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Elevated Risks of Driving During the Winter Season

elevated risks of driving during the winter holiday season

With the busy holiday season upon us, we all need to become mindful of the elevated driving risks during winter.  The holidays are when roadway risks are at their highest, and attentiveness to driving can be compromised.  Factors such as nightfall occurring earlier, people driving under the influence and a growing number of distractions from the holiday bustle can all impact how much attention we put on our driving habits.

Interesting statistics from a 20-year analysis done by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that the winter months are statistically the most dangerous for motor vehicle accidents:

  • Mile for mile driven, there are 18% more accidents in the winter than the summer
  • The rate of fatal accidents actually declines in the winter by 8% from its peak in summer due to speeds being lower due to road conditions
  • The frequency of property-damage only accidents is 22% higher in winter than summer

Even though most people drive slower during the winter months due to ice, the slippery surfaces tend to test our ability to follow vehicles at appropriate distances and to stop and turn more cautiously.  The numbers prove that many drivers fail those tests.

Fleet managers must remain keenly aware of these elevated risk factors:  a blend of dark streets, icy roads, distracted driving from phone calls and other on-road events. Now is the time to remind drivers that each of them is, in effect, a fleet risk manager and each driver must adjust their driving behavior in light of the season’s hazards.

Geotab’s state-of-the-art GO device is able to help drivers be more cognizant when it comes to their driving habits by providing in-vehicle audible alerts when their driving becomes risky. For instance, if the brake is hit too hard or if the driver accelerates too fast, the driver will hear beeping that alerts them of their risky driving behavior and they can self-correct.  With the customizable rules within the software, a company can align their safety policies with the system to ensure the fleet vehicles are driven appropriately.

Click here for more information on how telematics technology can help improve your on-road safety during the snowy season

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