With fall upon us, we can expect to see more rain, more morning dew, early morning frosts, and leaves falling from the trees—all making for more slippery road and walking conditions. As the temperature drops, the ground becomes even more slippery, creating further hazardous conditions.
You know that sinking feeling you get when you’re driving over wet leaves and then suddenly need to hit the brakes? We’ve all been there and we know it’s not an easy feat to accomplish. What about trying to make a tight turn over wet leaves? What do you do to make sure you know the road conditions in front of you? That’s why it’s vital to slow it down and allow for greater following distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. It’s also important to stay alert and not allow things like phone calls to interrupt your driving and take your attention away from the road.
Proper Footwear is Key!
During this time of the year, we also see an increase in work-related injuries from drivers who have fractured their ankles by jumping out of the truck and landing on an uneven surface. It doesn’t look uneven, but with the leaves falling off the trees, they have a tendency to blow all around before they find something to stick to or in. Fallen leaves, and even wet leaves, can hide uneven surfaces and can cause the ground to be more slippery than you might expect. They usually get bunched up in holes on sidewalks, roads, and walkways, and this is why we see more ankle and foot injuries around this time of year. If you see leaves, never just assume that the ground is flat under them. It’s critical to always know what type of terrain you are walking on or about to step down onto; ensure you always wear the proper footwear to assist in slip prevention. Before you step out of your vehicle, make sure you assess the situation and find a clear path to take before making your delivery.
As the seasons change, so do our hours of working daylight. Because of this, drivers have to battle things such as glare from either the setting sun, or the headlights of oncoming vehicles. In order to prevent this, it’s extremely important to make sure that your windows and mirrors are clean and that there is nothing reflective on the truck cab. We all know how dirty they can get, especially during this time of the year. Maintaining a clean windshield will go a long way in reducing glare. Proper sunglasses can also help, as well as utilizing your vehicle’s visors.
Beware of Glare
Glare caused by oncoming headlights is also a major safety concern. Headlights nowadays are extremely bright and can be very hard on our eyes. It seems obvious to say, like never look directly into the sun, but—never look directly into the headlights of oncoming vehicles. Focus your eyes to the right of your lane, so that you are able to see the white line of the road and the vehicle in front of you.
Just by utilizing these simple safety tips, you can reduce your risk of work-related injuries and help ensure the safety of not only yourself but also others on the road. We hope that you keep each of these precautions in mind on your next delivery. As always, for any and all of your insurance needs, give us a call at 860-453-0116, and a member of our ISP / CSP insurance team will be happy to assist you.