Safety Talks 2007

SAFETY TALK!

Friday January 5, 2007

 

 Cell Phone Safety

 

It seems that lately, more than half the people that I observe driving are on their cell phones. This indicates that the driver’s attention is not fully on the road. Even worse than talking, however, is texting. Many people text message while driving, taking even more attention from the road. Cell phones have made communication easier and more efficient, but there are certain safety guidelines to follow when using one:

 

?  Use your cell phone only when parked in a safe area. This minimizes the number of things that you must concentrate on while driving, allowing you to pay more attention to drivers not following this guideline.

?  Be aware of traffic conditions before answering or initiating a call. If you are in traffic, a busy interstate, or a jobsite with several other things going on, it is best not to be on your cell phone. 

?  Become familiar with the phone’s features. Know how to use the voicemail feature and preferably have some numbers on speed dial so you will have them for easy access.

?  Get a head-set device. This way you can talk on the phone while still having both hands free.

 

There have been many cell phone related crashes in the last five years. By following the above guidelines, we can help reduce the number of these incidents. Be safe while on the cell phone and always keep the seat belt buckled.

SAFETY TALK!

Friday February 16, 2007

 

This was not a great weather week for trucking. You probably noticed several cars or other vehicles stuck because of this weather. Last night, the main news story was about the driver on I-69 who crashed between two semi trailers. The driver, who was in a car, apparently was driving in the left lane when he decided to quickly change lanes to the far right lane. When he made the quick change to the right lane, the truck ahead of him made the change as well. The vehicles hit each other and the car went flying across three lanes into the southbound where it hit another car, causing a fatality.

It seems as if the aggressive driving of the person in the car was the cause of this accident. This is a very unfortunate event and one that did not need to happen. Driving in this weather already makes for unpredictable conditions. When you add unpredictable drivers, it becomes an unsafe situation.

The best you can do is be prepared for all of these situations. Keep a proper following distance and be aware of conditions that may cause hazards. Even if a road is plowed, there still may be enough slush to cause some drivers to lose control. The driver who I wrote about was driving recklessly. It is difficult to avoid these drivers but sometimes they may show signs like driving at high speeds and following at close distances. It is best to just avoid being close to these types of drivers. Continue trying to be as safe as possible under these weather conditions. Safety begins with you buckling the seat belt before taking off for any trip.

 

Bobtailing Safety:

Driving without a trailer presents different situations to deal with. For example, a truck’s braking system is designed to stop while pulling a loaded trailer. Therefore, without a trailer, braking may cause the drive axle wheels to bounce. This can reduce the gripping action on the road. Follow these rules and you can help avoid an accident when you are bobtailing:

Increase normal following distance by 50% and increase it even more on wet roads. This relates to the braking system mentioned above.

Scan the road ahead for potential traffic hazards.

Check your mirrors every four to five seconds, and check for vehicles in your blind spots before changing lanes.

Slow down below the posted speed limit on exit ramps.

Watch for loose gravel when exiting the road into a parking lot.

Realize that you need to drive in a different manner when bobtailing. Remember that the faster you travel, the longer it takes to stop. Whether you are driving with or without a trailer, you should always have the seatbelt buckled.

 

Pattern Driving:

Think about the patterns and habits you have when you are driving. Some of these may be driving too much while you are tired or driving too fast for the weather or road conditions. Most of you have good driving patterns which help you avoid accidents and tickets everyday. There is probably one pattern or habit that can be improved. Think about what that is and try to make an effort to improve it. It could result in avoiding an accident or getting stopped by the DOT. One such pattern could be buckling the seatbelt before you take off for any trip.

Reminder:

We have done several steel loads in the last few weeks. For those of you who haul steel, it is important that you have safety glasses, long pants and a long sleeve shirt, hard-soled shoes, a safety helmet, and cut-resistant gloves. Some of the steel plants require that you have these before entering their facility.

 

Winter/Cold Weather Driving:

It seems like the warmer weather we had in the first part of January has gone away for a while. With this cold weather, it is a good time to be aware of the conditions that will affect you while driving. Keep the following tips in mind while driving during the cold of winter.

Plan your trip. Check the weather forecasts and allow extra time if there will be adverse weather on your trip.

