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Risk Management Bulletin


By February 1, 2009No Comments

To help keep your workers safe on the road — and reduce the risk exposure when they’re driving on company business, we’d recommend having them use these guidelines developed by the professional driver/editors at

  1. Avoid the fast lane. Using the center or right lane on multi-lane roads gives drivers more escape routes if a problem arises that requires quick lane changes or pulling onto the shoulder. Most highway accidents occur in the left lane. Also, drivers are most conspicuous to law enforcement if they’re in this lane.
  2. Keep scanning the area ahead. Instead of just staring at the car ahead, watch the traffic in front of that car as well. This increases your chance of seeing a problem while you still have enough time to react to it.
  3. Beware of blind spots. Adjust your side and rearview mirrors to provide a seamless panoramic scene of the view behind you. But don’t rely solely on them. You should also look directly into the lanes beside you to avoid overlooking something left undetected by the mirrors. Also consider potential blind spots affecting other drivers, particularly truckers.
  4. Get “racecar driver control” of the wheel. Maintain control of the wheel by moving your seat close enough to the steering wheel so that, with your arm outstretched and your back against the seat, your wrist can rest on the top of the wheel. This will keep your arms from tiring easily and put you in the best position to manage last-minute evasive maneuvers.
  5. Place your hands at 9 and 3. Instead of the typical way people drive, with one hand at 12 o’clock or both hands at the bottom of the steering wheel, use the 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock positions. This leads to better vehicle control, especially if you have to maneuver quickly to avoid a potential crash.
  6. Judge drivers by their cars. Cars with body damage or dirty windows could indicate an inattentive driver behind the wheel. Also, a car that’s drifting in its lane might mean the driver is tired, drunk, or on the phone. Steer clear.
  7. Know thy vehicle. Get in touch with your inner car. Pay attention to how it reacts in certain situations. Become familiar with the limits of your brakes and tires. How long does it take to stop when you apply maximum pressure? How much grip do your tires have? If you replaced your car’s original tires with a cheap set, you’ve probably reduced braking and handling capability.
  8. Keep your vehicle in shape. Follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule to ensure that the vehicle will accelerate, stop, and steer when you need it. “Getting another 1,000 miles out of old tires” just isn’t worth it.
  9. Nighttime might not be the right time. Traveling at night can help you avoid congestion on the roads, but it can also be a hazardous proposition. At night, you’re more tired, your field of vision is decreased, and you might have to deal with joyriding teens and drunks. If you’re out late, drive extra defensively after midnight when people leave bars and parties.
  10. Consider high-performance training. Going to a high-performance driving school can be a great way to improve your driving skills. Understanding how to make your car do what you want it to do in emergency situations could save your life.