5 Tips for Staying Safe this Winter: The most dangerous driving condition isn’t what you’d think
It’s officially winter now, and, as always, the weather has an agenda of its own. This year the weather has already given us a glimpse of what’s in store: snow, snow and more snow.
But snowstorms aren’t the most dangerous vehicle-crashing disasters the news makes them out to be. In fact, it’s the aftermath of the snow storms that leads to the number one cause of weather-related crashes: wet pavement. Seventy-four percent of weather-related crashes can be attributed to wet pavement. Compare this to 17% that are snow or sleet weather-related crashes and it becomes clear that the most dangerous part of a winter storm is after it’s over, as the snow and sleet are melting on and around the streets.
This year, let’s make it a priority to drive safely during the storm and after it.
Here are 5 tips from our 2012 and 2013 National Truck Driving Championship winner, Roland Bolduc at FedEx Express:
1. PRETRIP! Everything to do with safety starts with a thorough pre-trip. It is the essential walkthrough to ensure you have peace of mind to rely on your equipment.
2. Visibility. Clean those window and mirrors. I clean my glass just about every day. It keeps the reflections down and improves overall visibility.
3. Watch the weather. I have a TV in my bathroom. While most people say “Wow, you’ll never miss a play during the game” I use it as my guide for the day. I watch the weather and news while getting ready every morning. It will inform me of the days’ road issues.
4. Keep that safety bubble around your vehicle. Know what vehicles are around you at ALL times. It’s part of the “Leave yourself an out” mentality and “get the big picture.” I make a game out of it. It will also keep you aware of those texting and distracted drivers. God knows they are everywhere!
5. SLOW DOWN. This is the most important piece of advice I can give drivers. If you followed the last four tips, you’ve taken advantage of knowing that your vehicle can stop if a fellow driver is not being cautious in the given weather conditions. Be able to make the correct, knowledgeable choice when emergencies arise. Driving slow will give both you and the cars behind you more time to react to the situation at hand.
“I live and work by these tips all year long. In addition, there is one more tip I always tell drivers of any size or shaped vehicle. If someone upsets you while driving, let it go. In five minutes, the person or situation will be gone from your life forever.” – Roland