Stay Safe on the Roads this Winter

Our winter season runs through April when weather conditions can become severe, making driving extremely hazardous. Ensure that your company and personal vehicles are ready for when this weather hits.

Electric utility truckCompany Vehicle Checklist:

  • Ice scraper large enough for cleaning the entire vehicle. (All company vehicles must have the snow cleared off the entire vehicle prior to moving it)
  • Shovel
  • Salt or sand for vehicle and personal traction.
  • Flash lights and extra batteries
  • If required for your area, snow chains for the vehicle.
  • Emergency warning devices or road cones
  • Ensure that your company vehicle’s maintenance is up to date. If you are unsure or have any questions about your company vehicle, check with Fleet.

snow covered road with carPersonal Vehicle Checklist:

  • Maintain your vehicle: check battery, proper tire pressure and tread, windshield wipers, antifreeze, and top off all fluids.
  • Have on hand: flashlight, jumper cables, abrasive material (sand, kitty litter, even floor mats), shovel, snow brush and ice scraper, warning devices (i.e. flares), blankets, cell phone, and First Aid Kit. For long trips, add food, water, and medication.

Safe Winter Driving

Remember, driving in poor road conditions requires good judgment, patience and often adjusting to slower speeds. Below are some tips to help you safely navigate the roads this winter.

  • Always wear your seat belt.
  • Check the weather and leave early, if necessary.
  • Be familiar with the directions. Let others know your route and arrival time.
  • Follow the Smith System 5 Keys to Safety to prevent motor vehicle incidents.
  • Do not use cruise control when driving in wintry conditions.
  • To avoid skids and spins, brake carefully on snow and ice.
  • If your vehicle starts sliding, turn the steering wheel in the direction you want your front tires to go.
  • Use extra caution and reduce your speed when approaching bridges, ramps and overpasses that tend to freeze first.
  • Remember that trucks are heavier than cars, and therefore take longer to safely respond and come to a stop.
  • Increase your following distance in inclement weather. The 4 second following distance is intended for dry roads in good visibility. When there is rain, snow, sleet, ice or decreased visibility, you need to increase your following distance to ensure you have time to safely avoid an incident.
  • Leave room for maintenance vehicles and plows. Stay back at least 200 feet and never pass on the right, even in good weather.
  • Stopped or stalled?
    • Stay in your car, if safe to do so.
    • Put bright markers on antenna or windows
    • If you can run your car, shine dome light and clear exhaust pipe. Run it just enough to stay warm until help arrives.

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