The Holidays and the peak season can be stressful and profitable just as we have talked about on this blog before, and for new route owners or those looking to purchase a route, it can be a whole new experience. One of the most important aspects is keeping you and your drivers safe. How do you do that? Following these 5 Holiday Route Driving Tips will help.
This should go without saying, but on slick roads, slowing down is key. But slowing down is about more than just slick roads. For much of the Holiday season, kids are home from school and may be out playing in neighborhoods. It’s important to be vigilant and considerate of your customers.
Secondly, police patrols are often more intense during the holiday season, designed to keep shoppers, travelers, and children safe. A speeding ticket can be devastating for a FedEx Ground route owner or driver. It can cause your insurance rates to go up, result in disciplinary action from FedEx, and harms your reputation with the customers on your route.
The simple answer is: don’t speed. Slow down for safety on slick roads and in neighborhoods especially. Speeding won’t help you finish your route sooner, and it can really cost you.
Be Smooth and Steady
Some of the most dangerous driving maneuvers are sudden ones. Sharp turns, quick lane changes, and swerving can all result in skids, rollovers, and other types of accidents. Even near misses can be a public relations nightmare. Remember, you are your own brand.
So how do you avoid these moves? There are a few simple methods:
- Look ahead. Plan lane changes and slow down for turns.
- If you miss a turn, circle the block or double back. Don’t risk a sharp, last-minute turn.
- Be aware of other drivers. Sometimes other drivers can invade your lane, cut you off, or pull out in front of you in the mistaken belief you will slow them down. Watch the reactions of others and think ahead.
Remember, there are few truly no-fault accidents. Most of them can be avoided, especially by paying attention and being smooth and steady in all of your driving.
Perform Holiday Route Driving Safety Checks
One of the keys to safety is to perform checks on your vehicle for everything from tire pressure to parking brake operation and more. Be sure to check:
- Wiper fluid levels. A clean window is a safer window.
- Wiper blades. Old blades often fail to clear windows, and a rain or snow event is a bad time to discover that.
- Locks and security. Be sure your truck locks and that you lock the cargo area whenever you leave the truck even for a minute. Theft is big during the holidays, and you don’t want to be a victim.
- Tire pressure and tires. One of the keys to safe driving is the right tire pressure. Remember, the density of air varies with the season, so check pressures at least once a week. At the same time, check tire tread depth and inspect them for any damage.
- We’ll talk about this more in the next section, but be sure all lights are operational. This is not only a safety factor but in most states a legal one to pass any inspection.
- Seat belts and driver and runner safety. Maybe you usually do not have a runner in your truck, so you might not inspect the passenger seat and seat belt, but now is the time to do that, and to make sure all the driver safety features are operational as well.
- Climate controls. Finally, driver comfort is a safety issue as well. Be sure the heater and defroster work well and are adequate to keep the driver and any passengers comfortable and windows clear of frost and fog.
Making sure your vehicle is safe to operate is critical to safe driving any time of the year, especially when looking at holiday route driving tips that can make or break your peak season.
Let There Be Light
When it comes to the holidays, we know this is also the time of year with the shortest days. This means that your lights should stay on longer and come on sooner. This is critical for your driver’s safety and visibility. Not only do running lights and headlights help you see better, but they also help others see you.
So be sure that turning on lights sooner and keeping them on longer is first your mind and that of your drivers. Also, be sure to turn lights on during any inclement weather, or low visibility thanks to fog, rain, or snow. Even cloud cover can mean turning your lights on sooner rather than later is critical.
The key is to see and be seen, and as stated above, to make sure all of your lights are in working order. This is one of the most critical holiday route driving tips.
Use Holiday Route Driving Tips to Keep Safety First
Finally, it can be tempting during peak to emphasize speed. You have more stops to do, and the more stops you can do, the more money you make. However, without keeping safety in mind, your route can be seriously delayed and you can potentially lose a lot of money.
Use holiday route driving tips to keep safety first in your mind and that of your drivers. Post them inside each vehicle, text drivers with safety reminders often (be sure they check messages when they are not driving), and check in with your drivers and your vehicles often.
And if you are just considering buying a FedEx Ground route, keep these tips in mind for when you run your own route. If you are looking to buy another route and expand your FedEx Ground business, keep these things in mind as you train new drivers and bring on new personnel.
To find the right route for you at the right price and the right time, contact us here at Route Advisors. We’ll help you through every step of the process.
Happy Holiday and Peak Season!