There are some big risks when it comes to operating tractor trailers in the winter months. On average there were around 6,300 fatalities due to weather related vehicle accidents over the past 10 years. Over 1.3 million vehicle crashes in that same 10 year period were caused by inclement weather, such as rain, snow, sleet, fog and high winds. Here at Guttman Energy, we implement the Smith System® of safe driving. The Smith System® is used by major corporations such as Bell South, Exxon Mobil, General Electric and Johnson & Johnson.
It teaches 5 keys to safe driving:
- Aim high®
- Leave Yourself an Out®
- The Big Picture®
- Make Sure They See You®
- Keep Your Eyes Moving®
We encourage all of our valued customers to follow these practical steps to ensure safe travel this winter. Please also remember that stopping takes longer as weather worsens and to give plenty of space around commercial vehicles.
Cold weather also plays a large role on tractor trailers and diesel fuel maintenance and if ignored could create danger on the roadways. Diesel fuel tends to thicken to a gel like substance that can damage a truck's fuel system, therefore, the use of winter additive is necessary when temperatures drop below 20 degrees Fahrenheit for more than a short period of time. Not only do tractor trailers have to watch out for fuel gelling, but so do any of our customers who use diesel engines; whether it be for a bobcat out in a field or a school bus. We also believe that safe protocol for winter driving should also include checking to be sure there is optimal tire air pressure and battery capacity before prolonged cold stretches.
According to drive-safely.net, there are tips on keeping your truck fleet safe in winter conditions. Here are a few to consider:
- Never let the fuel tank go empty, the fuel line can freeze
- Plan your trip ahead of time
- Check your tires often for proper tire pressure
- Stay parked if you are nervous about driving in bad weather
- Always have an emergency kit in your truck
- Always keep a safe following distance from other vehicles
- Slow down when driving in snow, ice, rain, sleet
- Keep the tractor and trailer lights clean to be seen
Please drive carefully this winter season from all of us here at Guttman Energy.