Check tires for proper inflation and tread depth (not only to help your driving, but under-inflation decreases tire life and fuel efficiency, too!)
Clean and test lights – if your headlights are covered in dirt they will not illuminate the roadway as effectively. This could increase your reaction time and decrease the space needed to stop or avoid a problem.
Test and inspect brakes, and other mechanical systems
Also, before heading out, plan your trip. Considering the weather and traffic conditions, how long will it really take you to make the proposed trip? Are there any road construction projects along your route? Do you have any alternate routes planned in case of unexpected tie-ups? The first step in arriving on time safely is accurately estimating travel time under the current conditions.
Minimize distractions as you drive. Avoid using cell phones, two-way radios and similar devices unless its an emergency and in compliance with your company’s policies and local regulations. If you become lost, pull over before looking at maps, etc.
If you become ill while driving, report in with your office – let them know your condition and location.
Slow down if weather conditions deteriorate suddenly. Rushing to get to your destination can increase your odds of getting into a dangerous situation.
Stay calm. Its easy to get upset when running behind schedule or when traffic conditions get tough. Staying calm isn’t always easy, but it can be one of your best strategies to avoid collisions as your attention can remain fully focused on the road ahead.
Seek help when needed. Asking for help when conditions are interfering with your trip is always a good idea. Getting advice from your office, locating alternate routes, spotting areas where you can safely rest are examples of how you could get help when conditions team up against you.
Always use your seatbelt – just in case there is a collision!
The Bottomline – Adjusting Your Speed to Match Conditions Ultimately, adjusting your speed to cope with the conditions is your responsibility. You should consider slowing down whenever:
you can’t see well (especially ahead of your vehicle) for any reason
your vehicle is becoming difficult to control (due to road conditions or mechanical issues)
rain, snow, sleet, ice or other slippery conditions are getting worse
you feel ill, tired or unable to concentrate (consider taking a break to get a some light
exercise, and check in with your office)
The unfortunate, likely outcome of driving too fast for conditions is either a ticket or a collision. Choose to be safe by:
Preparing for your trip with route planning (allowing adequate time for the trip) and pre-trip
Adjusting speed as needed for conditions that arise during the trip
Staying calm and asking for help if needed
SafetyFirst Systems, LLC