Winter Driving Can Help Your Business

We had our first significant snowfall yesterday and it’s very cold (26 degrees as I’m writing this) here.

photo by mark(s)elliott on Flickr

It’s going to be cold and icy the next few days so it means switching into winter driving mode.  Unless you live in a place that’s warm year ’round, you should probably be aware of some winter driving tips offered by the AAA.   Of course, as I reviewed them, they seemed like pretty good business tips as well, particularly with respect to operating in adverse conditions.  Let’s see what you think.

Avoid driving while you’re fatigued. Getting the proper amount of rest before taking on winter weather tasks reduces driving risks.  How many of us come to work exhausted when we’re under the gun?  As much as we can we need to get away from work and recharge in times of crisis.  That might seem counterintuitive, but how much we don’t work in a crisis can impact how effective we are during it.

Never warm up a vehicle in an enclosed area, such as a garage. Many of us tend to shut down or closet ourselves away when stress hits.  Bad idea.  When we’re working quickly, a fresh set of eyes can help catch the errors we don’t.  Be open, seek help.

Make certain your tires are properly inflated.  How many times have you needed to get something done and a critical system such as a computer goes on the fritz?  The quiet times are when we need to make sure our support systems are working.  When was the last time you defragged that hard drive anyway?

Never mix radial tires with other tire types.  This is about team building.  Just as mismatched tires won’t function together to keep you safe, a team whose members are incompatible with one another won’t perform well under stress.

Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line freeze-up.  Little things like running out of printer paper can kill you.  Do the checking long before you need to print those 30 copies of the deck (unless you like a mad dash to Kinkos in the middle of the night…).

Do not use cruise control when driving on any slippery surface (wet, ice, sand).  Don’t assume that you can let your team, which has always performed well, run on their own during a crisis.  Conditions have changed.  You’re the boss – drive the car!

Always look and steer where you want to go.  That sounds silly – where else would you look?  But it’s imperative that we avoid distractions and stay on task in a difficult business situation.  Think about the last time you were in one and got off-track with a silly side issue.

Use your seat belt every time you get into your vehicle.  When conditions are becoming adverse, we need to be sure that we’ve protected ourselves before those protections are needed.  Lawyers would tell you that’s why you document everything, even with partners with whom you have great relationships.  I’d tell you that communicating with your team, making sure they’re trained, and developing accurate reporting systems are the business equivalents of seatbelts.  Use them!

What other winter driving tips can you think of that might help in a business situation?

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