You want your employees to be safe on the road and avoid accidents, whether they’re driving your vehicles or their own. The safer your drivers, the better for all concern — and the lower your exposure to litigation. Make sure that your safety meetings and training sessions include these four key elements.
- Collisions are common, especially at intersections, where it’s estimated that one in three two-car crashes occur. To reduce the risk of head-on collisions, drivers should keep alert and look down the road for possible problems, such an oncoming driver passing another vehicle. To avoid being rear-ended, drivers should signal intentions, slow gradually, and check mirrors for tailgaters. To avoid rear-ending another vehicle, they should maintain a two- to four-second distance from the vehicle ahead and watch for brake lights and turn signals.
- Passing. Train drivers to pass only in a passing zone, check oncoming traffic to make sure no one is coming, and check their mirrors to make sure someone behind them isn’t moving out to pass. Drivers should never pass unless they can see enough clear space to do so comfortably. When being passed, they should slow down if the other vehicle needs extra room to pass safely.
- Road/Weather Conditions. Road construction, traffic, slippery roads, bad weather, and other hazardous conditions contribute to many accidents. Under these conditions, drivers can stay safe accidents by taking precautions such as slowing down, increasing following distance, being prepared to stop, turning on headlight to be more visible, avoiding distractions, and keeping calm in heavy traffic. Drivers should also know how to handle a skid (take your foot off the break and turn in the direction you want the front of the vehicle to go).
- DUI. You can’t overemphasize the hazards of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. According to one recent report, one in five motorists admits to drinking and driving. Drunk driving kills more than 20,000 Americans a year, and injures another 50,000. Drinking impairs all the faculties that prevent traffic accidents: the ability to determine distance, reaction time, judgment, and vision.