Create and Maintain a Clear “Stop Work” Authority Program
Companies should work to identify fatigue and support drivers in their decisions to stay off the road if they deem it’s unsafe for them to travel. Drivers should be empowered to make the right decisions while out on the road, find a safe place to wait out the storm if driving conditions become unsafe and take breaks as necessary if they start to feel fatigue or struggle with snow blindness.
Plan Your Routes
Drivers should know the current weather conditions and forecasts for the areas they are traveling through and servicing. In addition, they should plan their routes accordingly, travel on major roadways that are more likely to be plowed and maintained, alert someone about the route they’re driving, work closely with their state truck association to get up-to-date weather forecasts and keep dispatch communications working and functional.
Encourage Safe Driving Habits
Drivers should remain focused with their head in the game at all times. Some best practices include not using a cell phone while driving, avoiding common distractions, slowing down and allowing a safe distance between the driver’s truck and the vehicles around them, maintaining a proper braking distance and utilizing technology like the SmartDrive platform to identify risky driving and manage coaching workflows.
Ensure the Use of Safe Equipment
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Drivers should conduct a thorough equipment check before hitting the road. Fleets should have working windshield wipers, be free of built-up snow, have plenty of fuel, be full of all required and needed fluids and have tires and chains that are in perfect condition.
Be Prepared with Survival Gear
To ensure drivers are prepared for long delays, fleets should be equipped with toolkits, so drivers can make field repairs and get to a safe haven; arctic gear such as winter boots, coveralls, gloves, sleeping bags, portable heaters, a water heater, etc.; food, water and dry goods; an emergency survival kit; a working flashlight; and readily accessible gear that’s easy to carry in case drivers need to abandon the vehicle.