The fall season presents many unique hazards that truck drivers should be on the lookout for. Avoiding potential losses requires drivers to recognize the hazards that can lead to a vehicle crash, know the defense, and react properly. Read the information below, and ask yourself how you can improve your driving style in any of the hazard categories.
Recognize the Hazards
Fall brings slippery road conditions due to rain, fog, early frosts, and leaves on the roadway. Kids are also back in school, deer activity increases, and sun glare during sunrise and sunset can be blinding.
Equipment deficiencies, such as tires with insufficient tread depth, brakes that are out of adjustment, and inoperable window defrosters or windshield wipers, can create serious driving hazards in adverse conditions.
Shorter days can disrupt sleep patterns, causing fatigue, which can in turn cause fatigue-related distracted driving. Also, driving too fast for conditions and an improper pre-trip inspection can lead to mechanical problems and possibly a crash.
Know the Defense
Observe Proper Speed for Conditions
In adverse conditions, reduce speed 2-3 mph below the flow of traffic, not to exceed the posted speed limit. Reducing speed provides more reaction time and also reduces wear and tear on equipment.
React Properly to Hazards
Slow down on curves, ramps, turns, and overpasses. React to animals in the roadway by slowing down, staying in your lane, and honking the horn to startle the animal away. If necessary, hit the animal to avoid losing control.
Maintain Proper Following Distance
Keep a minimum of six seconds behind the vehicle in front. Add more space if additional hazards are present.
Be Attentive to the Road Ahead
Watch for potential hazards, especially in school zones and animal crossings. Make quick glances to mirrors.
Wear sunglasses and use the visor to reduce sun glare. Put mobile devices away when driving. Get plenty of rest, stay hydrated, and avoid heavy meals to reduce fatigue.
Drivers should conduct a thorough pre-trip inspection and have repairs made before leaving. Keep windows and mirrors clean. Ensure window defrosters work properly, and carry spare lights and fuses in case of emergency.
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.
© Great West Casualty Company 2018. 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 2018. 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.