Winter Driving Preparation
Motor vehicle accidents are ones of the main causes of workplace deaths in British Columbia. The risk of a motor vehicle accident is heightened in winter conditions. This is because freezing temperatures, rain, snow, black ice and reduced daylight hours create additional hazards for occupational drivers.
The information provided below from shift into winter will help reduce your risk of motor vehicle accidents during the winter season.
Understand Your Legal Responsibilities:
- Know your responsibilities under the Workers Compensation Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation.
- Follow the safety policies, rules and procedures made by your organization
Do not work or drive when impaired.
- Report all hazardous conditions. You have the right to refuse work that you think is unsafe.
- Inclement weather and poor road conditions should be reported. Report workplace and road hazards to your supervisor.
Determine When Work Driving is Necessary:
- When possible, eliminate the hazards associated with winter driving. Conduct business by e-mail, telephone, video conferencing. Or avoid driving by using public transit.
- By limiting vehicle trips, you will reduce your personal risk, reduce costs and improve the environment.
When Driving is Necessary:
- When you are required to drive ensure that you: prepare your vehicle, prepare yourself and drive for the conditions.
- Understand the importance of safe seasonal driving.
- Check weather and road conditions before driving.
- Revise your travel schedule depending on the weather and road conditions.
Complete a pre-trip inspection before every trip.
- Follow your organization’s policies when working alone.
- Follow your organization’s procedures if you become stuck or stranded
Prepare Your Vehicle:
- Report any vehicle concerns to your supervisors
- Review your vehicle’s maintenance record. Take the vehicle in for repairs if needed.
- Scrape all snow and ice from windows, lights, mirrors and vehicle surfaces before driving.
- Use winter tires – they provide better traction in cold weather
- Keep your gas tanks full to avoid condensation, which can cause fuel lines to freeze.
- Carry a winter survival kit
Drive For the Conditions:
- Pay full attention to your driving and the road ahead.
- Allow extra time for work travel.
- Slow down when driving, especially in winter conditions. Posted speed limits are for ideal road conditions.
- Make sure you are able to see and be seen in low light conditions
- Increase the distance between your vehicle and the vehicle driving in front of you.
- Use caution when approaching highway maintenance equipment.
- Understand and avoid the hazards of seasonal rain and fog:
- Plan, and take, rest breaks along the way if you travel over longer distances.
For more information, see Winter Driving, What Workers Need to Know by Shift Into Winter (September 2014).
Tia Chisholm, HUB International TRANSPORTATION
HUB International TRANSPORTATION specialists are based in Vancouver. Our longstanding relationships with the best providers in the business allow us to deliver the solution that serve you best. With HUB, you can run your business knowing that you are headed in the right direction.