By Lauren Fletcher
Winter. It's the time of year when many fleet drivers are hitting the slopes with friends and family, going skiing or snowboarding, and preparing for the holidays. Driving to work the other day, I had a realization: driving is nothing like downhill skiing. This may be obvious to some of you, but after getting to work and avoiding not one, but two rear-end collisions, I thought this would be fun topic to expand on.
One of the most common rules of skiing is that you are responsible for paying attention to the person (or people) in front of you (or the skier in front has the right of way).
One of the most obvious rules of driving is that you are responsible for paying attention to vehicles in front, on each side, and behind you.
Let's take a look at two of the International Ski Federation's Piste rules, which are in operation throughout the world to enforce safe skiing:
- Select an appropriate path. If you are skiing behind someone it's your responsibility to ski around them without causing any danger to them.
- You can over-take from either left or right but you must leave enough distance between yourself and other skiers to allow them to maneuver properly.
While great instructions for winter skiing, this is not the way to be a safe driver.
I recommend all fleet managers take a moment to remind your drivers to be even more vigilant while paying attention during this time of year - not only to the driver's in front of them, but all around them. The best way to avoid an accident or crash by paying attention. Winter weather is another factor that must be taken into consideration.
Also, have a little fun during the holidays. Add some of the following safe winter tips to your fleet newsletter, or just e-mail them to your drivers. The safety of the company's drivers, both on and off the road, should be your No. 1 priority. Let them know you care.
- Winter Driving Tips (from www.automotive-fleet.com):
- Winter Stopping Distances (from www.edmunds.com):
- Skiing Etiquette Tips (from www.emilypost.com):
Be sure drivers are aware that while they may be thinking of their weekend vacation, imagining themselves skiing that "sweet white powder," they need to keep their mind on the rules of the pavement, not the slopes.
If you have any other winter or holiday safety tips that you feel would be helpful for other fleet managers, let me know!