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
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.