DTY: The Insurance Guide | Sponsored by Brownyard Group
How Do PMPs Maintain Their Vehicles?


Peter YoungWhen we talk about pest management safety, we often talk about the chemicals in products that professionals use or the liabilities that they face when working in homes and businesses. What some pest management professionals (PMPs) may not realize is that their commute is one of the most dangerous aspects of the job.

PMPs spend much of their day in the vehicle, driving from client to client. As you know, winter does not stop calls from homeowners and businesses. Cold weather can lead to an increase in pest problems, as pests seek indoor warmth, leading to increased volume — which means more driving for PMPs.

Any time of the year, driving can be hazardous, as distracted drivers and other threats loom large. As the holiday season begins to hit its stride, though, these threats are amplified significantly. Holiday traffic volume, slippery weather conditions and impatient drivers combine to create a dangerous environment for drivers.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 17 percent of vehicle crashes occur during winter driving conditions. The U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration estimates that nearly 900 people die and 76,000 people are injured in vehicle crashes per year in snowfall and sleet conditions. Winter weather conditions create a significant hazard for drivers during this time of year. PMPs must ensure that they are prepared accordingly.

You know to maintain your vehicles and drive safely. Yet as an insurance professional, I know all too well how good habits can fall by the wayside and result in accidents. Checklists are a good way to fight complacency; consider using a winter driving checklist to confirm vehicles are prepared for harsh conditions. Here’s one to get you started.

Before the first storm of the year:
  • Top off the vehicle’s wiper fluid
  • Check tire tread and inflation
  • Make sure you have a spare tire that it is properly inflated
  • Prepare an emergency kit with blankets, water, cell phone chargers, jumper cables, flares or reflectors, and a flashlight
On a weekly basis:
  • Clean windows and cameras to make sure there’s proper visibility from all angles
  • Check the vehicle's battery regularly, as colder temperatures tend to cause batteries to deplete faster
  • Keep your gas tank full, as winter weather can prolong time on the road and force you to change routes
On a daily basis:
  • Turn on phone features such as “do not disturb” mode before hitting the road
  • Drive patiently, and watch out for road hazards, such as black ice
  • Slow down and provide extra following distance in icy conditions
This checklist covers some best practices for preparing for winter driving, but there are more ways that PMPs can stay safe, learn from mistakes and recover from accidents. As insurance professionals specializing in the pest management space, we at PCOpro keep a careful eye on industry trends, such as the rise in auto claims during these months. We are always prepared to help our clients stay safe and protected from risk, including winter driving conditions.

Peter Young is Account Manager and Underwriter at the Brownyard Group, the leading insurance program administrator behind PCOpro, specialized insurance coverage for pest control operators. He can be reached at pyoung@brownyard.com.

PMP's Direct To You provides pest management professionals with educational refreshers on timely and critical topics essential to operational success. This content is not be used as a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney licensed to practice where you live. Look for the content-rich PMP Direct To You archives at mypmp.net/direct-to-you-archive.

This newsletter was produced by North Coast Media's content marketing staff in collaboration with Brownyard Group.


Pest Management Professional is a property of North Coast Media, LLC.
1360 E. Ninth St., 10th Floor, Cleveland, OH 44114
© 2019 North Coast Media. All Rights Reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited without written permission.