Using the same pre-trip inspection checklist year-round is an expensive mistake for motor carriers. Preparing for and navigating the winter months are very different processes than during warmer, drier seasons. Extra precautions must be taken, as slick roads and holiday stress make winter the most challenging time of year for commercial drivers.
According to NHTSA:
- December has the highest number of traffic fatalities (among winter months)
- Nearly one in five crashes occur during winter months, even though 20% more miles are driven during summer
- Snowy, slushy or icy roads account for 24% of weather-related crashes
By creating a pre-trip checklist that’s specifically tailored to the specific hazards of winter driving, you can ensure that your team is keeping the resources and training they’ve received top-of-mind each and every time they get behind the wheel. A checklist is a simple, inexpensive way to help drivers avoid dangerous situations and preventable incidents.
If you don’t currently use a winter pre-trip inspection checklist, we’ve got you covered. Download our free, one-page winter pre-trip checklist and share it with your drivers, dispatchers and maintenance crew.
Get Access to our full bundle of Winter Driving Safety Resources for Fleets,
including our FREE Safety Pre-Trip Checklist and much more!
Already have a winter driving checklist? Kudos, Safety Pro. Why not compare your list to ours to ensure your existing checklist is as comprehensive as possible?
CMV Winter Driving Tips for Ensuring Your Drivers are Fully Prepared
The safety manager mantra, “safety is no accident,” is especially true during colder months. Preparing for winter weather requires more than just telling drivers to carry chains and a shovel.
It requires planning: rushing is the primary cause of most crashes, and winter is primetime for weather-related delays. It’s a one-two punch for drivers in a rush.
When drivers don’t plan extra time to defrost windows, clear away snow and ice or put on chains, they fall behind schedule. Falling behind leads to rushing, increasing the likelihood an expensive incident for your company.
It requires extra attention; drivers must remember to:
- Increase following distance when visibility turns bad
- Ensure fuel levels never drop below ¼ tank
- Step down (not out) when exiting the vehicle
It takes teamwork: your team knows how to hustle, but can they shift gears in winter? For example:
- The maintenance team should keep a closer eye on wiper fluid levels and tire tread
- Dispatchers should allow extra time between appointments so drivers feel comfortable reducing their speed on slick roads
Company-wide Buy-in of Winter Driving Safety Requires a Game Plan
When your team knows what to do and how to work together, you can avoid winter weather disasters and delays. As the saying goes, “the best defense is a good offense.” Why not give your team a game plan?
A winter pre-trip safety checklist is a simple, inexpensive way to prevent the most common incidents and injuries (not to mention downtime). Our checklist also includes:
- A list of emergency equipment and supplies every driver should carry
- Winter driving tips from safety experts
- Special considerations for box truck drivers
Download this free tool and much more to minimize risk and unnecessary expenses this winter.