PORTLAND, Ore. — While the Fourth of July holiday may mean a long weekend for many workers in the U.S., it may not be the case for truck drivers. Cases of COVID-19 continue to rise and while some people will stay home this weekend, others may venture out on the road now that businesses, parks and beaches have begun opening up.
Regardless of what traffic the weekend may bring, fleet owners and managers can help their drivers prepare safe pickups and deliveries with these helpful tips for sharing the road, courtesy of EROAD, a company that develops technology solutions that manage vehicle fleets, support regulatory compliance, improve driver safety and reduce the costs associated with driving.
Be hyper aware. While it’s important to practice safe driving habits on a regular basis, be hyper aware this weekend. The roads may be crowded with travelers hitting the highway to celebrate with friends and family. Take extra precaution in congested areas and allot plenty of time for getting to and from your destination.
Work to avoid maintenance issues. Being stuck on the side of the road in the middle of summer is already a pain. If you’re in a high-traffic area or a remote part of the country, it may take mechanics and tow trucks twice as long to help you at roadside. Make sure you’re doing pre- and post-trip inspections to avoid unnecessary delays. Implementing electronic driver vehicle inspection reports (DVIRs) is a good way to stay on top of drivers and keep your vehicles in tip-top shape.
Slow down. It’s no secret that drivers who speed are more likely to end up in a collision. Utilize fleet management tools such as EROAD’S Driver Insights to identify places where drivers typically speed. Automated notifications that alert fleet managers when drivers are speeding can help with coaching.
Keep your eye on the prize. Cargo theft is higher during busy weekends, so try to avoid leaving loaded trailers unattended. Using a fleet-management system equipped with GPS is a great way to actively monitor your trucks and trailers.
Plan for efficiency but allow extra time. COVID-19 calls for different protocols. Make sure drivers have relevant information for each location where they are delivering or picking up. Gloves, masks and personal safety gear is still highly recommended for ultimate protection. If drivers are getting held up longer than usual on typical routes, use geofences to identify trends, and confer with customers and partners about how to reduce wait time.
Have fun and enjoy the fireworks — but make sure to pull over safely to do so.