In a previous article we mentioned that we have recently changed our insurance plan from a traditional insurance provider to a captive group. If you had not read that article, a captive group is basically a group of transportation companies who group together to provide companies financial insurance within the group. Each company will pay for this insurance to cover members of the group. It is a system that is more beneficial to our company because our insurance provider has similar goals and values as we do, but it does impose more risk than a traditional company.
Because of this risk, captive groups will highly value safety within their respective companies. Our group is managed by a company called Cottingham & Butler, and they hold safety conventions multiple times a year to collaborate with others in the group to encourage and share ideas on how to prioritize safety within the group.
Amanda McKee is one of Marvin Keller’s representatives who attends Cottingham & Butler’s safety convention, and she sat down with us to talk about some of the ideas that Cottingham & Butler provided on winter weather driving.
Tip # 1: Winter weather means less visibility through the windshield. We need to combat this. Before you drive clear the ice and snow completely from your vehicle’s windshield. Also be sure that your windshield washer reservoir is filled with freeze-resistant cleaning solution.
Tip#2: Winter weather means slippery roads. If you happen to start skidding and losing traction the best way to recover is to turn the steering wheel in the direction you are sliding. If the back wheels are sliding left, steer left. If you are sliding right, steer right.
Tip 3: If your vehicle has an anti-lock braking system (ABS), maintain steady and consistent pressure on the brake pedal. If your vehicle does not have ABS, press the brake pedal gently and release, press and release, pumping more rapidly as you slow down. This is to mimic the ABS system manually. If you press the brake hard without the ABS system it will make your skid worse.
Tip 4: Just because the road ahead appears clear does not mean there is no ice. Ice can sometimes appear non-reflective, but end up being very slippery. This is called black ice. Always proceed with caution and expect the road to be icy if in winter weather conditions.
Tip 5: When stopping behind another truck, a good rule of thumb is to stop at a distance where you can see clearly beneath the bottom of their truck. This ensures that you start stopping at a distance that will prevent collision if you hit ice while you are braking.