Journey management isn’t just for commercial drivers

January 30th, 2015

While it’s always important to be prepared when travelling, it is doubly important during the winter months.  Rapidly changing weather patterns, freezing rain and fog are just a few of the obstacles you might face during your travels (all of which could occur inside a 2-3 hour trip!)

‘Journey Management’ is simply doing what needs to be done in order to get from one place to another, by avoiding and not causing unforeseen obstacles, such as: a crash, road closures, vehicle breakdown etc.  Journey management is not just for professional long-haul truck driver’s. Although for them, it may very well be a daily occurrence.

There are a few basic steps we can take, prior to a road trip that may alleviate stress during the trip.

When considering winter driving in Alberta, ask yourself: ”Is this trip necessary”?  If the answer is “yes”, consider the following:

  • Do I know the route I will be travelling?
  • Given current driving/road conditions and scheduled stops, how long should it take?
  • What things should I do before I leave?

In answer:

If the route is not familiar, use of a GPS is advisable. But this should be backed with a road map and/or city map (think of all those times GPS has put you in weird locations!)

Check the Twitter feed from Alberta 511 or the AMA road report (which you can also find online.)  Or call your destination (if it’s a hotel or friend) and find out what the weather is like nearer to your arrival time. In the case of professional drivers, have your dispatch check for you.

For commercial drivers, you’ll have a Standardized Schedule and a ‘Pre-Trip Inspection’.  For the rest of us road travellers, you should go over your vehicle; check tire pressures, fluid levels (including windshield washer), belts, lights, wipers and hoses.  Ensure your cell phone is charged and/or that you have a car charger, pack a few snacks and water.  If your trip is longer than three hours, let them know when to expect you and any deviations that might change your ETA.

A few other common sense tips:

  • don’t talk on a hand held device or text while driving,
  • always insist that everyone wear seat belts
  • stay alert,
  • adjust speeds appropriately to conditions
  • don’t use cruise control in any wet, snowy or icy conditions,
  • if you become “Highway mesmerized” (or fatigued) stop and have a nap OR stop and stretch your legs for a few minutes; enjoy the scenery even if you have seen it hundreds of times!

Remember that although the destination is the goal, a safe stress-free journey in getting there is just as important.

Safe travels!

Blog Author: Lorri Christensen | Rogers Stieg Transportation Insurance Ltd.

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