Driving in icy and snowy conditions can be hazardous for employees. We’ve seen it on the news – terrible accidents and unprepared drivers stuck on the interstate highway for hours at a time.

These unsafe road conditions involve nearly three-in-four weather-related vehicle crashes. Poor conditions make it harder for drivers to see, slow down and stop – all factors that can increase the chances of an accident.

Winter Driving Accident Statistics

Stationed in Nebraska, Rande Osberg and his team of drivers are no strangers to driving in winter weather. For the team at Vulcraft Carrier, safe winter driving starts with a pre-trip inspection.

“Our drivers and a team of mechanics do pre-trip and post trip inspections on the trucks,” said Osberg, fleet manager for Vulcraft Carrier, a SureCam customer that has specialized in steel joists and construction materials since 1946. “We look at the tires, the brakes, if there are any leaks. We want to make sure the driver looks at and has chains especially when going to places like Colorado.”

Learn how Vulcraft Carrier conducts pre-trip inspections during winter weather conditions in this short video.

But sometimes you can only plan so much when it comes to mother nature.

If travel is a must, here are some additional tips to prepare employees for the journey ahead.

  • Plan the safest route –  Map your route to see if traffic is backed up. Consider an alternate route if traffic is forecasted to be bumper-to-bumper.
  • Conduct a thorough pre-trip inspection – Before driving, check:
    • the brakes, steering, mirrors, and horn are functioning properly
    • the exhaust pipe is clear of snow
    • the tire pressure is appropriate for cold weather driving
  • Prepare the vehicle – Clear any snow or ice from the vehicle, including the roof, windows, and mirrors to prevent creating hazards for other motorists.
  • Ensure employees remain alert – Encourage employees to get proper sleep before driving. Promote a culture of safety where employees can speak up when they are feeling fatigued.
  • Set expectations for appropriate fuel levels – Encourage employees to maintain at least half a tank of fuel at all times when driving in winter weather conditions.
  • Reinforce why employees need to drive slowly – Stopping distances can take up to 10x longer on icy roads. Encourage employees to keep at least six-second distance between them and other vehicles. Increase this distance if it rains, sleets, snows, or if there’s ice.
  • Stock up on emergency supplies – Ask your employees to be prepared with a winter grab bag that includes warm blankets, snacks, water, and phone charger.
  • Prepare for the worst – If involved in an accident, emergency authorities recommend that motorists avoid the elements of winter storms and stay in their vehicles. Make sure you revisit safety best practices as the weather turns colder.


Having a plan of action in case of inclement weather is essential for any organization to keep employees safe.

This article originally appeared in SureCam’s Road To Road Safety Newsletter. Subscribe for inspiration and resources you can bring to your next safety meeting, delivered straight to your inbox once a month.

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