Commercial drivers tend to be more skilled than the average motorist. Even so, it's always good to encourage your fleet to keep their defensive driving tactics up to snuff.
With winter on the way, now is an ideal time to remind your drivers about best defensive driving practices. Experts offer the following advice:
Keep the proper distance: In winter, it is wise to keep two-times the following distance than in the warmer weather. This gives you more space in the event you need to suddenly stop on an icy road
Look further ahead: Make it a practice to look beyond the vehicle right in front of you. Bu looking four to five cars ahead, you can spot any roadway dangers sooner.
Proper use of clutch and brake in the winter: Do not push the clutch pedal together with the brake because the wheels can get blocked and your vehicle can wind up in a drift.
Be visible when driving in fog: The most important thing is to make sure your vehicle can be seen. Do not use your high beams, which can actually make it more difficult to be seen—use your low beams instead.
Regain control when drifting: Don't panic and don't hit the brake. If your car is rear-wheeled, pull back on the throttle and turn the steering wheel in the direction of the drift. If your car is front wheeled, pull the throttle up and once the car is out of the drift immediately turn the wheel to its initial front position.
Check the road: On winter roads, hit the brake pedal and let it go. Do this several times. If you feel the car comes to a stop, the road is safe. If it doesn't, the road is slick or icy.
Drive the surface road: On any road, try to drive so all four wheels are on the same surface. If two wheels are on snow and two are on ice, the car can be thrown off the road.
Raise the gear in winter: On icy roads, make sure to drive in a higher gear. It's the safer way to go.
Don't overestimate other drivers: Other motorists will speed, run lights or fail to let you merge from time to time. Staying alert and being prepared for other drivers to make mistakes is a critical defensive driving strategy.
Watch a video to learn more defensive driving tips.