Fleet management becomes even more important in winter.
According to the Federal Highway Administration, an average of 467 fatalities are associated with icy driving conditions annually, and 23% of all vehicle crashes every year are caused in part by inclement weather, such as rain, sleet, snow, fog, and wind. Beyond battling the elements, slippery roads, and low-visibility, fleets are also battling the clock. Expectations of on-time deliveries and hours-of-service limitations can put pressure on drivers and cause them to make dangerous mistakes.
The old saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” never rings more true than in the winter. And, unsurprisingly, it turns out there’s a correlation between preparation and fleet safety. “I see accidents happening more and more, but it’s with drivers that haven’t been educated,” Boehler says. “And when I see the large fleets around our area and in the states that do this training, you definitely see a huge decrease in the number of winter accidents they have.”
Tips for Winter Fleet Management
In summary, before the rubber hits the snow, fleets need to have a plan in place to ensure their drivers can make it safely through the season. This means preparing well in-advance and taking the appropriate steps to prepare for inclement weather. This includes:
- Inspecting vehicles to ensure they are winter-ready in the fall and spring.
- Providing drivers with necessary equipment to brave the winter roads, like tire chains.
- Reminding drivers to always thoroughly conduct pre and post-trip inspections.
- Reviewing winter-specific laws in the regions they travel, like snow build-up and tire chaining.
- Utilizing weather forecasts and route mapping software to determine alternate route for drivers to safely travel.
- Establishing a culture of safety within your team and with your clients that prioritizes safe arrivals over on-time arrivals.
- Providing drivers with necessary education and training to deal with on-road hazards, like poor tire traction and skidding.
These pointers are just the tip of the iceberg (pun intended) – get all the info you need to prepare for the coming winter with our report, Snow Patrol: Making It Through Winter Safe and Sound.