Driving is possibly the worst part of our winters in Minnesota. Whether it’s driving to work or driving on the job, chances are you’re dealing with icy roads and snow this winter.
Some of our job opportunities require driving, which adds another layer of safety to consider. If you have to drive for work, the last thing you want is to experience a winter driving disaster while on the job.
We want you to stay safe on the road this season, so we’ve put together some tips to help you perform your job well.
Check your vehicle regularly
Prevention is important to remaining safe on the road. Even if your company has someone managing the fleet, take a moment to inspect your truck before leaving. Remove all snow from the vehicle, especially the windshield, hood, roof, lights truck, and windows. Visually inspect the tires, lights and wiper blades. Always have at least a half of tank of gas to prevent freezing.
Be prepared for emergencies
Carry an emergency kit in your car so that you can be prepared for any situation, regardless of the season. Sample items to put in your kit include:
- • Extra clothes and a blanket
- • A flashlight and spare batteries
- • Non-perishable food and water
- • A First Aid kit
- • A bag of sand or salt for ice
- • A snow shovel and a windshield scraper
- • Tire chains or traction mats
- • Jumper cables
If you drive a company vehicle for work, check whether your employer provides these items. If not, create a bag with your essentials so that you’re prepared for every drive.
Sorry to sound like your mother, but we have to say it: slow down when there’s ice. Icy roads mean poor traction, so it’s harder to brake. Follow the speed limit, slow down on bridges and be cautious when turning. Leave enough room between you and other drivers so that you have more time to stop in an emergency. If you do need to stop suddenly, pump the brakes lightly to avoid locking your tires and losing control of your vehicle.
Watch for black ice
Black ice occurs when there is ice on the road in near-freezing temperatures. It looks like a puddle and can be difficult to spot. Since it’s hard to see from the driver’s seat, you have to rely on other clues to know if the roads may be icy. Look for ice on the back of your side-view mirrors, antenna or the top of your windshield. If the cars in front of you appear to be driving over water but no water sprays, it could be an ice path. Pay attention to trees and road signs; if they are icy but the road doesn’t appear to be, black ice may be present.
Taking extra precautions in winter isn’t fun, but your safety is what’s most important. If you’re tired of driving for your job or sick of your commute, it’s time for a change. Check out our job opportunities and let us help you find your future!