Safe Driving in Winter Conditions

The onset of winter brings further difficulties and responsibilities for fleet managers when it comes to the harsh weather.

Snow, ice, high winds and low light levels make for dangerous journeys which are all the more problematic for heavy high-sided vehicles, meaning good visibility is even more essential.

We’ve put together a few safety tips for winter driving below:

Setting off

  • Allow your drivers more time to make their deliveries
  • Ensure the entire vehicle is cleared of ice and snow before setting off, particularly windscreen and mirrors
  • Check that every cab has a shovel, and some strong sacking in case the driver needs something to put under the wheels if the vehicle becomes stuck in a snowdrift
  • Tell drivers to add some warm clothes, a flask of tea, a torch and a phone charger to the cab before leaving

Driving

  • Lower your speed
  • Allow much more space than usual between your truck and other vehicles – the Freight Transport Association recommends ten times the normal stopping distance
  • Braking must be careful and steady, and much more time should be allowed, particularly for articulated vehicles
  • Avoid any sudden movements
  • Be aware that signs and junctions can become obscured by snow
  • If stuck in snow, engage the diff-lock to help gain traction. If there isn’t one, use the highest gear possible

When conditions are hazardous, visibility becomes even more essential for commercial vehicle drivers. Road users such as pedestrians, cyclists and even other vehicles driven by people who may have little experience of the conditions, are very vulnerable.

Here at Brigade, our mission is to prevent collisions and save lives with our commercial vehicle safety systems. Our products go through extensive testing to ensure they can take anything the weather throws at them. Because we export globally, vehicles using our products can be working in punishing conditions, so we need to know they will stand up to the challenge. Some products are tested to withstand operating temperatures as low as -40°C.

Our Backeye®360 combines images from ultra-wide-angle cameras, resulting in a ‘bird’s-eye view’ of the vehicle and surrounding area. Research has shown that in the time it takes to scan four mirrors, assess and then react to hazards, a vehicle could travel as far as 33 feet. In icy conditions this could be much further, and consequently more dangerous.

Radar obstacle detection is another vital weapon in the safety armoury. Our Backsense® Radar heavy-duty radar sensor systems are designed to detect people and objects in blind spots, providing the driver with in-cab visual and audible warnings. Backsense® uses Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave (FMCW) technology which transmits a continuous varying radar frequency signal with unique time stamps to each instance of the wave. It works effectively in harsh environments and also in poor visibility, including snow and fog.

Why not get in touch to find out more about our product range and how we can help keep your drivers and fleet safe on winter roads.

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