Winter weather conditions coupled with worn tires can lead to flat tires that leave fleet drivers stranded on the side of the road and in an unsafe scenario. - Photo via Christos Giakkas/Pixabay

Winter weather conditions coupled with worn tires can lead to flat tires that leave fleet drivers stranded on the side of the road and in an unsafe scenario.

Photo via Christos Giakkas/Pixabay

Some 11,000 accidents occur every year due to bad tires, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Moreover, dangerous driving conditions from winter weather and driving on worn tires are two of the most common causes for vehicle collisions.

For fleet operators, it’s important to ensure that the tires on your fleet vehicles aren’t worn or underinflated. However, even with regular check-ups it can happen simply due to everyday driving habits.

For starters, fleet drivers travel approximately 25,000+ miles a year as compared with non-professional drivers who travel an estimated 12,000 miles annually. So their likelihood of wear and tear on tires is greater. Now add in winter weather driving and it’s a dangerous combination.

That’s why now is a good time to remind your drivers how to properly — and safely — change a tire, in the event they find themselves stranded on the side of a road. Experts from Bankrate share the following tips:

  • Before hitting the road, ensure you have a properly-sized jack and spare tire (or donut) in your vehicle.
  • Pull over to the side of the road. Pay attention to your surroundings, including oncoming traffic, the side of the road and lighting.
  • Turn on your hazard lights and apply the parking brake to keep yourself and others safe. Use flares as well if you have them.
  • Even if you already know how to change a tire, read and follow the instructions from your vehicle’s manual to make sure you are properly installing the new tire.
  • If you are having difficultly changing the tire yourself, call a tow truck or roadside assistance.

Bankrate experts also share the following advice on what Emergency Kit Items drivers should keep in their vehicles:

  • First Aid kit with basic supplies such as bandages, gloves, splints and gauze pads.
  • Fix-a-flat, which is a sealant used to plug a leak in a tire.
  • A few tools that can help you with common car issues such as a jack, jumper cables, socket and screwdriver set, duct tape and a knife.
  • A towel or blanket, not only to provide warmth but also to provide a sling or cushion if needed.
  • Road flares to signal distress to other drivers on the road.
  • Cell phone and wireless charging bank to call for help even if your car’s electric system isn’t working.
  • Bottled water and healthy snacks in case you are stuck waiting for help for a while.
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