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Time to Discuss Spring Driving Hazards

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Spring is around the corner! Flowers will be blooming, birds will start singing, and motor carriers may be exhaling a collective sigh of relief now that winter is mostly in the rearview mirror. But while things are looking up, now is not the time to relax one’s safety posture. The arrival of spring brings its unique hazards, and operations staff play a critical role in preventing crashes by discussing spring-time hazards and defensive driving techniques with drivers.

WEATHER

Spring may bring warmer temperatures, but it is also the start of the country’s wildest weather systems. Drivers must contend with severe weather hazards, such as thunderstorms, high winds, tornadoes, and flooding. Operations staff can do their part to help drivers by monitoring weather forecasts and rerouting them away from adverse weather systems whenever possible. Also, remind drivers of the these techniques when faced with deteriorating weather conditions:

  • Observe the proper speed for conditions
  • Maintain proper following distance.
  • React properly to hazards.

ROAD CONDITIONS

Melting snow and ice will seep into the soil under the pavement and cause it to sink, creating those dreaded potholes. This hazard can wreak havoc on drivers, equipment, and a motor carrier’s bottom line. Popping a tire, especially a steer tire, can lead to a loss-of-control crash and possibly a high-dollar loss. Prompt drivers to adopt the following driving techniques:

  • Be attentive to the road ahead.
  • React properly to hazards.

TRAFFIC

Traffic congestion picks up in the spring as more travelers venture outside to enjoy warmer temperatures. Cars, motorcycles, and bicycles create additional hazards, along with lane closures due to road construction and slow-moving farm equipment. Operations staff can help drivers by being a calming voice when faced with frustrating traffic conditions. If feasible, help drivers find routes that avoid construction areas or hit rush hour traffic. Also, encourage drivers to adopt the following driving techniques:

  • Avoid distractions.
  • Yield the right of way.

 

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