Fleet safety is an integral part of the fleet business. After all, it is what guarantees the reliability of a fleet company and helps sustain its business due to positive word of mouth. However, when it comes to ensuring the safety of the fleet, drivers, and cargo, many things prove to be a threat, such as bad weather, vehicle malfunction, driver negligence, and more.
With that said, there’s one thing that’s often overlooked as a threat to the safety of fleet drivers and that is high, strong winds. High winds are so dangerous that they can wreak havoc on the roads and cause some serious vehicular collisions.
Experts believe that winds of even 30 to 45 mph can make driving considerably more perilous for drivers. This is because heavy winds affect the dynamics of driving and can cause the driver to lose control of their vehicle. Strong gusts of wind can actually blow a vehicle off-road and cause it to crash into another vehicle.
Moreover, strong winds can cause heavy objects to fall on the road and cause various obstructions for drivers. This is why fleet drivers must drive safely and carefully during such unpredictable weather to ensure that they remain safe.
Here are some solid strategies that fleet drivers need to use to stay safe during exceptionally windy weather:
Always Wear Your Seatbelt
You simply can’t start your journey without putting on your seatbelt first. After all, buckling up is an essential part of fleet safety. If you have your seatbelt on, it will ensure that you remain safely seated when traveling through harsh gusts of winds, which might jostle your vehicle around.
Reduce the Speed of Your Vehicle
This one is a no-brainer; all fleet drivers need to practice safe and slow driving, especially during such a windy, dangerous, and unpredictable weather. You need to make sure to slow down your vehicle as it can help you maintain your control over it.
Regardless of how good a driver you are and how much control you have over your vehicle, speeding combined with harsh winds can turn out to be nasty. This is because if your vehicle skids a bit too much to one side due to the wind, you won’t be able to control it due to its high speed. This is why it’s better to be safe than sorry and to slow down your vehicle.
Keep Both Your Hands on the Wheel
When dealing with harsh winds, an essential step is to have the utmost control over your vehicle. One solid way to make sure that your vehicle is in your control is by having a firm grip on the wheels. This will allow you to be prepared to react to a particularly strong gust of wind and control your vehicle.
If the wind causes your vehicle to shift or causes heavy objects such as trees or powerlines to fall on the road, having both your hands on the wheel will allow you to safely maneuver your vehicle out of harm’s way.
Pass Other Vehicles Smartly
In windy conditions, you must get your bearings straight and be extra careful when passing another vehicle on the road. This is because even though you might have exceptional control over your vehicle, you can’t say the same about the other driver. They might swerve their vehicle unexpectedly and cause a collision. So, to ensure fleet safety, just be careful when passing and make sure that you don’t pass too close to another vehicle.
Keep an Eye Out for Fallen Objects and Downed Power Lines
As mentioned earlier, the strong gusts of wind can cause dangerous powerlines, trees, and other debris such as billboards to fall on the road. This is why you must stay careful and maintain a clear line of sight while driving so that you don’t crash into these objects. This is particularly true for downed powerlines, which you must never drive over. This is because even if the powerlines were knocked over by the wind, there’s no guarantee that the high-voltage wires are not alive and kicking. They can be particularly dangerous to drive over.
Avoid Driving Near Big Buses and Rigs
The bigger your vehicle is, the more difficult it’s going to be to control it during windy conditions. This is why drivers of bulky vehicles such as rigs and buses might face some trouble staying in their lane during such conditions. Furthermore, since large vehicles have a lot of wind surface, a terribly strong gust of wind can easily cause them to flip over! Due to their large size, if they flip over, they will easily crush any vehicle that’s being driven adjacent to them. So, make sure that during such harsh winds, you steer clear of these bulky vehicles and stay out in the open.
To Sum It Up
The bottom line is that to ensure fleet safety, you need to be extra vigilant and careful while driving in exceptionally windy weather. To recap, here are the things that you need to do to stay safe:
- Make sure to fasten your seatbelt before you start your journey.
- Always drive slowly to maintain steady control over your vehicle.
- Keep both of your hands on the wheel at all times.
- Try to avoid passing another vehicle and if you do, then do it smartly.
- Keep an eye out for fallen debris such as trees, billboards, and powerlines.
- Avoid driving near large vehicles such as rigs and buses.
Make sure to follow the above-mentioned tips to stay out of harm’s way!