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What To Know About Driving in Stormy Weather

driving during stormy weather

How to Stay Safe on the Road During Dangerous Weather Conditions

1/29/2016 by Caroline Ailanthus

Winter has finally arrived in the Eastern United States, with parts of West Virginia and Maryland receiving over three feet of snow in a single storm. Baltimore and New York City each received over two feet. Wind, rain, and beach erosion damaged other communities. Eleven states in total, plus the District of Columbia, declared emergencies. Thousands of people were left without power and at least fourteen people died.

Snow and ice are especially dangerous for motorists. All the normal road safety guidelines are even more important in winter when road conditions are bad. These guidelines include:

  • Wear a seat belt
  • Pay attention to the road and never text or talk on the phone while driving
  • Get in the correct lane well before your exit, since erratic lane changes could cause accidents
  • Stay out of trucker’s blind spots: if you cannot see the driver’s face in the truck’s mirrors, he or she can’t see you
  • Never cut in front of a large truck. Big, heavy vehicles have longer stopping distances and cannot slam on the brakes to avoid you.

The American Trucking Associations’ (ATA) America’s Road Team also offers the following tips specifically for winter road safety:

  • Slow down and give other drivers plenty of room. Brakes do not work well on ice and snow.
  • Clear snow and ice off your vehicle completely so it does not limit your visibility or fall off and cause problems for other vehicles.
  • Leave early to allow for delays
  • Remember that conditions can be very different a few miles down the road or at different times of day. Snow melting during the daytime can freeze into black ice at night.
  • Make sure your vehicle is in good working order, since winter is a bad time to be broken down on the side of the road.
  • Carry an emergency kit in case you do become stranded. Your kit should include warm clothes, blankets, food and water, emergency medical supplies, a flashlight, a battery powered or wind-up radio, maps, tire repair kit, and flares. Make sure your cell phone has a full charge.  

The best bet, of course, is to stay off the roads entirely when conditions are dangerous, but not everyone can do that. The demand for goods is high and drivers are needed to make deliveries.  Often times professional drivers still have to go to work except under the most extreme circumstances. Fleet managers can do a lot to ensure their drivers’ safety by using a GPS tracking system.

GPS fleet management technology allows fleet managers to see exactly where their vehicles are in real time. If a driver in their fleet goes off the road, the manager can be alerted to mobilize emergency personnel to that exact spot, even if the driver is injured. For heavy-duty operators, the Ruggedized Prism TM470R is an especially good option as it can handle extreme weather conditions including heat, rain and cold temperatures. Geofence options, alerts, and reliable operation add up to peace of mind when conditions on the road aren’t always predictable.

This winter season, make sure to equip your fleet with a secure GPS fleet management system.

To learn more about GPS fleet management software... Get a Free Live Demo Now!

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