We’ve received a ton of great suggestions and comments from our recent blog post on “driving too fast for conditions” and we wanted to share some of those with you.
- “In the UK we are advised to keep a minimum gap to the vehicle in front. so in good weather you keep a 2 second gap , in wet weather a 4 second gap and in icy weather /snow a 10 second gap although to be honest slowing down and adding a few more seconds wouldn’t go amiss.”
- Teach common sense. As a law enforcement officer I would venture to guess I have written this particular citation (or more importantly listed as hazardous action on an accident report) more than any in relation to accidents. A speed limit is exactly that, A limit on how fast you CAN go given perfect conditions.”
- “I usually counsel my drivers that their speed should depend on no less than 6 conditions, namely:
- condition of traffic
- condition of road
- condition of weather
- condition of vehicle
- condition of load, and, last but not least
- condition of driver.
If any of these is/are not ideal, you must reduce the speed accordingly. Furthermore, drive the speed which will allow you to come to a complete stop without a hard-brake application. Aim high, anticipate traffic patters, work with your mirrors, keep eyes moving by panning them from left mirror across the windshield to the right mirror, than back again across the dash (after all, you want to see what your gauges are doing)….and, maintain that safety cushion ahead of you.
- Also, drivers need to understand that posted speed limits are just that. Limits….it does not mean that they have to drive that speed, but they shan’t exceed it!”
- “If you have ever driven a fully loaded truck and had to hit the brakes in icy conditions. that’s a good gauge of what you need to do to formulate a plan to prevent an incident. Happened to me years ago when I was driving my truck but I was lucky that day and so was the person in the car in front of me. A truck won’t stop once it losses traction and will hit whatever is in front of it if you’re too close. Thinking otherwise is a huge mistake.”
- “What I have been teaching for years is that, Mr. Professional Truck Driver, do you really know and completely understand the dynamics of bringing an 80,000 pound vehicle to a “safe stop?” Although most will say yes, when I sit with them for an hour or so they find that they are amazed,,, and say, “good gosh” I never had this explained that way before, thank you for making me a driver who now understands the basics of vehicle control…”
- “If you are talking about snow, fog or other visibility issues like lights at night use the “Trained Eye Lead Time” rule. This will help prevent some of the too fast for conditions problems. Basically the rule is 12 to 15 seconds, if you cannot see hazards and identify them that far ahead of you before you get to them, you cannot react in time. In icy, wet slick conditions you should increase you following distance as others have stated but your following distance should be more in the big truck, (1 second for every 10 ft of vehicle length) the 2 second rule works great for cars but not us. If you get to the point you feel traction about to break, back down 5 mph.”
We really appreciate the feedback we get from our readers. The list of subscribers continues to grow each month and we have a ton of folks who have been asking for specific topics be added to the editorial queue. If you haven’t let us know what’s on your mind, please reach out.
Also, thanks for the inquiries about our revolutionary refresher training program designed to work with coaching processes (whether driven by GPS, camera-in-cabin or safety hotline inputs) — it’s just the right approach for drivers regardless of industry or vehicle type. No training module is more than FIVE minutes in TOTAL length — if it takes another vendor an AVERAGE of 37.5 minutes to tell your driver why they need to use their turn signals, we think that they don’t know very much about educational design or people’s attention span.
Respect your drivers — give them training that they want to take and will actually learn from — and then get them back on the road!