Reduce wet weather road risks 

Reduce wet weather road risks 

According to recent data from Arrive Alive, road accidents increase by approximately 20% during the winter months compared to other times of the year. Slippery roads, reduced visibility, and weather-related factors often contribute to these incidents. It is vital for truck drivers to be aware of the heightened risks during winter, as well as steps that can be taken to mitigate them.

“Winter conditions present unique challenges for truck drivers, with wet roads and visibility limits increasing the risk of accidents. It is crucial for truck drivers to prioritise safety and take proactive measures to ensure the well-being of everyone on the roads,” says head of heavy haulage at Santam, Anton Cornelissen.

Practicing caution on winter roads is of the utmost importance. Cornelissen says that the combination of precipitation and lower temperatures create icy conditions, reducing tyre grip and vehicle control. “By exercising caution, adhering to speed limits, and avoiding sudden manoeuvres, truck drivers can significantly reduce the chances of accidents,” he notes.

He shares the following useful tips for truck drivers to ensure road safety:

Slow down and maintain a safe distance

Reduced traction on winter roads necessitates a decrease in speed. It is important to maintain a safe following distance from other vehicles to allow for sufficient stopping time.

CONDUCT REGULAR VEHICLE MAINTENANCE

Ensure that tyres, brakes, lights, and wipers are in optimal condition. Adequate tyre tread depth and proper tyre pressure are crucial for traction on slippery roads.

Be prepared

Carry essential winter supplies such as extra blankets, a warning triangle, and emergency flares. Prepare for unexpected situations like breakdowns or delays due to severe weather.

Monitor weather conditions

Stay updated on weather forecasts and road condition reports. If severe weather is predicted, consider delaying or rescheduling the trip if possible. When on the road, be aware of changing conditions and adapt your driving accordingly.

“By following these tips, acknowledging the winter road accident statistics, practicing caution on wet roads, and preparing for severe weather conditions, truck drivers can contribute to safer roads for everyone,” says Cornelissen. “Let us prioritise safety, reduce accidents, and ensure a winter season marked by responsible and cautious driving.”

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SHEQ Management

SHEQ MANAGEMENT is the definitive source for reliable, accurate and pertinent information to guarantee environmental health and safety in the workplace.
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