Preparing Your Fleet to Avoid Winter Driving Hazards

winter driving hazards

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Very soon winter will be upon us and with it will come the blustery storms and driving risks snow and ice storms can cause. As part of your nonprofit risk management services, there are some preparations you can make to help your fleet avoid winter driving hazards and to promote safe winter driving practices.

Before the cold weather comes, all fleet vehicles should have a detailed inspection done to ensure essential systems such as defrosting, heating and braking are all in excellent working order. Tires and windshield wipers should also be checked and changed if they are not designed for winter driving. You may wish to refer to our previous article titled “Creating a Fleet Safety Checklist” for additional tips on ensuring your vehicles are safe for all driving conditions.

There are ways your drivers can avoid winter driving hazards as well. Although some may be common sense, it is a good idea to remind everyone in your nonprofit organization to slow down and allow more space between other vehicles during inclement weather and avoid sudden stops to prevent skids. They should also be reminded of snowplow safety, such as not passing snowplows on the right due to the limited visibility and potential for hitting their large plow blades and maintaining a safe distance behind them since they throw a lot of snow and can seriously impact visibility.

As a nonprofit manager, you should have clearly-stated policies regarding safe-driving practices for your fleet that encourage drivers to take their time during bad weather and pull over if necessary. Making sure you are aware of weather conditions, informing your drivers and even delaying trips if possible are all considerations that should be made.

Lamb Financial Group offers driver safety training and commercial fleet consulting services to help make sure your nonprofit’s fleet has its best chance against driving risks. Combined with our expertise in commercial auto insurance, we have your nonprofit covered. Call us at 866-481-5262 or contact us to learn more about protecting your nonprofit’s fleet from winter driving hazards.

Reasons to Avoid Lapses in Insurance Policies

As the leader of a non-profit organization or business, you’ve got a lot of responsibility on your plate. From board meetings to fundraising efforts, it can be easy to forget other aspects of operations. However, when it comes to insurance, you never want to forget your policy end dates; otherwise, you could face a lapse in coverage that can quickly turn costly.

nonprofit insurance

Car accidents can be costly to recover from if an insurance policy has ended or been terminated.  Source: David Castillo Dominici via Freedigitalphotos.net

A lapse in coverage might not seem too bad at first, but you should consider your risks before you let your insurance policies fall to the wayside. For example, “6 Gaps In Business Insurance That Can Destroy Cash Flow” shares the scenario of an employee using a company vehicle and being involved in an accident in which a surgeon is hit and as a result, his hand is injured and he can no longer use it to perform operations. Whether the policy was a commercial auto or umbrella policy, if it’s ended or been terminated, your business or organization could face paying a number of legal fees out of pocket in a situation that could have otherwise been covered through insurance.

In addition to costs that could result from an incident that occurred during the lapse of coverage, your insurer may require you to pay a fee to reinstate your policy (The Truth about Insurance). Additionally, a lapse in coverage of more than 30 days can forfeit any continuous coverage discounts your insurer offers. Furthermore, as Small Business Trends shares, if you had a policy with any long-tail coverages, you will lose that coverage, too.

Lapses in insurance coverage can also make it harder for you to obtain insurance for your business or organization in the future. And for those who have experienced lapses in coverage in the past and are still able to obtain insurance, “premiums will likely be higher,” (Small Business Trends).

The best thing you can do for your organization or business is to keep track of policy start and end dates so you’re never without adequate coverage for all of your needs. If you have an insurance end date in the near future or would simply like to review your policies and make necessary updates, contact Lamb Financial Group today at 1-866-481-5262.

Creating a Fleet Safety Checklist

fleet safety training new jerseyFrom traffic accidents to faulty vehicles, fleet operations carry a number of risks. Accidents do happen, but there are steps you can take to reduce these associated risks and make your fleet a safer one.

One way fleet operators can improve the safety of their fleet is by establishing policies, procedures, or guidelines fleet drivers are expected to follow at all times. For example, the Nonprofit Risk Management Center’s Fleet Safety Toolkit recommends creating a driving policy that follow standards set forth by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, such as always driving within the speed limit and avoiding operating the vehicle when fatigued, as well as requiring drivers to wear seatbelts.

Another way to ensure a safe fleet is to establish guidelines that determine when it is safe for a staff member to operate a vehicle on behalf of the company. Guidelines such as these could include procedures on how to determine whether or not the trip is necessary and when to postpone trips as a result of adverse weather conditions. The Work Safe Center also suggests creating policies for pre-and-post trip vehicle inspections, reporting accidents, substance abuse, cell phone usage, and violation of reporting.

It also helps increase the safety of your fleet drivers, as well as their vehicles, to have a fleet safety checklist in place. This checklist can be a resource for drivers to use as they prepare to head out on the road or return from a trip. Safety points to add to your checklist can include the following.

  • Vehicle Inspection: The article “The Safety Checklist on a Fleet Vehicle” recommends that drivers give their vehicle a good inspection prior to operating it because “this individual is the last person to have control on whether or not the vehicle is safe to use.” Vehicle inspections can include, but aren’t limited to, checking the breaks, lights, mirrors, and steering.

 

  • Vehicle Maintenance: The Nonprofit Risk Center suggests checking fleet vehicles often for signs of needed maintenance or repairs, such as tire rotation and exhaust system leaks.

 

  • Documentation: Vehicle inspections and maintenance should always be documented, as this will help keep track of when vehicles were serviced, as well as keep records for miles traveled, mechanical problems, breakdowns, etc.

 

  • Make Sure Emergency Equipment is Available: Before starting the engine, drivers should also make sure they are prepared for an emergency. Fleet vehicles should have a well-stocked first aid kit, as well as jumper cables, flares, and other emergency vehicle care items.

 

To further increase safety among your drivers and overall fleet operations, offer driver safety training that includes an end-of-course test to determine the current status of your operations. Lamb Financial Group offers Driver Safety Training sessions based on the needs of your organization. Contact us to learn more about how we can help improve the safety of your fleet drivers and how trained drivers can help lower your insurance rates.

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