Fleet Safety Tip of the Week: Off-Road Recovery Procedures
There are many reasons why a driver might run off the edge of the road. Maybe he or she turned suddenly to avert collision with a crossing deer, or with another vehicle. Maybe a curve in the roadway was taken at too high a speed. Maybe fatigue was taking its toll on the driver and he started to nod off -- until the suddenly bumpy ride jarred him awake. Whatever the reason, drivers occasionally run off the road and this creates an added safety hazard because of the difference in traction between the paved road surface and the shoulder surface.
All your fleet drivers need to be very familiar with off-road recovery procedures. If they find themselves in such a predicament and try to return to the roadway immediately with a sudden turn, they run the risk of a rollover.
Initially, the driver needs to keep a firm grip on the steering wheel to fight the tendency of the wheels to pull to the right if the shoulder is soft. At first, it’s important to keep the vehicle traveling straight ahead to stabilize it. Then, the driver can ease off the accelerator, gradually apply the brakes, and return to the roadway lane when it’s safe.
Here’s a video from AAA that explains off-road recovery procedures in more detail.