How To

Ready For a Rainy Day: Gear Up for Any Weather

As each season changes, so does the weather. Is your fleet ready for rain or shine, sleet or snow? Do you have all the in-cab essentials and gear you need for anything Mother Nature throws your way?

Let’s take a look at what your drivers need to make hay while the sun shines!

Stay weather-wise

Did you know that 21% of all vehicle crashes are related to bad weather? A U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) 10-year analysis showed accidents and claims drove insurance premiums up by 47% between 2011 and 2021. What’s more, each year on average, carriers lose around 33 billion vehicle hours of productivity due to weather-related delays.

Preparing for each trip and having the right software solutions help your fleet avoid becoming a collision statistic. Today’s technologies offer real-time weather alerts, efficient communication, and fleet-wide reporting and insights to keep drivers safe right in their cabs.

So how can your fleets stay weather wise?

Six Essential Safety Tips Every Driver Should Know

Drivewyze 1 Road Ready (1).png

Always be road ready

A thorough safety inspection and walk-through are a driver’s first tasks before hitting the road for any trip. Check the brakes, lights, mirrors, and tires. Inspect your windshield wipers and fluid levels to make sure you’ve got a clear view of the road ahead.

Take a break on heavy braking

Semis can take 25% longer to brake than other vehicles. In poor weather, increased breaking time can have life-saving impact. Maintaining a lower speed, changing speeds slowly and avoiding using the brakes unless your tractor/trailer is aligned not only avoids jackknifing, but also keeps you and others on the road safe. Speaking of other drivers, you never know when another vehicle might suddenly change speeds or lanes particularly in bad weather. So keep a good distance between you and other vehicles to ensure you have lots of room to avoid any potential collisions.

Check those blind spots

You know your blind spots in good weather. Add in fog, hail or snow and it’s even harder to see those other vehicles. It’s particularly important in bad weather to know your surroundings and double or triple check before making a move on the road. Don’t forget that other cars may have reduced visibility too. Let those other vehicles have the right of way or take extra precautions maneuvering lane changes or exits.

Drivewyze 4 Space is safe (1).png

Space is safe

5% of crashes are caused by trucks following too close according to national data. While it’s recommended cars keep a three second gap from the vehicle ahead, trucks need at least one second for every 10 feet of vehicle length. For a typical tractor-trailer, that means 4 seconds between you and the leading vehicle if driving under 40mph. For speeds over 40 mph, you should leave one additional second. Keeping your distance keeps you safe.

Eyes on the road

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports the risk of being involved in a safety-critical event such as a crash, near-crash or unintentional lane deviation is 23.2 times greater for commercial drivers who text while driving compared to those who don’t. Distracted driving is the second leading driver-related cause of fatal truck accidents. These are scary statistics. To avoid becoming one, stay off phone calls, keep music low, and make sure you’re fully focused and not tired while driving in dangerous conditions.

Be ready for anything

Weather can change rapidly particularly in areas prone to natural disasters or weather-related events. Ensure you are ready for anything with the right supplies in your cab. Bring weather-appropriate clothing on your route—things like a rain jacket in spring or fall; heavy coat, hat and gloves in winter can make all the difference. Essentials such as a flashlight with spare batteries, a fully stocked emergency kit and extra food can make your journey through weather so much easier.

How Technology Can Help You Be Prepared for Any Weather

Today’s software solutions help drivers anticipate difficult travel ahead. Drivewyze, a Geotab partner, provides several free and paid tools and resources to help keep your drivers safe.

Drivewyze Safety+ is an advanced safety dashboard for truck drivers. Safety+ delivers in-cab weather alerts for everything from blizzards and floods to tornadoes and heat waves. There are over 70 weather safety alerts to help keep drivers safe on the road. See a full list of weather alerts from Drivewyze Safety+.

Unexpected weather events happen more frequently than we think. Every year we hear about a wall of fog causing accidents or an ice storm making an interstate an ice rink. Tornados, extreme high winds, and wildfires – causing dense smoke – are occurring more frequently. Drivewyze collects critical risk information from its data partners and uses it to warn subscribers before they get caught in a serious situation.

Since Drivewyze Safety+ runs in the background on supported Geotab devices, the alerts are always on, no matter the weather. In-cab alerts like “Snow Squall Warning, Drive for Conditions” are displayed on the ELD or tablet. Severe Weather Alerts, alerts for high rollover areas, low bridges, mountain corridors (steep grades/runaway ramps), real-time congestion, speed (areas known for high citations), cargo theft (high alert areas), and rest areas (parking availability) also appear on the platform. Drivewyze Safety+ allows fleets to create their own custom geo-fencing and alert notifications. A web portal allows fleets to track the impact of the alerts for driver coaching.

Drivewyze Free—available through the Geotab marketplace—provides several of the critical alerts, found in Drivewyze Safety+, free of charge.

Learn More

Drivewyze solutions give drivers eyes on the road ahead so you can be prepared for any weather conditions.

Visit Drivewyze