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Safe Driving Tips

By: Matt Schiefferly
Vice President Safety Services


Traffic related accidents are the number one killer of American workers’, according to a report by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). The report states that three workers are killed everyday while driving, riding in, or working around motor vehicles.

Prevention plays an important role in reducing the number and rate of these fatal accidents. Of the reported fatally injured workers who were either drivers or passengers, 62 percent were not using any type of safety restraint. Preventive action should include a combination of education, enforcement, and engineering controls such as safety belts, air bags, daytime running lights, and vehicle design.

To improve safety for workers whose jobs involve driving or traveling by motor vehicle it is recommended that vehicle operators:

  • Always drive within the speed limit.
  • Use seat belts at all times.
  • Be familiar with maintenance procedures for all vehicles systems.

The report also recommends that workers in construction zones or while loading and unloading wear high visibility clothing, use barriers and conduct traffic control on busy streets and parking lots.

When developing traffic safety programs, the report recommends the following to be done by employers:

  • Review motor vehicle reports prior to hiring.
  • Establish a written company policy requiring employees to wear seat belts at all times and limit number of riders to the number of seat belts. Make sure all employees are aware of this policy and check compliance.
  • Establish schedules that allow drivers to meet time and distance requirements according to customer commitments and DOT regulations.
  • A stringent drug and alcohol testing program must be in place, and consistent follow though and oversight must be in place by management to keep drivers under the influence off the roads.
  • Train drivers in safe driving practices and the proper use of vehicle safety features. Make sure training is performance based and is periodically repeated.<
  • Establish procedures for proper maintenance of all vehicles and educate employees on the proper method of pre and post trip inspections.
  • Make sure that newly purchased vehicles are equipped with occupant protection and other safety features like triangles, tire chalks, fire extinguishers, and vehicle accident kits.

These are the basic points that should be included in any safety program. If you have any questions or need help with your safety and loss control programs please contact Matt Schiefferly @ Paul Hanson Insurance Services (800) 852-1968 or e-mail Matts@Paulhanson.com. Visit our web page for other information vital to the transportation industry at www.paulhanson.com.