Like with ice and snow, it's important for fleet drivers to take extra safety precautions when driving in wet, rainy conditions. According to AAA, wet pavement contributes to nearly 1.2 million accidents per year. These conditions affect a driver's capabilities, as well as vehicle performance and pavement friction, thus increasing a driver's crash risk. To help your fleet drivers stay safe on the roads this spring, enforce these safe driving tips:
Perform Vehicle Checks
While vehicle inspections should be performed regardless of the weather, they're extremely critical when it's wet. Create a process that guides your drivers through these vehicle checks, so nothing is overlooked. The vehicle inspection should include examining the windshield wiper blades and washer fluid, checking the tire tread depth and pressure, inspecting the headlights, taillights, brake lights and turn signals, and so on. The wipes should be replaced if they show signs of wear and tear, are leaving streaks, or aren't clearing the glass in a single swipe.
Turn Your Lights On
Rainy weather limits a driver's visibility. It's harder to see and be seen when rain is pouring down. When it's raining, turn your low beam headlights on, even during the day. This will enable you to be seen by other drivers. If the rain is coming down very heavily, turn your four-way flashers on, whether you’re driving slowly or stopped on the shoulder. And, remember to insure your lights are clean and working correctly before you hit the road.
Slow Down & Avoid Erratic Movements
Slick-roads increase the risk of hydroplaning. Drivers must drive slower than usual, given the road conditions, and leave more stopping distance between other vehicles. Drivers should also avoid any erratic movements, including sharp braking or steering, as they can increase the risk of skidding. When a trailer is attached, it could swerve into another lane, causing a collision. Plan your movements in advance, whether you're braking, turning, accelerating or switching lanes, and allow yourself more time to execute them.
Don’t Use Cruise Control
Though it can be convenient for long distance driving, avoid cruise control on wet roads. In rainy weather, you need to have full control of your vehicle. Cruise control can slow down your reaction time, affecting your ability to decelerate, stop or turn safely.
Respond Properly to Skid
Even if you're driving cautiously, skids can happen. If your vehicle does skid, remain calm and DO NOT slam on the brakes, as it can make your vehicle more difficult to control. Instead, take your foot off the gas and apply steady pressure to anti-lock brakes or lightly tap standard brakes. Steer your vehicle in the direction of the skid.
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