Bugs smashing into your windshield at high speeds have an “ick” factor we’d all love to avoid, but they’re nothing a good power wash can’t handle. There are far more serious summer driving hazards to worry about. Let’s take a look at what your field services drivers need to look out for—and explore some ways to stay safe.
Summer Brings More Driving Risks
According to the Insurance Information Institute, August claimed the most motor vehicle crash deaths in 2015 and the second most motor vehicle crash deaths in 2016. What’s more, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety claims that, historically, more deaths of teenage drivers happen during June-August than during March-May.
Field services technicians and drivers are in the driving fray—and at greater risk, along with everyone else. Relative to other seasons, businesses with seasonal services (e.g. landscaping, HVAC, pool repair) are out in droves! Everyone has to share the increasingly congested, summer roads.
But there’s more. It’s warm outside! School’s out! The days are longer! Most everyone is out and about, traversing our shared thoroughfares. Aside from everyday road traffic, consider:
- Summer vacationers with their jam-packed cars, vans, SUVs, and even recreation vehicles like campers and trailers pulling boats
- Motorcyclists and bicyclists roaring (and pedaling) around town
- Increased pedestrian traffic, ranging from early morning joggers to office workers walking outside during their lunch hour, from groups of teenagers heading to the local hangout to young families, strollers and tricycles in tow
And another big factor to consider is road construction. In most areas, construction is not a “winter sport.” Long daylight hours and more favorable temperatures make summer the most popular time for all sorts of outdoor construction. But consider the traffic delays, detours, and workers on the roads…it’s no wonder nearly 700 fatalities each year occur in construction or maintenance areas, according to Nationwide Insurance.
Tips to Keep Your Techs and Drivers Safe
While these tips apply to all seasons of the year, it’s especially important for drivers to know what they’re “up against” during the summer months—and take the necessary precautions. Here are some best practices:
Pay Attention. Read all traffic signals and signs on the road (especially in construction zones), as well as the many pedestrians on sidewalks (because they do cross streets, sometimes haphazardly!). The key message: don’t drive distracted. Explore 3 Ways To Get In Front Of Distracted Driving.
Drive Defensively. It’s busy out there, so expect delays and distractions. Slow down, obey speed limits, and leave plenty of room between your vehicle and the one in front of you.
Stay Comfortable. Longer days mean more time for blinding, intense sunlight and hot cabin seats. Use your vehicle’s sun visor or wear sunglasses. Roll up the windows and turn up the A/C…defensive driving is a lot easier to accomplish when you’re not actively perspiring or swatting away bugs!
Plan Ahead. If you know to expect construction, traffic, and delays, pick your drivers’ routes ahead of time—and keep them on your “radar” with real-time GPS tracking tools. Learn more in Field Service Businesses Adopt Telematics For Vehicle Tracking, Productivity, And Safety.
If you’re pining for winter, take a look at Field Service Business: Don’t Let Winter Weather Slow You Down.
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