Fleet Safety: Cold Weather Preparedness

Feb 11, 2010

With the extreme winter conditions occurring in many parts of the country, Automotive Fleet is offering advice for what to do if your vehicle is stranded in cold weather:

If you become stranded while traveling in cold weather, stay with your vehicle. Most deaths under these circumstances occur when people get out of their vehicles, become lost, and suffer prolonged exposure to the cold. 

Stay calm, wait for help to arrive, and take as many of the following steps as possible: 

  • Turn on your hazard warning lights.
  • Attach a red flag to your radio antenna.
  • Set out flags and flares, if possible.
  • If clothing, blankets and other survival supplies are stored in the trunk, bring them inside the vehicle.
  • Keep the exhaust pipe clear of snow and debris.
  • Run the engine and heater until the vehicle is reasonably warm, and then turn it off. Repeat this process as long as fuel is available, or until you are rescued. Running the engine for approximately 10 minutes each hour, in order to charge the battery and warm the interior, is recommended.
  • Even in extremely cold, leave at least one window partially open to let in fresh air. Occupants of an idling vehicle can suffer carbon monoxide poisoning if ventilation is not adequate.
  • At least one person in the vehicle should remain awake at all times. 

Make sure your fleet is equipped for all possible extreme weather conditions in your area, and keep your drivers safe!

Photo courtesy of AMagill under the Creative Commons License.