Safety is always top of mind for fleet managers but few things do more to focus their minds on safety than winter driving.
Winter, as we all know, is a dangerous time to be on the road. A University of Georgia researcher found that from 1996 to 2011, more than 12,000 people died in the U.S. in vehicle accidents that happened during winter precipitation. The average per year was 817 deaths.
With the idea of helping you either identify or underscore good safety habits, here are seven winter driving safety tips to keep everyone safe:
1. Slow down. Accelerating, stopping and turning all take longer on snow-covered roads. Professional drivers know that they should stay at or slightly below the speed limits when roads are slippery, whether they’re hauling a full load or empty. With black ice, you can slide off a road at 10 mph or less.
2. Leave more distance than usual between your vehicle and the one just ahead of you. Don’t travel as part of a pack. The stopping distance required on ice when the temperature is zero Fahrenheit is twice the amount required at 32°. Normal following distances should be increased to 8-10 seconds when driving on icy, slippery surfaces.
3. Avoid sudden stops. If you need to slow down quickly, lightly pump the brakes. This will help reduce the odds of locking your tires and losing control of the vehicle.
4. Avoid sudden movements. Snowy or icy surfaces make steering difficult, so make sure any movements are smooth, careful and precise.
5. Monitor weather conditions at your destination before beginning your trip. If conditions look as though they are going to be too hazardous, just stay home.
6. Don’t get hurt by being a Good Samaritan. Stopping to help a disabled motorist along an icy roadway can cause passing drivers to brake and lose control, putting the lives of everyone involved in danger. Instead, just call 911 to report the problem.
7. Remember Physics 101. If that hill’s really steep, expect gravity to take over.
Scott Asbury is an Insurance Advisor at CCIG. Reach him at ScottA@thinkccig.com or 720-212-2048.Back to Resources