Be prepared for the conditions. Check your antifreeze and test the heater and defroster. Make sure your tires are properly inflated. Keep extra warm clothing and boots in your truck.

Use proper driving procedures. Increase the following distance during snowy weather. Be prepared for icy bridges during freezing weather, and try to avoid aggressive braking.

In the winter the weather can be really unpredictable. The best we can do is be prepared and deal with it accordingly. One thing to do before every trip is to always buckle the seat belt.

 

Lane Changes:

Many motorists view lane changes from trucks as one of the biggest safety issues. Mostly, a lane change crash will occur when a truck changes into the right lane and hits a car in the front or rear side. Often this happens because the truck had to make a quick lane change. The following guidelines can help reduce the possibility of lane change crashes:

Clean and adjust mirrors before driving. This is especially true now because of all the salt that is on the roads.

Maintain a minimum six-second following distance. Observe the posted speed limits and stay in the right lane as much as possible to avoid having to change lanes.

Signal lane changes well in advance. By signaling lane changes about eight seconds in advance you give other motorists proper reaction time. Also, check your blind spots before changing lanes.

Sometimes a situation will require you to make a lane change without much notice. The best we can do is be prepared for that and be as professional as we can. Always be prepared by wearing the seatbelt also.

 

SAFETY TALK!

Friday February 23, 2007

 

I-70 Construction, Trailer Plate Renewals

 

Beginning Monday, February 26, construction will begin on a six-mile stretch of I-70 between downtown and I-465 on the Eastside. Semi-trailer trucks will not be allowed on this six-mile leg. Keep this in mind when you are driving around this area so that you will be able to reroute if needed. This project is scheduled to run through November.  Westbound work will run from March to July and eastbound work will run from July through November. 

 

Included in your envelope this week are copies of the trailer registrations. These become effective on Thursday, Mar 1. Please keep these in your cab for access.

 

SAFETY TALK!

Friday April 6, 2007

We received an email from an Illinois customer this week about the new radar system that will be in place in freeway work zones.  Beginning in July in Illinois, a photo radar will be used to catch drivers violating the speed limits in freeway work zones.  The first offense is a $375 fine. 

 

It is the beginning of the road construction season, so you should be seeing these kind of warnings in most places.  Always slow down to the posted speed limit and be aware of any workers around the area.  Also be aware of the construction equipment; sometimes it will be parked or facing an odd direction.

 

There is never a need to speed through a construction work zone.  Too many dangerous things can happen.  It is even more dangerous to go without the seat belt, so keep it buckled.

 

 

Effective Mirror Use

 

The ability to see other objects around you while driving is crucial in terms of safety.  One thing to help that is to have maximum vision from your mirrors.  The following are tips to help effectively use the mirrors on your truck.

 

?  Mirrors should be properly adjusted.  Simple alignment can be all the difference between seeing something or missing something.

?  Clean windows and mirrors regularly.  This will help ensure clear vision on all sides of the truck.

?  Develop a mirror check system.  This would include adjusting mirrors to reduce blind spots around the truck.

 

Having the mirrors properly aligned can help ensure a safe lane change or avoid oncoming motorists or other objects.  Mirrors are just one aspect of safety.  Another one is the seat belt;  please always have it buckled.

 

 

General Reminders:

 

Please have freight bills turned in by Wednesday.  When mailing them, you will often have to include extra postage.  This will prevent any delays from the Post Office.

Please include your logs and fuel tickets in this packet every week.

 

When driving around Indianapolis, be aware of the Super 70 Project that is happening.  Trucks are not allowed on that stretch of highway from I-70 east inside 465.  

 

 

SAFETY TALK!

Friday April 13, 2007

Watch your step

 

Many on-the-job injuries in trucking occur from slips and falls from the tractor or trailer.  Falling from a tractor/trailer can result in sprained ankles, bruised legs, or worse.  To help prevent falls and slips, follow these guidelines:

 

?  Always use the three-point contact rule.  At least three limbs should be in contact with tractor/trailer at all times.  Position yourself so that you are in a secure position when entering and exiting.

?  Make sure your steps are properly fastened.  Make sure your footing has enough tread so you can make each step safely. 

