At Wapiti, we are proud to have a strong presence throughout the Midwest. But let’s be honest, sometimes winter driving in our neck of the woods is not fun. Jody Kramer, Wapiti Logistics Coordinator, knows all about the stress that comes with winter locum travel, so we asked her to compile some winter weather travel tips for providers. Keep these in mind when traveling to your locum tenens assignment during the cold weather months.
WINTER WEATHER DRIVING TIPS
Taking a few minutes for additional preparation can help make winter travel safer. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends following the three Ps of Safe Winter Driving:
PREPARE for the trip
PREVENT crashes on the road
Before leaving, check your windshield wipers to ensure they are free of ice, keep vehicle windows clear, and make sure you have a snow brush/ice scraper on hand. (If you are driving a Wapiti-owned vehicle, it should also be equipped with a winter weather kit.) For longer trips, bring along food and water, medication, and a cell phone along with the charger. Plan your route and allow plenty of time to get to your destination.
2. PROTECT YOURSELF
Always wear your seat belt when driving and keep your headlights on to make yourself more visible. If winter weather forces you to stop, stay in your car, put brightly colored items on your antenna or windows, and shine your dome light if possible. If you run your car for heat, clear the exhaust pipe and run it just enough to stay warm.
3. PREVENT CRASHES
Slow down and increase distances between cars when driving. Keep your eyes open for pedestrians walking near the road. Avoid fatigue by getting plenty of rest before the trip. If you find yourself getting tired, pull into a safe area and stretch periodically.
WATCHING THE WEATHER
Keep an eye on local weather forecasts to stay prepared for any winter weather heading your direction. Weather alerts typically fall into one of three categories (information from the National Weather Service):
Warnings, Watches, and Advisories are issued by the local National Weather Service office in your area. Each office knows the local area and will issue Warnings, Watches, or Advisories based on local criteria. Stay tuned to local weather stations for up-to-date forecasts or follow https://www.weather.gov to see active alerts in your area.
Locum travel can always be a little daunting, particularly during the cold weather months. But planning ahead and taking your time can help alleviate some of the stress. Safe travels!
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