Driving Tips to Keep Your Fleet Safe this Summer
Summer is the busiest season for roadways nationwide; increased travel and summer road construction spark traffic that places drivers’ safety at risk and frequently delays critical deliveries. Because the stretch between Memorial Day and Labor Day is historically one of the most dangerous times on the road.
Fleet professionals should be aware of summer travel hazards and take steps to support driver safety and minimize issues on the road.
“While truckers are on the road providing the products that keep businesses running year round, a variety of additional external factors come into play during the summer,” says Frank Cook, Chief Technology Officer, PEAK Commercial & Industrial. “Fleet professionals and drivers must be prepared to address these factors to protect both their own safety, the public and the cargo for which they are responsible.”
As part of the recently launched
Lifeblood program to support fleet professionals, PEAK Commercial & Industrial has provided the below tips for fleet professionals to ensure their drivers maintain maximum safety during a busy summer transportation season. 1. Pay close attention to equipment maintenance.
It is important to examine key vehicle parts on a regular basis to guarantee drivers’ well being. According to Cook, the summer season puts vehicles at an increased risk of damage as extreme temperatures places added stress on numerous parts. Drivers should regularly examine tire pressure and tread, inspect windshield wiper operation and check brakes early in the summer to ensure proper function throughout the season.
It is also important to check cooling systems for proper balance of coolant, water and inhibitors as added heat during the summer season can add to the stress put on cooling systems. If a coolant change is required and to save time and money, use a coolant that does not require the addition of Supplemental Coolant Additives (SCAs) and has a long service life such as PEAK Commercial & Industrial’s Final Charge Global Extended Life Coolant or Final Charge NOAT Coolant. Both of these coolants are based on organic acid technology and are especially good for hot weather, as they have better heat transfer capabilities than coolants inhibited with conventional inorganic inhibitors.
2. Remind drivers to increase following distances to compensate for heavier summer traffic. When hauling a heavy load of any kind it is important to brake sooner than normal, but this is especially important in the summer as fleets’ normal traffic patterns are interrupted by construction zones, tourist season, and families and children who are out of school. 3. Minimize distracted driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 3,100 people were killed and 420,000 injured in distraction-related crashes in 2013. Drivers must remain focused on the task at hand, ignoring external factors such as electronics, and be vigilant of their surroundings. In addition to limiting distractions inside the vehicle, make sure your drivers pay attention to other potential distracted drivers surrounding them — if he or she notices a driver texting, focusing on changing a radio station, etc. move away from them immediately. 4. Recognize the intense effects of heat on both driver and vehicle health. Just as you apply certain precautions to ensure vehicles do not overheat, you should also implement extra measures to protect driver health. Heat exhaustion is a critical cause of drowsiness, which poses a significant risk to the safety of everyone on the roads. Remind drivers of the importance of staying alert — if necessary it is best to pull over and take a break. It is better to lose a few hours than lose entire days and risk injury because of an accident. To combat increased fatigue, drivers should also take frequent breaks and drink lots of fluids to avoid heat exhaustion. Read More Read More