ready in advance will reduce stress later on in the winter months. Create a checklist now with dates to apply each step. With awareness of the risks, mindful preparation, training, and proper coverage for drivers, you can head into the holiday season with a greater peace of mind.
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