SPOT THE SAFETY VIOLATION: Clear Snow from Vehicle Before Driving
Did the driver of this car forget to do something pretty important before she got behind the wheel?
This picture from The Telegraph in the UK may be a little extreme but it does depict a very real winter safety hazard—vehicles on the road that haven’t been properly cleared of snow and ice.
Obviously, the driver of this car should’ve cleared all of the snow from the windows—not just a little porthole—so she could safely see both in front of and behind her. In addition, she should’ve cleared the snow from the car’s roof, which could easily slide down onto the windshield, blocking her view. And snow on a car roof can blow off and endanger other drivers on the road.
Why should you care about the condition of your workers’ vehicles on the road this winter? Because if workers get into a traffic accident while on the job, they or someone else could get injured or killed—and your company could face liability.
Bottom line: Instruct workers who drive as part of their job to clear all of the snow and ice from the windows, roof, hood and trunk of their vehicles. They should also ensure that the headlights and tail lights are clear and visible.
10 Winter Driving Tips
Winter driving poses many different safety hazards. But there are things your workers can do to protect themselves on the road. Here are 10 winter driving tips you can give them to help keep them safe:
1. Prepare the vehicle for a trip before you leave. (Use this checklist to ensure your vehicle is properly prepared for winter driving.)
2. Plan ahead by checking out the weather and road conditions on your route.
3. If the weather or road conditions are bad, decide whether the trip is really necessary or can be postponed until conditions improve.
4. Drive according to road conditions by going slow and maintaining a safe distance between vehicles, especially if there’s black ice on the road. (Watch this video on braking in winter weather conditions.)
5. Understand that although four- and all-wheel drive vehicles can reduce your chances of getting stuck, they won’t help you stop faster in slippery conditions.
6. Ensure the vehicle has winter or snow tires on it and the tires are in good condition.
7. Wear your seatbelt.
8. Carry your cell phone with you in case you get stuck or into an accident. But don’t text or talk while driving!
9. Have a winter emergency kit in your vehicle. (Use this checklist to ensure that the kit has all the necessary components.)
10. Perform regular maintenance on the vehicle to keep it in good working condition, including checking that the windshield wiper fluid is designed for winter use and topped off.