Read This before You Drive in the Snow
Driving in the winter, plowing through the snow, is difficult enough in a normal sized car. For trucks, tankers, and heavy-duty vehicles, driving in the snow can amp up the dangers of trucking tenfold. For safety managers to ensure employees’ safety while driving through tumultuous weather conditions, here is what you should know.
Instill AwarenessAwareness goes a long way in making sure that your employees reach their destination safely after driving through icy weather conditions. The first thing to do is to collect information about the destination. Tell your drivers to map out your exact route, familiarize themselves with the directions, and calculate the estimated travel times so that you can help make necessary adjustments, for example, leave an hour early to compensate for delays. Note down all the essential details and communicate them to your drivers or members of your team to avoid en route problems.
Watch the WeatherWatching the weather before your employees embark on a long snow covered journey is crucial to ensuring their safety along the way. It’s best to get local weather reports to find out what the conditions will be like during the commute. If there’s a possibility of a storm brewing, it’s recommended to delay the journey and let the storm pass before drivers leave the company premises. Blizzards, stormy high winds, heavy snow, black ice, and cold snaps can lead to poor visibility and difficult driving conditions.
Be PreparedBefore you let your drivers get on the road for a long journey, especially when there is snow everywhere, it’s highly recommended that your drivers are prepared for any and every eventuality. The preparation is basically twofold. The first includes thorough vehicle inspection, and the second is to equip your drivers with a well-planned kit of emergency items that will help ensure their survival, should they get stranded in the snow.
Inspect the VehicleIt’s best to have a mechanic thoroughly inspect the conditions of all the vehicle systems before your employees venture out on the road. This includes checking the:
- Tires wear and tear
- Ignition system
- Spark plugs
- Fan belts
- Anti-freeze levels
- Tire air pressure
- Fuel and emission filters
- Air filters
Essentials to Have on HandIn case of emergency, there are a number of items which can safeguard a driver’s life through the turbulent weather. Be sure to keep the following in every vehicle:
- Full tank of gas
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- A cellular power bank and a phone fully charged
- Road maps
- Ice scraper and brush
- A detailed first aid kit
- Survival blanket
- Fresh anti-freeze
- Booster or jumper cables
- New and proper spare tire, tripod jack and wheel wrench
- Traction mats
- Tow chain
- Fire extinguisher
- Extra windshield washer/cleaner
- Reflective vest/triangles or flares
- Scissors, string, and cord
- Non-perishable food packs
- Extra clothing and shoes including mittens, socks and hats