How fleet management improves winter safety

Posted on 31 October 2019 by Tony Santos

For commercial drivers, winter brings a new set of challenges and different safety issues which need to be managed correctly. As a fleet manager, it’s essential to understand these challenges and how best to help drivers overcome them. There are a number of fleet management steps which can be taken to ensure a commercial fleet is as safe as possible during winter, which is not only beneficial to your drivers and other road users but the business in general. 

The first step is to ensure that the lights are working correctly on all commercial vehicles within a fleet. This is vital as during the winter months, particularly after the clocks go back an hour, the afternoons and evenings can get very dark much sooner than in the summer months. If a commercial driver is operating in the late afternoon and into the evenings, it’s crucial the lights on their vehicle are in good working condition. Not only is this a safety benefit as it helps identify a commercial vehicle to other road users and illuminates the road for the driver, but it is a legal requirement for driving when it’s dark. Fleet managers can quickly check the condition of vehicle lights when they return to a depo. Also, drivers should be reminded to report any alerts they get from within the vehicle that a light may need replacing. This way, a fleet can keep its vehicles operating with fully functioning lights at all times. 

Secondly, making sure the viability through the front windscreen is as good as possible is essential to maintaining good visibility. Commercial drivers are often required to drive on motorways as well as smaller roads, and during the winter when the weather can be bad, this can lead to significant amounts of spray from other vehicles. On certain roads, this spray can be muddy, and this can reduce the visibility out of the windscreen if not cleaned correctly. For this reason, fleet managers must ensure their drivers have enough screen cleaner in their vehicle at all times. It’s also a good idea to keep some extra in the vehicle, particularly if a vehicle needs to go on a long journey. 

Reducing the overall speed of a vehicle is an easy way of improving safety during the winter. Speeding is the main cause of fatal accidents on the road and making sure commercial drivers are staying at least a few mph under the speed limit during the winter, if not more, is an easy way to reduce the chances of an accident. Telematics devices such as in-cab coaches are one way of being sure how fast commercial drivers are travelling. These devices use fleet tracking technology to track the speed of a vehicle over a journey. They also provide instant feedback to the driver if they are over the speed limit at any point. This comes in the form of audio and visual feedback. Being able to analyse the speed a vehicle has been travelling at can help fleet managers identify drivers who may need further training to improve safety and also which drivers should be praised for their driving style. 

The other key safety measure fleet managers should be taking to improve safety at all times of the year, but especially during the winter, is ensuring the brakes and tyres are in top working condition. For large commercial vehicles such as trucks or lorries, stopping suddenly in the event of an accident can be challenging considering their size. Making sure the brake pads and disks are in the best possible condition, along with ensuring the tires have the required tread depth, is the best way to improve the stopping capability of a large vehicle. During the winter, when there can be snow or ice on the road, this is more important than ever and could save lives. 

Overall fleet managers play a critical role in ensuring the safety of their drivers and other road users during the winter months. Fleet management, when done correctly, can not only improve the safety of a commercial fleet, but also improve the operational efficiency and productivity. 

Related Posts

Comments are closed.