In the Midwest, there is a common adage that there are two seasons — winter and road construction season. As we enter the summer months and road construction season, temperatures rise and roadways become obstacle courses with lane closures. Road work can be especially challenging for the larger vehicles in your fleet.
Check out these five safety tips that will help keep your business operating smoothly as temperatures soar and delays occur.
1. Be Careful in Work Zones
There are about 87, 606 crashes annually in road construction zones alone, and unfortunately speed and distracted driving are the most commons causes. Also, whether on the highway or driving in downtown areas, remember to always check for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists, as these accidents are often dangerous for everyone involved.
So, slow down, leave enough room (for yourself and others), and watch your blind spots!
2. Pay Attention to Road Signs
Even on familiar roads, signs might have changed to include information about road closures and conditions. An even better idea would be to check local or state DOT website before hitting the road. They frequently have easy-to-navigate maps that can give drivers an overview of all relevant road conditions for the entirety of their trip. (Many truck stops are also continuing to implement kiosks or TV monitors that give on-the-road drivers timely weather and road condition information.)
3. Perform a Summer Inspection
- Check tire treads and pressure. (Be sure you are taking the ‘cold’ readings from your tires. It’s recommended to leave your vehicle stationary for 3 hours to get accurate readings.)
- Check wiper blades.
- Change oil. (Driving will make levels appear lower. Wait 10-15+ minutes after driving to check accurate oil levels.)
- Check brakes, battery, radiator, cooling, and air conditioning systems.
- Check lights (headlights, brake lights, turn signals, in-cab indicators, etc.).
4. Get Maintenance Reminders
Pedigree Technologies OneView platform allows you to schedule maintenance based on usage or timing, record maintenance history and activities, and receive automatic alerts when upcoming maintenance is due.
5. Remember HOS Rules
As days get longer, drivers might be tempted to push their hours of service (HOS). The OneView electronic logbook solution (ELD series) and Cab-Mate devices help ensure drivers reliably maintain HOS compliance. OneView even sends notifications to the dispatcher when drivers are approaching their driving limit.
Did You Know?
About 1/3 of work zones with lane closures occurred primarily at night.
The most likely hours of the day for a lane closure was between 9-11 a.m., while the least likely was 6-7 p.m.