Winter is settling across the country, bringing new threats to your fleet drivers. Along with the dangers of ice and snow, drivers now spend more time driving in the dark. Add in the holidays and end-of-year stresses and accidents are just waiting to happen.
The right training can make all the difference in these dangerous conditions. Use the tips below to prepare your drivers for driving in the dark, particularly during the winter.
What should a driver do to drive safely at night?
Driving safely at night requires constant awareness, proper visibility, and extra caution. You don’t know if the drivers around you are alert, so you have to drive defensively. In the winter months, you also have to watch for conditions that can cause an accident, such as black ice. Below, we’ve included several tricks for staying safe while driving at night.
1. Maintain excellent visibility
At night, you rely on your headlights and street lights to illuminate the road. Ensure every fleet vehicle has working, strong headlights. Weather conditions, such as rain, snow, and cold temperatures, may limit visibility as well. Wiper blades should be able to easily keep the windshield clear. You should also train drivers on defrosting their windows in cold temperatures to maintain full visibility.
2. Drive cautiously
Since the darkness limits how far ahead you can see, it also decreases the amount of time you have to stop for an unexpected obstacle. Debris in the road, sudden turns, wildlife, and stalled vehicles can all appear suddenly. Protect yourself by driving slowly and cautiously. Plan to encounter a problem so you’re always ready to react quickly.
3. Stay alert
Darkness and cold temperatures naturally increase drowsiness. If you’re already tired, fighting the urge to close your eyes or relax your guard can seem impossible. Remind drivers to stay well-rested. If they haven’t had proper sleep, try to find an alternative to driving at all, but especially at night.
Drivers should also be on the lookout for people driving dangerously around them. Since this is the holiday season, there may be several drowsy, impaired, or distracted drivers sharing the road. Driving defensively can protect your team from these drivers and other problems.
If your drivers are in a nighttime accident, you need to react quickly. A fleet telematics and GPS device can help you find and rescue them before they are exposed to greater dangers. Learn how you can protect your drivers here.