Slip, Trip, and Fall Protection
Slips, Trips and Falls contribute to 15% of all accidental deaths and are second only to motor vehicle crashes in causes of fatalities. In addition, S/T/F injuries make up approximately 25% of all workplace safety claims. Companies must ensure their safety program addresses S/T/F potential not only for just their employees, but also their customers, vendors and/or general public that has access to company property, premises and facility. No one should be considered exempt from either a potential S/T/F injury and thus be required to observe company safety rules.
Vehicles are engineered for an optimum performance and a fairly accurate measure of performance is MPG. Fleet owners want their vehicles operated optimally so MPG is commonly used to measure performance. That being said, those who rely solely on MPG are taking the easy way out - all factors such as safety, maintenance, customer service, professional appearance, paperwork, etc. need to be considered when reviewing overall driver performance.
Spring Driving Hazards
Although winter may be over, along with good weather comes a whole new group of hazards that drivers need to be aware of. Each of these hazards has the potential for causing accidents and ruining a good driving record. Professional drivers need to be aware of these hazards and prepare accordingly - so they always take time to review and refresh safe driving habits and protect their hard earned safe driving record.
Stopping Distance / Following Time
Perhaps the best known defensive driving technique is to “Slow Down and Increase Following Distance.” A non-professional driver might think this is just hyperbole if they have not been taught, or have forgotten the correct method of calculating “following distance.”
Understand that your stopping distances can increase by as much as a factor of ten. Your normal stopping distance from 30mph can increase from 100 feet to as much as 1000 feet if you are on wet ice. To compensate, reduce your speed and increase your following distances by at least 2 to 3 seconds.
It’s not just the driving conditions – but how we react to them – or don’t react to them that ultimately determine safety. Driving safely is an attitude we adopt every time we get behind the wheel.
U-turns are never a safe option and are particularly dangerous at night or in areas of limited visibility.
Visibility and Blind Spots
Collisions can occur as a motorist comes out of a curve only to realize too late that there is a vehicle ahead of them crossing their path of travel making a left hand turn. After looking Left – Right – Left, proceed into the intersection only when absolutely certain there is no oncoming traffic hidden behind mirrors or other blind spots such as traffic signs, poles, buildings, trees or other landscaping features.
Visibility (the illusion of)
Instead of assuming that everyone can see us and expecting them to adjust to our presence, maybe we need to consider that we are driving "invisible trucks" and act as if people don't see us. By doing so, we will all become much more defensive and avoid the "accidents that should have never happened". Remember - never expect the other driver to adjust to you. Give him enough time and distance to avoid braking, swerving, or taking any other action. Become the "invisible driver" and drive like you were on a motorcycle instead of in an 80,000 lb truck.
Crosswinds of as little as 27 miles per hour can adversely affect a driver's ability to safely operate high profile CMVs. The side of the vehicle acts like a sail, making it difficult to control on the open road. The greater the surface area (height X width), the more difficult it becomes to maintain control.