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What Small Businesses Need to Know About Winter Driving

Winter driving can be dangerous for small business owners and their employees. They often travel in poor weather and road conditions for work or personal reasons. Their risk of being in injured in a crash and requiring time off increases at this time of year.

That’s why the annual Shift into Winter campaign recommends you have a plan to reduce winter driving risks.

Know your safety responsibilities

Keeping your staff safe is good business. It’s also your legal responsibility. The law applies whether employees drive for work full-time, part-time, or occasionally. It could be to see a client, attend a meeting, or to pick up supplies. The law also applies to the work use of company vehicles and personal vehicles.

You need to ensure employees:

  • Are aware of driving hazards and know how to assess risks
  • Are properly trained for driving conditions
  • Have the equipment and supervision they need to stay safe.

Meeting your responsibilities is a win-win. It leads to better client outcomes, reduced organizational costs, and improved business performance.  To help fulfill your responsibilities, review Shift into Winter’s Winter Driving Safety Tool Kit for Employers.

Steps employers can take

Start by developing or updating your winter driving safety policy and procedures. Involve employees to help you.

  • Prepare your drivers

Provide winter driving safety training to every employee who gets behind the wheel. Give them a guide on what workers need to know. Steer them to for road and weather reports.

  • Remind drivers that as conditions change, so should their speed

They need to slow down and increase their following distance to at least 4 seconds. It takes longer to stop on a slippery road.

  • Winterize vehicles

The basics include checking that you have 4 matched winter tires with good tread, and doing a maintenance check-up. Place an emergency kit in every vehicle. If employees use their own vehicles for work, ensure they follow these guidelines too.

More resources to help you

Shift into Winter’s free training for employers includes our Keeping Your Employees Safe During Winter Driving webinar and Winter Driving Safety for Employers and Supervisors online course.