Your garbage man has a tough job and at no time is it tougher than in the winter months. When conditions are harsh, roads get treacherous and safety is threatened. Luckily, Granger’s drivers make safety a priority every day. They’re experts at staying safe on the roads, so we thought it might be useful for them to share some tips for winter driving with our readers. What keeps your garbage man safe can keep you safe, too.
- Be prepared.
Make sure your vehicle is properly maintained so it doesn’t break down and cause a safety hazard to you or others (or make you late for work). Equip your vehicle with ice scrapers and/or brushes in case there’s an unexpected snow. And include some other emergency supplies in case you get stranded.
- Maintain visibility for you and others around you.
Before driving your vehicle, make sure the snow is cleared off your front and back windshield, mirrors and lights. Cleaning snow off your entire vehicle before you drive it will help ensure it doesn’t blow away and interfere with another driver’s ability to see. Use your defroster to keep windows from fogging up, which could hurt visibility. Last but not least, keep your headlights on in low visibility situations (at dawn, at dusk, during snow and rain storms), even if it’s not completely dark.
- Take care when entering your vehicle.
Even if you’re not climbing up into the cab of a big garbage truck, it’s easy to slip and fall. Be on the lookout for slippery patches on the ground and on your vehicle that might trip you up.
- Slow down.
We’ve all seen the figures. Speeding only gets you to your destination a few minutes faster in most cases, and it’s just not worth it, particularly in the winter when things are slippery.
- Leave extra space.
Tailgating is never safe, but it gets very dangerous when you need more time to stop because the roads are slick. Even if you’re stopped at an intersection or traffic is at a standstill, leaving space between you and the vehicle in front of you is still a good idea.
- Brake lightly.
Slamming on your brakes can cause your tires to lock up and may make you skid out of control. Apply light consistent pressure to stop. Of course, if you followed tip #4, you won’t need to slow down that much anyway.
- Stay home.
If the weather is horrible and cars are piling up in the ditch, just don’t risk being on the roads. There are times when it’s safer not to go out, even for garbage men.