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PROPERTY & CASUALTY
DEC 09, 2021
Five Essential Tips for Safe Winter Driving
Winter weather can cause dangerous driving conditions for even the most experienced drivers. According to the
U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration
, 70 percent of the nation’s roads are located in regions that receive more than a five-inch average snowfall each year — and nearly a quarter of all weather-related vehicle crashes occur on snowy, slushy or icy pavement.
With winter weather approaching, now is the time to help fleet drivers prevent crashes on the road.
Here are five tips to help keep commercial drivers safe this winter:
Adhere to Safe Speeds:
Commercial fleet drivers should stay slightly below the speed limit when the roads are slippery, and should accelerate and brake lightly, with a firm grip on the steering wheel. This allows for better control and makes it easier to stop or move the vehicle if necessary.
Increase Following Distance:
The more space between each vehicle on icy or snowy roads, the better. Drivers can help avoid a collision by maintaining a safe distance between their vehicle and the one in front of them and by increasing their following distance to 8-10 seconds apart.
Check Vehicle Conditions:
Before operating the vehicle, check the windshield wipers, defrosters, cooling system, and washer reservoir. Check all lights and ensure they are clean, including headlights, brake lights, turn signals and emergency flashers. Once on the road, keep a close watch on the fuel gauge and fill up with fuel once the gauge reaches the halfway point.
Maintain a Winter Weather Kit:
Keep an updated emergency winter weather kit in your vehicle. According to the
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
(NHTSA) the kit should include a snow shovel, broom and ice scraper; sand or cat litter in the event the vehicle is stuck; jumper cables; a flashlight; emergency flares; warm blankets; a cell phone charger, and food and water.
Monitor Weather Conditions:
Prepare in advance for winter weather driving — monitor road and weather conditions before taking off by checking a weather app. Watch for “black ice,” a smooth and often glossy thin coating of ice on a surface that can be especially dangerous.
Following these tips can help fleet drivers stay safe on the road during the cold season. For more information and advice on winter weather driving, visit the