?  Be aware of weather conditions.  Snow or rain can make your steps slick.  Use extra caution under these conditions.

 

Getting into and out of the truck is second nature for most of you.  But all it takes is one slip to cause an injury.  Be aware of the safety issues involved and remember to fasten the seat belt after you have properly made all of the steps into the truck.

 

SAFETY TALK!

Friday April 20, 2007

Perception distance + reaction distance + braking distance = stopping distance.  Here are some statistics regarding stopping distance according to the National Safety Council (figures given in feet): 

 

Speed

Perception

Reaction

Braking

Total Stopping Distance

Car at 30mph

77

33

43

153

Truck at 30mph

77

33

67

177

Car at 55mph

141.2

60.5

144

345.7

Truck at 55mph

141.2

60.5

275

476.7

 

These numbers should give you a better perspective on how much space you really need when you are braking or stopping.  The higher the speed, the longer it takes to stop; with a truck it will always take longer than a regular automobile.  Whether in an automobile or truck, always wear a seatbelt.   

 

Effective next week, the quarterly fuel taxes will be rounded to the nearest dollar for settlements. 

 

 

SAFETY TALK!

Friday May 17, 2007

The weather is warming up and the days are getting longer.  More people will be out driving to various spring and summer activities.  Construction crews will be out working on roads.  Runners and bicyclers will be out enjoying the warmer weather.  More children will now be outside playing.

 

This means there are many more things to pay attention to while driving.  Be alert to these added dangers when you are driving, especially when you are near commercial or residential areas.  People who are doing outside activities do not always pay attention to their surroundings. 

 

The construction season means that you will drive in areas that have reduced speeds and reduced lanes.  465 in Indianapolis is an area where they do a lot of construction work at night.  Sometimes, the consequences of this may include closures at certain exits and slower traffic. 

 

Be aware of all of this as we get into the warmer season.  Safety involves anticipating what may happen and with more people outside now, it is important to remember that there will be more variables to deal with during the warmer seasons.  Also, always anticipate buckling the seatbelt before you take off for any trip.

 

 

Why Speed?

 

It’s easy to go above the speed limit.  Sometimes we do it intentionally, sometimes, we’re aware of our speed, but do it anyway.  When this happens, we need to catch ourselves and ask, “Why am I speeding?”  Sometimes we think we will get to our destination faster.  In reality, we rarely save more than a couple of minutes, if that.  There will always be more danger in speeding.  First, it gives an officer more incentive to pull you over.  Worse though, speeding results in less control of your vehicle, especially dangerous in areas of heavy traffic. 

 

 

Reminder:  Always buckle your seat belt while driving. It’s the law.

 

 

Driver Fatigue

 

Driving while tired can be a very unsafe situation.  It can lead to having an accident or missing a road or exit due to lack of focus.  Studies show that most crashes occur on Fridays between noon and 8 pm.  The possible correlation here is that more people are driving while fatigued as a result of the end of the work week.  That is just one possibility, but you should know the signs of driver fatigue.  Some of these include:

 

?  Constant yawning

?  Not remembering driving the last few miles (microsleep)

?  Eyes closing or going out of focus

?  Wandering thoughts and reduced attention to driving

?  Lackadaisical or grouchy attitude

 

If you are feeling some or all of these symptoms, it is probably best to get off the road and rest for a while.  A short nap or coffee may help improve short-term alertness.  The key is knowing yourself and knowing how much rest you will require to be an effective driver.  Plan your rest periods accordingly and always plan on buckling your seat belt.

 

SAFETY TALK!

Friday June 1, 2007

Avoiding U-Turns and Roadcheck 2007:

 

Making a u-turn is not a safe driving technique.  U-turns can cause run-under crashes which may cause thousands of dollars of physical damage to the truck.  Instead, it is best to find a safe area to turn around.  In urban areas, an open parking lot is usually the best option.  When on the highway, chances are good that an off-ramp exists a few miles ahead where you can safely turn around. 

 

Roadcheck 2007 is scheduled for next week Tuesday, June 5 through Thursday, June 7.  The DOT will be randomly checking transportation vehicles throughout the United States.  Please be prepared--and you do not want the DOT officer to notice that you are not wearing a seat belt, so have it buckled.

