As we enter the winter months, ATBS re-released an article on some of the main causes of accidents and what can be done to avoid them. The article listed seven factors that contribute to accidents.
I want to comment on two of them: speeding and vehicle maintenance. According to ATBS, speeding is the second biggest cause of accidents with only distracted driving causing more collisions. Talk to your drivers about the importance of controlling their speed during winter weather conditions.
Slippery roads and speed are a very bad combination. You can, of course, set your engine parameters that govern maximum vehicle speed at the pedal and for cruise control as a way to manage speed. However, in snow and ice conditions those pre-set parameters could be too fast. Remind drivers that getting to their destination safely is the goal, and that it is okay to slow down in adverse driving conditions.
Truck maintenance is important year-round, but now is a good time to pay a little extra attention to things like the state of charge of the battery, condition of the tires, tightness of electrical connections, fluid levels, and the condition of the brakes. A well-maintained truck is less likely to have an on-road breakdown. Breakdowns are annoying enough when the weather is nice, but become even more of a concern during inclement weather when visibility is reduced and other motorists may not be able to see that a truck is stalled in a lane or pulled over to the shoulder.
If you do not have a winter maintenance checklist, I suggest you develop one and then put a mechanism in place to make sure that every truck gets pulled in for a winter maintenance service.
Also, given the corrosive nature of the deicing chemicals used on today’s roads, it is a good idea to make sure wiring is checked regularly for signs of corrosion and that any wires or other items hanging under the truck are cleaned regularly to prevent corrosion from setting in.
As we get into winter in many parts of the country, it’s time to pay more attention than usual to keeping trucks and drivers safe out on the roads.