Driver Safety

Those municipal workers who drive a lot in their job duties would be the first to agree, it can be mighty dangerous out there on Oklahoma roads. Although the common factors of inexperience, recklessness, and aggressive driving contribute to many vehicle accidents, it doesn’t explain why so many professional drivers get into accidents. A driver may be trained, experienced, and competent behind the wheel, but the very flood of vehicles competing for space on the roads today presents added danger to all drivers. Even the very best drivers must learn to operate their vehicles with life-saving EXTRAS.

Drivers should take extra care of their vehicles’ maintenance by keeping them in good operating condition. Before getting behind the wheel, do a simple walk around the vehicles to insure that tires are properly inflated and have good tread, check that lights are clear and working, and see that windshields are clean and wipers blades are not worn out.

Once inside the vehicle, drivers should take the extra time to check the gas gage, adjust the mirrors, seat, and seatbelt to a comfortable position and if it is an unfamiliar vehicle, locate the lights, brakes, and wiper switch. Horns, flasher lights, and other warning devices are not just accessories, but vital parts of the extra safety built into any vehicle, so make sure they operate properly.

On the roadways, be extra careful by driving defensively. Following the rules of the road can help you concentrate on what you should be doing…driving, not eating, drinking, talking on the phone, or putting on make up. Stay out of other vehicles blind spots and avoid tailgating. Instead, keep a safe distance from other drivers using the 3 second rule and maintaining a safe cushion of driving space between your vehicle and those around you. As an extra precaution, know the condition of the weather and road and drive only as fast as those conditions allow.

Be extra cautious by staying alert and expecting the unexpected. Watch out for and anticipate other drivers, pedestrians, or children on or near the road. Safe drivers scan constantly for hazards, predicting how they may be affected by a hazard and pre-determining how to avoid or reduce them.

The ever-changing variables of the road and other vehicles can make drivers instantly vulnerable to accidents, If drivers don’t practice these life-saving extras on the road, they might personally discover why vehicle deaths and serious injuries now total more than all the wartime wounded and fatalities since 1776.

If your job involves driving, please be extra-safe for your sake, the sake or your family and friends, and the sake of your municipality.

Recommended videos from our library:  Don’t Meet By Accident; Coaching the Experienced Driver; Defensive Driving for Government Employees.

Contact OMAG Loss Control Services if you have questions or suggestions for other topics related to Municipal Workplace Safety Issues. 1(800) 234-9461 or email: kprichard@omag.org.

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