Avoiding Fall Season Safety Spikes

Jeff Anderson
Safety Consultant

The Fall season is historically one of the worst times of the year for safety throughout the country. No matter what type of work is being done, this season always seems to have a spike in accidents and injuries. There are many factors that contribute to this phenomenon. Changes in weather, later sunrises and earlier sunsets, more people on the road, kids back in school and other factors make it a dangerous time. As a safety professional, you need to recognize the risks and adapt to the changing conditions to make this a safe season not just for your company, but for each and every person working for you.

HAZARDS

  • Changing Weather – As we head into Fall, the weather is beginning to change. Depending on the part of the country, these changes can be drastic. It's not uncommon for early snowfalls in our northern regions, and areas that may not have seen rain since early spring may begin to see fog and rain causing slick roadways and dangerous driving conditions. These factors can lead to vehicle accidents. The first rain or snow of the year is usually a treacherous time to be on the road. Inexperienced drivers may not adjust properly leading to accidents. Make sure to discuss this with your drivers so they can adjust their driving style to the conditions they will face. The changing weather also means the need to dress accordingly. As it gets colder, make sure to wear the right clothing for the conditions.
  • Less Daylight – Along with the changing weather we're also experiencing shorter days. The sun rises later and sets earlier causing potential hazards on the road. More driving in dark or twilight hours will make it more difficult to see other drivers, pedestrians and road hazards. This would be a good time to make sure your maintenance department is keeping up with repairs on lights for your vehicles. Not only will this keep your maintenance CSA scores down, but more importantly, assure maximum visibility for your fleet.
  • Children Back in School – Kids are all back in school now so it is important to keep this in mind when entering school zones and encountering school buses on rural routes. The above mentioned changes in daylight hours make this even more important.
  • More Traffic on The Road – Because all the kids are in school, very few people are on vacation this time of year. This can lead to more traffic during peak commute times in major cities. Your drivers will need to adjust their attitude for dealing with these situations. Don’t let the frustration of sitting in traffic lead to bigger problems. Remind your drivers to be patient and to keep their eyes on the road and on their mirrors. 

CONCLUSION

Your company has worked hard on safety all year long. The Fall season is the true test of your program. Make sure your people are aware of the changing conditions and adapt accordingly. Don’t let Fall, be your company's safety downfall.