Winter is in full swing, creating hazards for all of us! Weather conditions change quickly and being prepared is important. When it comes to safety, on foot or on the road, understanding how to effectively navigate what Mother Nature provides can go a long way.
Safety Tips for the Winter
Consider these tips to keep your staff, customers, and yourself safe this winter season:
Tires, Windshield Wipers, and Fluid: Check the inflation level of tires. Inflate, as needed, before each shift. Are your wipers working well? Wiper blades should press against the window with enough pressure to wipe the windshield clean. If they don’t, an adjustment or replacement is likely necessary. Make sure the washer fluid reservoir under the hood is full before each shift so it’s ready when you need it most.
Weather Tools: Store a snow brush and scraper in an accessible location in your vehicle, along with a small shovel and sandbag. Hopefully, you won’t need them, but these tools can come in handy if you, or someone else on the road, are stuck.
Winter Weather Gear: If you’re not already wearing a coat, boots, hats, and gloves during your shift, makes sure you keep them handy in the backseat with a few hand warmers and an extra blanket. Make sure your footwear has rubber soles and provides good traction.
Charge Up: Your cell phone could come in very handy if you’re stranded. Using it while driving is never recommended, but it is important to keep a cell phone fully charged and accessible (but not in use) during the winter. Consider keeping a charged power bank with you as well.
On The Road
See and Be Seen: Promptly remove snow and ice buildup on your vehicle’s windows and mirrors. Don’t drive if you can’t see in all directions. Stop to clean as often as necessary.
Slow Down: Slippery surfaces reduce traction, making it difficult to maintain control of your vehicle. Slow down to compensate.
Stay Back: Maintaining appropriate following distances for weather conditions is a must.
Watch Out: Be aware of moisture on the roadway. It can freeze into a smooth and nearly invisible surface referred to as black ice. Bridges, shaded areas, banked curves, and dips in the road are the most common places black ice accumulates.
On A Delivery
Curb Check: Park your vehicle against a curb on the street whenever possible. By avoiding driveways, you also avoid reversing into traffic, which is especially important when surfaces are slick.
Slow and Steady: On driveways, sidewalks and stairs, take slow and deliberate steps and use the handrail.
Look Up: Check for ice and snow accumulation on buildings above you and take caution as thawing occurs.
In An Emergency
Emergency Contact: Keep the phone numbers of your roadside assistance provider or local tow company handy in case you need them.
Stay Put: Whenever possible, turn on your flashers and stay in your vehicle when stranded during cold weather.
Keep Warm: Run your engine and heater for short periods of time to occasionally warm things up while you wait for help.