Motor vehicle accidents are the primary cause of fatal workplace injuries yearly. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, given that over 272 million registered automobiles are on the roads in the United States. Most of us are exposed to hazards associated with driving daily.
Even though many of us have been operating for years or even decades, safe driving practices do not necessarily come naturally to us. Because of the significant risk, you must instruct every employee in your company to adhere to the highest vehicular safety standards. Driving defensively is the term used for this strategy.
Supposes they do not have a sizable fleet of company-owned cars. In that case, the owners of certain businesses could wrongly believe that they are exempt from the need to provide safe driving instruction and enforce legislation. Your worker is constantly putting themselves and others at risk when they get behind the wheel, regardless of whether they are using a company vehicle or their vehicle.
In most cases, an employee who uses their truck for corporate business will be covered by the workers’ compensation insurance that the firm provides. What happens if a worker is behind the wheel but not on company business? Imagine for a moment that they are going to take the kids to the movies. You still want them to be able to maintain the highest level of safety for themselves and their family.
Regardless of how big or small, every company should have components that clearly outline the expectations the company wants to express to its drivers so that the drivers are aware of the duties associated with their jobs daily.
Any business should adhere to the suggested safe driving practices stated in this article, regardless of the size of its fleet or the number of employees who use its vehicles.
We end the misconception that companies with large fleets are the only ones who must comply with safe driving instructions and regulations. It’s true, but sectors that rely heavily on transportation, like construction and trucking, will need a driver safety program with an even higher level of sophistication.
These companies have an acute need for resources and training about safe driving. Your drivers need to be aware of the heightened risks of operating large trucks and being on the road for extended periods.
The following account for significant amounts of the strains and sprains that have been reported to MEM:
- Getting into and out of cars and trucks
- Getting on top of cars
- Being confined to a vehicle for extended periods
These dangers need to be addressed as part of a comprehensive driver safety program to be effective. Instruct your drivers to always utilize three-point contact while entering or departing the cab or trailer of a vehicle, and make sure they understand this instruction. Long-haul truck drivers should be instructed to pause periodically to stretch and be informed that management wants them to take breaks. Ensure that all drivers receive enough information about how they may eat and drink healthily while driving. Off-road recovery and a blowout on the steering tire.
Overcorrection and tire explosion are two common factors contributing to heavy truck accidents. These events may occur without prior notice, requiring the driver to react quickly. As a result, preparing your workers for the replies they may give is necessary.
When a truck starts to swerve off the road, drivers need to be reminded not to overcorrect their steering. They must remove their foot from the accelerator, avoid slamming their foot down on the brake pedal and have a firm grip on the steering wheel. If one or more of the vehicle’s tires blows out, the driver should follow similar precautions. Stay calm and decelerate gradually to avoid coming to a complete halt.
Remind the employees that avoiding problems in the first place is preferable rather than being ready to deal with them when they arise. It is feasible to prevent off-road recovery and a tire blowout if the driver maintains a modest speed, always maintains concentration on the road, and performs periodic vehicle inspections. The only thing that is preferable to being ready for a response is avoiding an issue from happening in the first place.
Driving defensively is precisely what it sounds like and driving cautiously is exactly what it sounds like. It is the practice of taking all precautions possible to avoid or lessen the chance of becoming involved in a collision. Those motorists who drive with extreme caution operate under the assumption that other drivers may be busy, impaired by fatigue or drugs, or unprepared to react appropriately to unforeseen dangers. They take it upon themselves to ensure that everyone on the road is protected from potential trouble.
When teaching employees about defensive driving for the first time, give them plenty of time to process the material. Your employees will need specialized training and constant reinforcement if you want them to adopt this mindset and use it when they get behind the wheel.
Ensure you have addressed the fundamentals of safe driving with your staff before diving into defensive driving training. Our leading five practices:
- Always use a seat belt regardless of the situation.
- Manage your speed
- Avoid driving when distracted
- Avoid driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Perform routine car upkeep
Consider adding defensive driving to your driver safety program if you are confident that your staff understand these fundamentals and are aware of your expectations.
After completing the course, have each employee sign a policy on defensive driving. Driving defensively isn’t rocket science, but it may differ from how your staff are used to driving.
Defensive driving policies can include a variety of rules, such as these:
- Give them plenty of room to maneuver around your car. Do your best to maintain a three-second separation between your vehicle and the one in front. When coming to a halt, give yourself enough room to observe the back wheels of the car in front of you.
- At traffic lights and signage, give way. For your protection, be prepared to let emergency vehicles through.
- If you see a speed restriction sign, obey it and slow down when conditions are risky.
- Before starting the reverse process, get out and look behind your vehicle. Any backing should be avoided. Safely back up if you must.
- Avoid arguing with other drivers by driving courteously. This endeavour isn’t worth the effort!
To help you develop your safe driving policy, Safety Counseling offers you several sample policies. The following guidelines can help your company’s drivers be safer:
- A policy of driving more cautiously.
- Going while using a cell phone
- Seat Belt policy
- Policy on alcohol and drug use
- Preparation for a roadside emergency
Your drivers must know how to respond in the case of a breakdown or other emergency. Your driver may find themselves trapped on the side of the road due to an unforeseen circumstance. Make it easy for your personnel to follow the rules in certain situations.
Parking in some regions of the road is not ideal. Even if it involves ruining a tyre or rim, you want them to get off the roadway to reduce their chances of being hit by another car. It’s not a good idea to have them parked on the side of the road.
To prepare for a roadside emergency or incident, create policies and procedures that spell out what has to be done in advance. You may avoid vehicle issues before they arise by conducting frequent vehicle inspections and distributing a maintenance request form to employees who find a danger. You can also file an incident report with your employer or report it to your company’s policy.
Prepare corporate cars for unexpected situations by stocking them with jumper cables, road flares, gloves, and reflective triangles. Consider the worst-case scenario while training or preparing your drivers for the worst-case scenario.
Self-driving cars and their effect on public safety have been the subject of much discussion worldwide (and in the job market). You may also increase driver safety by investing in new technologies currently under development.
Tracking driver data to encourage safe behavior can help uncover issues and prevent accidents. Hard braking, constant high speeds, and sharp corners are all patterns you’ll notice. It’s common for these systems to necessitate you buying and installing small bits of technology in each of your work cars. The method may also give each employee a scorecard as an additional gamification feature.
To provide a significant improvement in the safety of a vehicle, collision avoidance technology requires considerable expenditure. Compared to other kinds of systems, this one is a far more significant one. CAT can be fitted after the fact, but many people prefer to buy a car that already has it. CAT gadgets keep an eye out for other motorists and act if they spot any danger signs. A vehicle that automatically stops to prevent a rear-end accident is an example of CAT.
Almost everyone must travel by car at least occasionally. Employers may provide their workers with the tools they need to be as safe as possible while driving, biking, or walking, whether they’re doing it for work or pleasure. Providing tools and requiring workers to sign written policies are the best strategies to influence their driving habits.
You should have defensive driving techniques in your arsenal if you want to improve the safety of your employees. Interested in learning more about how to adopt this in your workplace? Defensive Driving consultations with Safety Counseling are available to both businesses and individuals.