With the arrival of fall, trucking operations staff should refresh their knowledge of seasonal hazards that come with this time of year and remind their drivers as well. Great West Casualty Company offers a great list of common fall travel hazards:
- Environment Conditions. Fall is the time where rain, fog, early frosts, and leaves can cause roadways to be slippery. Always drive the proper speed for the conditions. Consider reducing speed 2-3 mph below the flow of traffic and maintain a minimum of 6 seconds following distance. This allows for more reaction time especially when operating large vehicles.
- Equipment/Vehicle Deficiencies. Insufficient tread depth, faulty brakes, and inoperable window defrosters/windshield wipers can create dangerous hazards. Pre-trip inspections are a must and should be conducted thoroughly before leaving a stop.
- Animals. Deer activity increases this time of year. Slow down, stay in your lane, and if necessary, hit the animal to avoid losing control.
- School Zones. School is back in session, which means kids are crossing roadways and school buses are active. Always check mirrors and slow down through school zones.
- Shorter Days. Sleep patterns may be disrupted, which can lead to driver fatigue. Sun glare during the sunrise and sunset can also pose major problems for drivers.