It's Time to Discuss Spring Driving Hazards


Winter is nearly in the rearview mirror, which means it is time to start thinking about spring and the unique driving hazards this season brings. The operations staff is crucial to preventing vehicle crashes by being proactive and discussing springtime hazards with drivers and recommending the Essential 7 Driving Techniques as a defense.

Adverse Road Conditions

Potholes pose a significant risk to drivers and equipment. These hazards are created when melting snow and ice seep into the soil under the pavement. When the water freezes, it expands, causing the pavement to bend, crack and weaken. As the ice melts, the pavement contracts and leaves gaps or holes in the surface. If this continues, the pothole gets bigger. When a tire strikes a pothole and loses pressure through a slow leak or all at once due to a blowout, the result can be a loss of control crash and possibly a high-dollar loss. Encourage drivers to utilize the following Essential 7 Driving Techniques:

  • Be attentive to the road ahead.
  • React properly to hazards.

Bad Weather

The spring months bring warmer temperatures and extreme weather systems, such as tornados, heavy rains, severe thunderstorms, flooding, and high winds. Operations staff should monitor weather forecasts, communicate when bad weather is approaching, and either reroute drivers away from these systems or find a place for the driver to safely pull over and wait the storm out. Also, remind drivers of the Essential 7 Driving Techniques to follow when in deteriorating weather conditions:

  • Maintain proper following distance.
  • Observe the proper speed for conditions.
  • React properly to hazards.

Congested Traffic 

Additional cars, motorcycles, pedestrians, and bicycles are on the road as the weather improves, and they create unique hazards for truck drivers. Likewise, slower-moving vehicles like farm equipment and holiday travelers are on the road more as well. Operations staff can help drivers by being a calming voice when drivers face frustrating traffic conditions. If feasible, route drivers away from congested areas – especially during peak rush hour times. Also, encourage drivers to adopt the following Essential 7 Driving Techniques:

  • Avoid distractions.
  • Yield the right of way.
  • Be attentive to the road ahead.
  • React properly to hazards.
  • Maintain proper following distance.

Road Construction

Road construction will increase in the spring months, slowing down traffic and increasing frustration levels. Route drivers away from construction zones or call the receiver if a shipment will be delayed due to construction. Either action can help ease the driver’s stress so he or she can remain focused on driving. Likewise, remind drivers to manage the space around the truck and utilize the following Essential 7 Driving Techniques:

  • Maintain one lane whenever possible.
  • Avoid distractions.
  • Observe proper speed for conditions.

Call to Action

  • Monitor weather reports and keep drivers informed of adverse conditions.
  • Reroute drivers from congested traffic areas.
  • Remind drivers to use


Note: These lists are not intended to be all-inclusive.

The information in this article is provided as a courtesy of Great West Casualty Company and is part of the Value-Driven® Company program. Value-Driven Company was created to help educate and inform insureds so they can make better decisions, build a culture that values safety, and manage risk more effectively. To see what additional resources Great West Casualty Company can provide for its insureds, please contact your safety representative, or click below to find an agent. 

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© Great West Casualty Company 2019. The material in this publication is the property of Great West Casualty Company unless otherwise noted and may not be reproduced without its written consent by any person other than a current insured of Great West Casualty Company for business purposes. Insured should attribute use as follows: “© Great West Casualty Company 2019. Used with permission by Great West Casualty Company.”

This material is intended to be a broad overview of the subject matter and is provided for informational purposes only. Great West Casualty Company does not provide legal advice to its insureds, nor does it advise insureds on employment-related issues. Therefore, the subject matter is not intended to serve as legal or employment advice for any issue(s) that may arise in the operations of its insureds. Legal advice should always be sought from the insured’s legal counsel. Great West Casualty Company shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any person or entity with respect to any loss, action, or inaction alleged to be caused directly or indirectly as a result of the information contained herein.