Safe Winter Driving
Driving in winter conditions can present serious hazards for drivers. Are you and your vehicle ready?
Follow company safety policies/safe-work procedures:
- Check ground conditions before exiting cab and always use three points of contact while entering and exiting cabs.
- Remember to "shuffle" your feet if you have to walk on frozen ground and use hand rails or other aids where provided.
- Do not get on top of a flatbed trailer if it has ice on it and check ladders to ensure there is no ice accumulation.
- Help out other drivers by reporting hazards such as poor weather, vehicle or road conditions to your supervisor/driver manager.
- Wear your seat belt! Although a no-brainer, wearing your seat belt during the winter is even more critical. An alarming number of road ice fatalities occur with minor accidents where the occupants were not wearing seat belts.
Watch for "Black Ice". Don't be fooled, black ice is invisible. Shaded areas, bridges and overpasses freeze sooner than other areas, even in the sunshine.
SLOW. IT. DOWN. Drop your speed and allow for more stopping distance. It takes longer to stop on a slippery road. Look ahead and keep plenty of distance between you and other vehicles (at least 4 seconds).
Know how to handle a skid. Ease off the brake or accelerator. As the vehicle regains traction, steer smoothly in the direction you want to go.
Avoid sudden moves. Start slowly and accelerate gradually to maintain traction and avoid spinning your wheels. Never brake suddenly and plan well in advance. Apply the brakes gently and slowly add pressure.
Be visible. Snow impairs visibility. Drivers need to see and be seen in low-light conditions. Always drive with your headlights on.
Visit the Risk Management Educational Resources on our website to learn more. Members of the ATA Comp Fund have access to many training tools, including winter driving-specific online training. If you are not taking advantage of these resources, contact your Risk Manager today!
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