Safety is something that drivers should keep in mind at all times. After all, as a driver you have a responsibility to do your part to keep the roadways safe for yourself, other drivers, passengers, pedestrians and anyone else affected by traffic accidents. Here are some things to keep in mind:
Wearing your seat belt is an essential safety tip for drivers and passengers alike. Not only are you more likely to be injured in an accident if you aren’t wearing a seat belt, you can also be fined for failing to do so.
Stay Alert & Avoided Distractions
Actively pay attention to your actions and those of the drivers around you when you are driving. Sending text messages isn’t the only dangerous distraction that drivers need to avoid while operating a vehicle. Changing CDs, using cell phones, eating, and interacting with passengers are just a few examples of the types of distractions that you should take care to avoid when driving.
Avoid Assumptions & Share the Road
Don’t make the mistake of assuming that other drivers are going to do or what you think they should do. Be predictable! Don’t make sudden stops or lane changes. Instead, take care to ensure that other drivers are likely to be able to predict your actions to maximize safety. Remember that you are not the only driver on the road. An important safety trip that everyone needs to follow is the need to share the road with others graciously, recognizing that all drivers deserve to be treated with respect.
Exercise Patience & Yield the Right of Way
Many accidents are caused by impatient drivers who are rushing to get from point A to point B. While time is certainly a valid consideration when traveling, safety is even more important. After all, if you are involved in an accident you’ll certainly experience more of a challenge arriving at your destination on time than if you simply exhibit patience while driving. When other drivers has the right of way, be sure to yield to them. Also, don’t make the mistake of assuming that everyone else will yield to you when they should. Regardless of who has the right to go, yield if it seems that the other driver may not be observing standard practices for yielding.
Make Adjustments for Weather
When the weather is less than perfect, such as rainy, snowy, or foggy conditions, use extra precautions when driving and follow guidelines for staying safe in the particular situation you are facing. Remember to use your headlights! They aren’t just necessary at night. When you are driving in the rain or fog, turning on your headlights can play an important role in keeping you, and those around you safe on the road.
Follow Traffic Signals & Obey Speed Limits
Pay close attention to and obey stop signs and traffic lights.
- Remember that the intent of a yellow light is to notify drivers to slow down and prepare to stop. A yellow traffic signal should not be viewed as a sign to step on the gas to rush through an intersection before the light turns red.
- Come to a Complete Stop when you see a stop sign or a red light, it’s important to bring your vehicle to a complete stop, even if you think no other vehicles are coming.
- When driving, it’s important to stick to the posted speed limit at all times. The restrictions placed on vehicle speed are not established arbitrarily. Rather, they are carefully selected to maximize safety for drivers and for individuals in the homes, businesses, and other organizations in the areas where roadways are located.
Never Drive Under the Influence
It’s essential to avoid operating a vehicle if you have been drinking, taking certain types of prescription or non-prescription drugs, or are otherwise impaired.
Proper Vehicle Maintenance
Take care to ensure that your automobile stays in good working condition. This includes keeping fluids topped off, performing schedule engine maintenance, making certain tires have plenty of air, and ensuring that the vehicle’s exterior lights are functional at all times.
Reminders from Maintenance & Facilities
- Agency Vehicles must be inspected daily
- Mileage Records and Vehicle Checklists must be scanned to Teri Wells in the Facilities Dept., on a monthly basis.
- Vehicle logs must remain in their assigned vehicle and not be transferred over to another.
- Safety or Mechanical issues must be reported to your house manager, who is responsible for processing a work order for repair.
- All agency vehicle interiors should be kept clean and free of debris.
Distracted Driving is Deadly
- At any given moment, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving.
- 10% of all drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash.
- Five seconds is the average time your eyes are off the road while texting, when traveling at 55 mph, that’s enough time to cover the length of a football field… and it’s essentially being done blindfolded.
- An estimated 421,000 people were injured in a motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver… now imagine one of these were your child, grandchild or parent.
Myth #1: Drivers can multitask.
Reality: The human brain CANNOT do two things like driving and having a phone conversation, at the same time. These kinds of actions require focused attention. In actuality, the brain is switching back and forth between the two tasks which dramatically slows the brain’s ability to process and react.
Myth #2: Talking on a cell phone is just like speaking to a passenger.
Reality: Adult passengers are also copilots. They can alert drivers to traffic problems and help avoid crashes… people on the other end of the phone can’t see what’s going on in or around your car.
Myth #3: Hand-free phone calls are safe while driving.
Reality: Drivers talking on cell phones can miss seeing up to 50% of their driving environment, including pedestrians, traffic signals, and road hazards.
Myth # 4: I only use voice texts and only at stoplights so it’s ok!
Reality: Even at stoplights, it is important to remain attentive as a driver. An AAA study shows that people are distracted up to 27 seconds after they send a voice text; even at a stop light, a vehicle traveling in your direction at 55 mph will cover the length of over seven football fields!