What weighs around 2 tons, can easily cover a distance of over 80 feet in about a second, can strike with an impact that penetrates walls, fences or other objects and is sometimes considered to be a “deadly weapon.” Nearly all of you have one–YOU drive one….
A vehicle, whether it’s a company vehicle or personal transportation, can be a deadly machine in the hands of a careless driver. Operation of a vehicle must be taken seriously. This powerful device must be used with respect. Driving is not a “right,” but a privilege. A good defensive driving attitude is the key to your safety behind the wheel. Here are some tips:
* Always use your seat belt. This includes your lap belt as well as your shoulder belt. Both are necessary for safety. If your vehicle is equipped with an airbag, you must still use seat belts.
* Adjust all accessories. Insure that your mirrors are adjusted as well as your seat prior to driving.
* Secure loose objects in the vehicle. If you must make an evasive maneuver in order to avoid an accident, an unsecured object (e.g., tool box, brief case, etc.) may fly around in the vehicle and injure a passenger. Do not place your hard hat on the rear window shelf.
* Concentrate on your driving, rather than personal problems or your work. Be attentive to your own actions, the actions of others and the roadway environment.
* Keep a safe stopping distance behind the vehicle in front of you. You should be able to prepare to stop within 2 seconds, whatever your speed. Remember, it takes the average person about 3/4 of a second to recognize a hazard after it is first seen and another 3/4 of a second to switch from the accelerator to the brake pedal. At 55 mph, your vehicle covers a distance of more than 80 feet per second. You will have traveled about 120 feet before you actually began to brake.
* Be very cautious when adjusting your car radio, using your mobile phone or anything else that will distract you from driving defensively. Studies show distracted driving contributes to accidents because the brain cannot focus on driving while multi- tasking on another activity.
* Never drink alcohol and operate a vehicle. Assign a designated driver after social functions that include alcohol use.
* Be alert to “blind spots” when changing lanes. Look all directions and always use turn signals.
* Keep a cool head. Don’t drive aggressively and don’t take chances.
* Know and obey all traffic rules, regulations and laws.
Even if you personally obey all the driving rules, regulations and laws, you are still at risk for a vehicle mishap, serious accident or fatality, due to someone else’s carelessness. Follow the above tips to make your chances of “survival” on the road much higher.
DEFENSIVE DRIVING IS A GOOD HABIT – AND THAT’S NO ACCIDENT!