 

SAFETY TALK!

Friday June 15, 2007

The Three Part Effect of a Crash:

 

The first part of a crash occurs when the truck hits something causing impact and damage.  This can happen in a tenth of second.  The second part of the crash occurs with the passenger(s).  If you are safely buckled, the seatbelt should hold you in place.  If you are unsecured in the vehicle, then you are free to slam into the steering wheel, windshield, or another part of the interior.  At impact, you are still moving at the truck’s original speed which can cause great injury, the third part of the crash.  This is the internal crash, and it is when there are injuries of any kind.

 

Vehicle crashes are unfortunate situations that occur daily.  You can avoid these by traveling the speed limit and leaving enough space between yourself and the vehicle ahead of you.  You can avoid the passenger crash and internal crash by wearing a seat belt.  Keep the seat belt buckled; it is the law.

 

SAFETY TALK!

Friday June 29, 2007

Fuel Economy:

The following was taken from the Great West Summer publication (source: ATA-TMC).

 

With higher fuel prices, it pays to help find ways to increase fuel efficiency. 

 

1. As power demand increases, fuel consumption increases anywhere from 5.5 to 7.25 mpg.  Remedy: Reduce power and fuel economy improves.

 

2. Consider the size of air compressor that your vehicle requires.  A large displacement compressor penalizes your fuel consumption since more horsepower is required to engage it, even when the compressor is not pumping.  Remedy: Use the smallest displacement air compressor that is suitable for the task.

 

3. Fuel consumption increases as the effort necessary to move air in and exhaust gas out of an engine increases.  Though not a parasitic power loss, the effect of increasing intake restriction and exhaust back pressure is similar in that the engine must work harder.  Intake restriction is a function of both design and maintenance; exhaust back pressure is set by system design.  While there isn’t much fleet users can do to adjust muffler performance, they can monitor intake restrictions and consider intake and back pressure variables when buying equipment.  Remedy:  Minimize intake and exhaust restriction for maximum fuel economy.

 

Hopefully, some of these tips can help you conserve fuel and become more efficient.  Have a safe 4th of July week.

 

SAFETY TALK!

Friday July 27, 2007

In 2003, deaths caused by large truck crashes were 5,036.  This number has increased each year since 2003.  Many times, we make the assumption that other drivers on the road are aware of how to drive around our trucks.  However, most motorists on the road are completely oblivious as to how to drive around semis.  There are a few things that you can do in order to make sure that we all get to our destinations safely and on time.

  • Double-check your mirrors before turning right.  Most motorists are unaware of a truck’s need to swing wide in order to make that turn and often times, a motorist will not realize you are turning right when you swing wide.  Some motorists will attempt to pass you on the right as you are turning so be diligent and watchful as you turn.
  • Signal early and often when maneuvering through and around intersections. Motorists are often too preoccupied to notice your turn signal.  The earlier you signal, the better chance a motorist will notice your signal and not pull along beside you.
  • Don't tailgate.  It makes motorists uneasy to have 80,000 pounds of truck on their rear bumper, not to mention angry.  Many events of road rage are started by tailgating vehicles; we’re all safer when road rage is not involved.
  • Leave extra space between your truck and cars around you whenever possible. Many motorists don't know how long it takes a truck to stop or how much room you need to pass safely.
  • Use proper parking areas when pulling off the road. Trucks are four times more likely to be rear-ended than cars. This makes it especially important to use designated parking areas when possible. If you can't do this, pull completely off the road and set out flares, safety triangles or other devices to alert other drivers.

Tips adapted from AAA’s Safety Tips

In order for you to stay safe in a truck, always buckle your safety belt.  It’s the law!

 

SAFETY TALK!

Friday August 17, 2007

Driving Tips from Defensive Driving School

Do not drive the speed limit if the rest of the traffic is not moving at that speed.  If your preferred speed is 65 mph but the slower (right) lane traffic is moving 62 mph and the faster (left) lane is approaching 70 mph, either slow down or speed up, but don't fight or obstruct the flow.  Going with the flow is far safer and much less aggravating than forcing other to march to your beat. 

