As the last summer holiday, Labor Day brings with it an increase in road travelers. With more vehicles on the highway this weekend, get tips on how to keep your fleet drivers safe behind the wheel.

Distracted Driving

Photo by Acharaporn Kamornboonyarush from Pexels

Don’t Drive Distracted

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,450 people were killed by distracted driving in 2016. To lower this statistic, all drivers should make sure they are giving their full attention to the road. A large part of this includes staying off of cell phones and not texting and driving.

The NHTSA states: “Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed.”

Distracted driving goes beyond texting and driving. It also includes eating, playing with the radio or other items on the dashboard, or anything that takes a driver’s attention away from the road.

To ensure drivers are practicing safe driving, fleets can monitor driver behaviors through telematics. GPS and telematics technology allow fleet managers to track when a driver is driving distracted, as well as speeding, braking suddenly, and other negative behaviors.

Tailgating, driving

Photo by Tranmautritam from Pexels

Stay a Safe Distance Behind the Car Ahead of You

Drivers should follow the 2-second rule – ensuring they are keeping a 2-second distance between their vehicle and the one in front of them. This gives extra space to allow the vehicle to stop suddenly if the car in front of it slows down or comes to a stop. Larger vehicles should allow more time, as it will take the heavier trucks more time to come to a complete stop. Drivers should also allow more space between vehicles during poor driving conditions, like wet roads.

Crowded highway, traffic jam

Plan Ahead for Road Congestion

With more drivers on the road this holiday weekend there is likely to be more slowdowns and congestion. Drivers should plan ahead and leave extra time to ensure a timely and safe arrival. If possible, drivers should try to avoid traveling through the peak rush-hour times. According to USA Today, the best times to travel Labor Day weekend are before rush hour on Friday afternoon or Saturday morning. When traveling home, USA Today recommends leaving before 4pm or after 10pm.

Drivers who end up in a traffic jam should exercise patience on the road and remember safe driving techniques such as signaling lane changes and allowing extra space to brake.

Lane Closure, Construction Zone

Photo by David Whittaker from Pexels

Be Aware of Construction Zones

One way to avoid some highway congestion is planning ahead to avoid construction zones. These areas often reduce the number of lanes open and require lower speeds, causing traffic to back up. GPS technology can reroute drivers around these areas and find quicker routes. This will save time and fuel, making it more efficient for both the driver and the fleet.

Vehicle Engine

Photo by RawPixel.com

Check Vehicle Maintenance Before Hitting the Road

To avoid any unexpected breakdowns while traveling, vehicles should be current on any needed maintenance before hitting the road. Keeping up with preventative maintenance will help identify any potential issues the vehicle and driver might encounter, allowing them to be serviced before the problem becomes bigger and could lead to a potential breakdown.

Fleet route

Photo by Gauthier Demoutiez

Prepare for Hot Weather

While Labor Day is the symbolic end of summer, high temperatures will still be present over the holiday weekend. Drivers should exercise heat safety, making sure they are keeping properly hydrated and carry extra water in their vehicle. Drivers should also keep the cabin cool by running the air conditioner, and try to park the vehicle away from direct sun when possible. Vehicles’ air conditioning and cooling systems should also be checked during preventative maintenance.

 

To see how RTA Fleet Management Software can assist with keeping your fleet operation running smoothly, contact us today to request a free trial.