Using fleet management software is beneficial during the winter when the weather turns bad. In normal conditions, route planning is optimized with fleet management software, as your drivers are able to avoid delays caused by traffic and construction. Winter weather brings more obstacles, but with GPS vehicle tracking, you can actually use your tracking software to stay ahead of changing conditions and improve your route planning.
How Winter Weather Affects Driving
Winter weather affects driving conditions in two distinct ways. The obvious one is that road conditions can become dangerous. Less obvious: Seasonal population shifts likely will affect traffic patterns in some regions. Either way, a fleet management software program can help.
Snow and ice make driving conditions hazardous and require all drivers to travel at reduced speeds. For fleets made up of large service and delivery vehicles, it thus becomes more difficult to get to customers safely and on time, so more vehicles may have to be employed to ensure timely deliveries.
In areas where the weather stays warm, meanwhile, seasonal traffic increases as snowbirds come to town and vacationers seek to escape the wintry weather in their areas. This increase in population, though temporary, can create unusual delays along your normal routes, and you need to be prepared.
GPS Vehicle Tracking Helps Solves Problems
The potential problems are clear. How can you ensure that drivers stay on time and safe during the treacherous weather of winter? Here are some ways GPS vehicle tracking helps your business specifically during inclement weather:
- Alternative routes can be planned. Use this technology to improve the efficiency of your fleet. While GPS fleet tracking systems don’t track the weather, the GPS tracking program can help you plan an alternate route for your drivers.
- Communication with customers improves. The unsafe driving conditions caused by winter weather force drivers to slow down. This creates traffic delays, and the accidents that are common during the winter create even more delays. Sometimes portions of interstate highways are even shut down. When this happens, your tracking system will provide updated arrival time estimates as drivers face detours and delays. This will help you communicate with your customers about when they can expect your team to arrive.
- Long-term planning can be implemented. Sometimes, winter weather delays are just an occasional annoyance, creating temporary delays from time to time. However, in some areas, winter persistently causes delays, and risks are so high that new seasonal routes are necessary. If you are finding through your fleet tracking programming that you are regularly rerouting your drivers, then it’s time to simply plan a new primary route to be used for the winter months. Your fleet tracking system can help you do this by providing accurate, real-time information about what route would be optimal for current driving conditions.
- Safer driving is encouraged. With fleet tracking software, you can get real-time information about driver behaviors that could be making winter driving even more risky. If drivers regularly are going too fast or braking too hard for weather conditions, you can take measures to stop this behavior and improve the safety of your fleet. In the winter, the need to monitor driver behavior becomes even more important, and fleet tracking systems can help.