Eight Summer Tips for Fleet Drivers

It’s Memorial Day weekend here in the US and that signals one thing: summer has arrived! And that means months of fun as the days get longer and we yearn to take advantage of every available ray of sunshine.

But driving and maintaining a vehicle in the summer months can present a few challenges: more traffic on the road, thunderstorms which can appear seemingly out of nowhere, and of course, extreme heat in many parts of the country.

Here are a few summer tips to pass along to your drivers (and use yourself).

  1. Never leave your pets or kids in the car, even for a few minutes! When it’s 85 degrees outside, the temperature inside a parked car can rise to 90 degrees within 5 minutes, 100 degrees within 10 minutes, and 120 degrees within 30 minutes.
  2. Pavement is REALLY slick at the very beginning of a rainstorm, so use caution. Oil is built up on the surface and becomes slippery when it’s first wet.
  3. Don’t drive into standing water; you don’t know what’s hidden below the surface, nor do you know how deep the water really is. It doesn’t take much water to stall your car. (We talked about navigating through floods last month. Check out more info here.)
  4. Make sure your radiator coolant is at the proper level and mixture to avoid overheating problems. Don’t find yourself stranded out on the road due to a coolant system failure. Refer to your owner’s manual for the recommended type, mixture, and quantity of coolant. But be careful: hot coolant can be dangerous. Be sure to let your engine cool completely before you loosen or remove the radiator cap.
  5. Watch out for bikes, motorcycles, and pedestrians. More people are out and about; check to make sure you’re clear before changing lanes or making turns. And check your side view mirror for cyclists before opening the car door; a one-second check can save a life.
  6. Change your wiper blades so you have good visibility. And while you’re at it, make sure to check your window washer fluid level. Keep your windshield clean for optimal visibility!
  7. Parking under a tree provides shade, which keeps your car cooler. But beware: tree sap and bird droppings can ruin a finish. Be sure to get your vehicle cleaned as soon as possible.

We promised you eight tips. Check out Driver’s Corner for our final summer tip.

Driver’s Corner

Summertime equals cookouts with friends. We long for these weekends to spend together – but often they include alcohol along with the hot dogs and apple pie. Be sure to designate a driver before the festivities begin. And be sure it’s someone who pledges to remain alcohol free and able to drive safely. If you have trouble finding someone, call a friend or family member. Or there’s always a taxi or car service in your area. If you live in a city, check out apps such as Uber and Taxi Magic (to only name two of this fast-growing segment). These make it really easy to get a car or taxi to take you home.

And finally…

And finally, Memorial Day is about remembering those brave men and women who have served our country. While Memorial Day honors those who lost their lives while serving, we’d also like to remember those who have served and come home. Many continue to serve, becoming police officers, firefighters, and other important figures within our communities. All we can say is thank you. You’re our heroes.



Photo taken at Rosehill Cemetery, a Victorian era cemetery on the North Side of Chicago during their 2012 Memorial Day tribute. At 350 acres, it’s the largest cemetery in the City of Chicago.

Have a nice weekend. Safe travels.

Originally appeared in FridayFleet on May 24, 2013

About Donlen
Donlen is the industry’s leading provider of integrated financing and management solutions for corporate fleets. Utilizing a highly consultative and strategic approach, Donlen helps fleets reduce cost, improve utilization, and increase driver productivity. Donlen’s innovation has been honored with the Computerworld “2012 Honors Laureate for Economic Development” and the “2012 InformationWeek 500 List of Top Technology Innovators Across America.” Their workplace excellence has been recognized on the IAOP “The Global Outsourcing 100®” list for seven of the last eight years, and as one of the “101 Best and Brightest Places to Work For in Chicago” each year from 2007-2012. Founded in 1965 and headquartered in Northbrook, IL, Donlen is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Hertz Corporation (NYSE: HTZ). For more information about Donlen, visit www.donlen.com.