Driving for the Weather: Be Smart, Be Prepared, Be Safe
Risk Management Corner
Everyday distractions aren’t the only things you should worry about when driving. Mother Nature throws in her share of difficulties, as well. Rain, wind, snow, sleet, hail, and ice — hazards are everywhere. Drivers need to know if any lie between them and their destinations.
The National Weather Service® issues watches, warnings, and advisories through several communication channels. Wherever you are, wherever you travel, and wherever you do business, weather can affect travel plans. Commuters and employees who travel frequently face driving risks every day — especially in harsh weather.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends a variety of tips to stay safe on the roadways, including the following:
Get Your Vehicle Serviced
Check for routine maintenance issues including tires, hoses, brakes, battery life, lights, cooling system, and windshield washer and deicing fluid. Repair or replace as necessary.
Know Your Vehicle
Keep your vehicle clean and know how it will perform in winter conditions. Many vehicles have advanced safety features to help prevent accidents, but sometimes drivers don’t know how to use them. Get to know those features and how they help prevent accidents.
Stock Your Vehicle
A good winter survival kit should include a portable snow shovel, ice scraper, sand, jumper cables, a flashlight, warning devices or flares, blankets or extra clothing, a cell phone charger, food, and water. Having these emergency supplies will help in the event of an accident.
Be Alert and Monitor Conditions
Keep an eye on the weather on your intended route. Notify appropriate parties of your anticipated arrival time and route. If you can avoid it, do not travel in dangerous conditions.
Always remember to drive S.A.F.E. Speed, Attention, Fatigue, and Emotion are magnified in difficult conditions. Always monitor your speed, avoid all distractions, get proper rest, and keep your emotions in check.
Weather events present you with decisions to make about traveling. You are in the best position to make decisions about your own personal safety. It is ultimately your responsibility to decide if the travel is necessary and safe given the conditions. Please make good decisions and please make it home safe today and every day!
This article is intended to provide general information and recommendations regarding risk prevention only. There is no guarantee that following these guidelines will result in reduced losses or eliminate any risks. This information may be subject to regulations and restrictions in your state and should not be considered legal advice. Qualified counsel should be sought regarding questions specific to your circumstances and applicable state laws. © 2018 Federated Mutual Insurance Company. All rights reserved.