When weather strikes - creating a severe weather plan
Source: FleetAnswers Whether your fleet is located in a snowy mountain climate or by the ocean, where hurricanes can hit, you need a plan for dealing with severe weather. Even the mildest climates can suffer from sudden rainstorms or unexpected snow, and you need to be certain that your drivers know what the plan is for difficult weather scenarios.
The best plan for dangerous weather scenarios is to keep drivers home if weather is threatening. However, this is not always possible, especially in the case of fleets that provide emergency services, and sometimes severe weather comes up without warning. Because of this, your fleet needs to have a plan in place for dealing with weather events, and you need to ensure that your drivers are all aware of what to do.
You can't plan for all weather events, but you can ensure your drivers are prepared. Here are some tips to give your drivers before severe weather strikes.
- Plan Ahead - If you know a weather event is coming, leave early to give yourself extra time.
- Drive Defensively - If you are in slick driving conditions, learn how to drive safely. Turn into spins if you are spinning, and avoid slamming on the brakes if you are spinning out of control to help keep the vehicle on the road.
- Keep a Safe Distance - Increase your distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you when driving in poor weather conditions, because stopping distance will increase.
- Keep Alert - In windstorms, watch for objects that could blow onto the roadway and create a hazard.
- Listen to Radio - Keep the radio on to listen for changes to the weather.
- Pull Off - If you feel the weather is unsafe, pull into a safe parking area or the lowest possible point you can find, but not to the shoulder of a busy road. Park away from trees or power lines that increase risk.
- Take Caution With Vehicle Profile - High profile vehicles can be more prone to flipping in windy conditions, so be cautious if you are pulling a trailer or driving high-profile passenger vehicle.
- Use Proper Snow Protection - For snow or ice, consider winter tires to give the vehicle better traction.
- Avoid Power Lines - Downed power lines are always a risk, so never drive over them.
- Stay Home - If the weather is severe enough, do not take the route if at all possible. Have a plan with your fleet management team that addresses severe weather.
- Seek Immediate Shelter - For tornado, hurricane and severe thunderstorm warnings, seek immediate shelter.
- Keep Buckled - While seeking shelter or driving in severe weather, keep the safety belt buckled.
- Stay Inside - If you cannot drive safely to an area of shelter, stay inside your vehicle with the belt buckled, and put your head down below the windows to protect yourself from flying debris.
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