Injuries sustained while driving for your employer may constitute workplace injuries. While your employer cannot control the weather, they must recognize the hazards of driving in winter weather.
When employers do not train their employees or ignore vehicle maintenance, their negligence could result in catastrophic accidents for employees.
Safe driving training
Employers must train employees to handle hazards. Employers should make sure that all employees have proper, up-to-date licenses for the vehicles they drive. Additionally, business owners should employ training methods to teach drivers how to handle snow and ice on the roadways.
If employees do not have adequate training, he or she may not be able to prepare for inclement weather. While your employer cannot control roadway conditions, he or she can make sound judgments when it comes to driving in the weather. Your employer should never force you to drive in weather that will likely cause an accident.
Regular vehicle maintenance
Employers should require regular vehicle maintenance and inspection. For example, winter conditions may require you to brake quickly. If you do not have balanced braking or low brake fluid, your car may not perform safely in winter weather. Likewise, your tires should have adequate tread and proper inflation to help you remain stable on the road.
Other inspections employers should require include:
- Engine inspections
- Electrical system inspections
- Cooling system inspections
- Oil inspections
- Visibility system inspections
All vehicles should have an emergency kit. If you become stranded in a winter storm, you should have communication devices, flashlights, snacks, water, blankets and other supplies to help you stay safe.