As Hurricane Dorian moved toward the central Florida Atlantic coast, the tropical cyclone is was expected to unleash torrential rain and raise the risk of flooding after landfall, according to AccuWeather.
On Aug. 30, AccuWeather meteorologists projected that Dorian would make landfall as a major hurricane with the intensity of a Category 4 and maximum sustained winds of 130 mph or greater along the middle of Florida's east coast.
For commercial fleets, hurricanes mean widespread flooding, intense winds, and downed power lines — all of which are major roadway hazards.
Now is a good time for fleet managers to take precautions. ARI has offered several steps fleets can take to protect vehicles and drivers in advance. Here are 11 tips:
Ensure all of your fleet vehicles have a full tank of gas ready to go.
Find High Ground
Move parked vehicles from flood-prone and low-lying areas to mitigate exposure.
Supply Roadside Kits
Provide your drivers with packed resources in case they get stranded. Kits should include water, batteries, a flashlight, first aid supplies, and healthy snacks, for example.
Make copies of all registration and insurance cards. Store originals in a waterproof bag.
Be proactive and make sure you have proof of vehicle interiors and exteriors for potential insurance claims.
In addition, now is a good time to remind drivers how to stay safe if they find themselves behind the wheel during a tropical storm or hurricane. Experts offer the following tips:
It's the best way to keep control on wet, slippery roads and with limited visibility.
Avoid Flooded Roads or Moving Water
Don't underestimate just how deep the water is and attempt to drive through it. In fact, in one foot of water, some vehicles will float. Two feet of water can sweep vehicles away, including SUVs and pickups.
Hydroplaning is when your vehicle loses contact with the road and feels like it is floating on water. It's a dangerous situation and can happen during any storm. To avoid hydroplaning, slow down, turn off cruise control, and avoid sudden braking and turns.
Turn on Your Headlights
To increase visibility use your headlights, but not the high beams, which can distract you and other drivers.
Increase Following Distance
While driving in a hurricane, it is best to keep ample distance between your vehicle and the one ahead. This way you have more time to react to any sudden moves or stalls by other vehicles.
Get to Higher Ground
It's always best not to drive at all in extreme weather. So if possible, find a safe place on higher ground and pull over until the downpour passes.