by WEX Fleet
The winter is home to many different holidays, family get-togethers and other festive events. However, it is also a time for bad weather.
As you well know, your fleet will encounter strong winds, heavy rains, snow and ice all throughout the winter. This can lead to a significant amount of stress for your company, both from fleet management and your drivers. If you want to have peace of mind during the coldest months, then you'll need to have well-trained winter drivers.
Here is how you can prepare your fleet to handle all types of bad winter weather:
Follow basic safety rules
Training is incredibly important for winter driving. Your employees need to learn the basic rules of safe on-the-road behavior, and that should start as soon as they are hired with your company.
According to PropertyCasualty360, make sure your drivers know to clean off every part of the vehicle before getting in - that includes headlights, windows, mirrors and the roof. It is also important to slow down and increase following distance while in bad weather.
These are all simple tips to reduce accidents, but they are still tips that too many drivers ignore. All of your drivers should sit through training programs to go over these rules. You may also want to offer incentives and other rewards for safe driving, so employees don't feel pressured to make deadlines and drive fast regardless of road conditions.
Focus on improved communication
Communication can be the first thing to go during bad weather. Drivers want to get home and off the road, and they start to speed up their behavior and overlook critical safety measures.
With this in mind, communication should be a priority for your fleet during the winter. Brandon Wooden, curriculum coordinator for Crowder College, wrote in an article for Fleet Owner that this element can be overlooked during safety training.
For example, drivers know that they have set routes, important deadlines and pressure to get their jobs done. When the weather turns, that can make them act in an unsafe manner. It is up to fleet management to focus on communication. Tell your drivers that there is no pressure to be the fastest on the road. Instead, emphasize safe driving. Let them know that you understand how difficult their jobs are, and do what you can to make things a bit easier.
When bad weather strikes you can also tell your drivers to use their WEX Connect app to help them to find fuel and service stations that are open for business. Just look for the station with the most recent documented transaction and you'll be sure they're open for business.
Safe winter driving depends on camaraderie and communication. You need to work with your drivers to ensure they are out of danger while in bad weather.