Time is a major factor in winter driving safety, not only in terms of the need to allow more time to get to a destination, but also in pre-trip planning.
The following tips from the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) can help your workers get to their destinations safely in poor weather conditions, whether they are driving to and from work, or on the road as part of their jobs:
Plan ahead and allow plenty of time to travel. Businesses should maintain information on employee driving destinations, driving routes and estimated times of arrival. Allow employees extra driving time while on company business so that they will not become stressed and take chances on bad roads. Ensure that company vehicles are winterized. Have a mechanic check the battery, oil level, antifreeze, wipers, windshield washer fluid, ignition system, thermostat, lights, flashing hazard lights, exhaust system, heater, brakes, defroster and tire treads and air pressures. If employees are going to be traveling long distances on the job in a day, check weather and road conditions before they head out. Enforce the wearing of seatbelts for drivers and all passengers at all times. Advise drivers to be extra careful when driving on bridge decks and overpasses. Elevated roadways are the first roadways to freeze in winter conditions. Ask drivers to slow down and increase following distances on wintry roads. It takes three times longer to stop on slippery roads. Reduced visibility is another reason for increasing following distances. Stay in your vehicle and wait for help if you become stranded. Don’t try to walk for help because you might die before finding it. Drivers should carry a fully charged cell phone or two-way radio in order to call for help and notify authorities of their location. If at all possible, limit travel when temperatures plummet to between -20F (-29C) and -34F (-37C). If workers must drive in such conditions, ensure that vehicles are equipped with winter storm kits consisting of blankets, a flashlight, cell phone with charger and extra batteries, a shovel, first aid kit, non-perishable food, extra clothes and a water container.