Anyone in charge of a vehicle in therain should alter their driving behaviour to suit the wet conditions. However, for courier drivers, paying attention to the road conditions is even more important. As couriers drive larger vehicles than many on the road they have to consider the safety of those around them, and as they’re often transporting valuable goods, smoothness is also a consideration. In addition, your courier drivers represent your company out on the roads and poor driving habits can reflect badly on the business as a whole.
The responsibilities of making sure drivers comply with the safety measures and procedures set out by their employers lie with both fleet operators and the courier drivers themselves. Below, we have provided a quick checklist for all parties to act as a reminder of the precautions to take in preparation (and during) for bad weather.
Although as a fleet operator you can’t control everything out on the roads, let’s recap what you can do to keep your fleet safe in the rain.
· Ensure vehicle maintenance: By using advanced telematics,vehicle checks can be easily scheduled, allowing for regular fleet maintenance.
· Pay attention to tyres: Tyres in poor condition can cause huge problems when it starts to rain, as even a small reduction in grip is highly dangerous on slippery roads. Keep tyres well inflated and ensure they have a tread depth that will guarantee decent grip on wet roads.
· Proactive monitoring: Make the most of your fleet’s GPS tracking system to provide drivers with real-time route alterations. You can direct them away from routes that are particularly busy or treacherous in wet weather.
· Dealing with irresponsiblebehaviour: Use telematics data to track driver behaviour. If a courier consistently takes unnecessary risks, or acts in an irresponsible manner in wet weather, consider providing additional training or even disciplinary measures.
Of course, courier drivershave certain responsibilitiesthemselves, but do bear in mind thatemployees might require training to ensure compliance with the guidelines set out for safe and responsible driving practices.
· Personal responsibility for vehicle checks: Couriers should take responsibility for ensuring their tyres are in a good condition before a journey and for flagging up problems they may encounter.
· Safe and responsible road conduct: Among other things, this means using headlights when visibility is reduced and taking extra care around hazards, such as cyclists and pedestrians.
· Know the safe stopping distance: Stopping distances are at least double the normal during adverse weather conditions, such as heavy rain. Maintaining a safe stopping distance will not only provide time to break safely if a vehicle needs to stop suddenly, it will help with visibility, reducing the effect of spray from nearby vehicles.
· Maintain a safe speed: Drivers should take weather conditions into account when making decision as to what a safe speed is for their vehicle. In wet weather it is best to err on the side of caution and opt for a moderate speed.
· Be alert to conditions: Along with maintaining a moderate speed and ensuring sufficient stopping distance, it’s important to avoid rough cornering and sudden breakingin wet weather in order toprotect the driver and other road users from a potential accident.
By preparing for wet weather in advance, and ensuring employees are trained to deal with adverse weather conditions on the roads, managers can ensure their fleet stays safe.
Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world's largest neutral trading hub for same day jobs for courier drivers in the express freight exchange industry. Over 5,300 member companies are networked together through the Exchange to fill empty capacity, get new clients and form long-lasting business relationships.