However, we all know that trucks are not supposed to hang out in the left hand lane.  So slow down and move right.

American drivers are renowned for not understanding or appreciating the importance of lane courtesy, i.e., slower traffic keep right and faster traffic pass on the left. If you're in the left lane and slower vehicles are in your way, give the other drivers a chance to find an opening in the right lane. Don't climb into their trunk; signal your intentions with 4 or 5 blinks of your left directional. A brief flash of the headlights may be necessary to clarify your intentions. If they refuse to move, don't lose your temper. Write the lane blockers off as ignorant, incompetent or inconsiderate and work your way around them as best you can.

This applies only if you are in the middle lane.  If you are hanging out in the left hand lane, you need to move over and slow down.

Remember, just as current day speed limits have very little to do with safety, lane courtesy has nothing to do with speed limits. If you're in the left lane and someone wants to pass, move over and let them by; leave traffic law enforcement to the authorities.

And always buckle your safety belt! It’s the law.

Tips taken from Defensive Driving School: http://www.comedydefensivedriving.com/drivingTips_realWorld.php#top

DRIVER MANDATORY SAFETY MEETING SATURDAY OCTOBER 27th

 

SAFETY TALK!

Friday August 24, 2007

Freeway driving

First, there are forbidden actions. There is NO STOPPING on a freeway. This includes the roadway itself, the shoulder, the off and on-ramps, and the median—anywhere on freeway right-of-way. Emergency stops are permitted, but you must take extra care. The shoulder of a busy freeway is a very dangerous place. If you leave an unattended vehicle along a busy freeway, you can expect it to be towed by the authorities pretty quickly. If you are approaching a vehicle stopped along a freeway, or a pedestrian, PLEASE change lanes to the left as you pass by. Imagine yourself standing beside the freeway, with traffic less than 3 feet away passing you at 75 mph. Please give them a WIDE berth, for their safety.

A properly designed freeway on-ramp gives you the space to gain freeway speed before entering the traffic flow. Do not be tentative about accelerating to highway speed—the most significant danger is that caused by disparate vehicle speeds. Do not drive to the end of the ramp and slow to a crawl or stop while waiting for a "break" in traffic. If you accelerate to a proper merge speed, you can merge safely, and the existing traffic will be more likely to accommodate your entry. Traffic merging onto a freeway must yield to traffic already on it, but at the same time, competent, courteous drivers will make room for others to merge. Be careful to always make a visual head-check (not just mirrors!) before changing lanes or merging.

Be aware that it is often illegal to cross a freeway "gore area." This is the triangular-shaped zone formed by the single or double white lines of an on or off-ramp as it connects with the through traffic lanes. In some states, signage prohibits crossing a gore area, in others special striping is used (double parallel white lines). In these states, you MUST use the lane until it ends; the end marks the beginning of the merging area. Understand that it is NOT illegal to cross a single, solid white line—only when they are doubled is crossing them a prohibited act (unless posted otherwise). These are federal rules, adopted by most states.

Generally, the right lane of a freeway is for entering and exiting the traffic flow. It's a "staging" lane, for use at the beginning and end of your freeway "run." The middle lanes are for through traffic, and the left lane is for passing. If you are not passing someone, you should not be driving in the left lane. Likewise, unless you are driving at a slower speed or preparing to enter or exit, you should move out of the right lane (this applies to a roadway with more than two lanes, of course).

If you encounter an emergency vehicle on a freeway, you should move to the right as much as necessary to let it pass you on the left. You are not expected to pull right and stop as you would on other roads—doing so would be dangerous. Keep in mind that emergency vehicle drivers are trained NOT to pass you on the right, so it's important for you to move that direction to allow them safe passage on your left.

Finally, drive at a safe speed. Excessive speeding (more than 10 mph faster than traffic flow) or traveling too slowly increases the dangers and difficulty for all. If you view the traffic on a freeway as a giant, single organism, then it becomes apparent that it is the exceptions and differences, especially in speeds, that cause problems. The freeway is one driving arena where it is important to "blend."

Taken from http://www.roadtripamerica.com/DefensiveDriving/Rule21.htm

Always buckle your seat belt!

DRIVER MANDATORY SAFETY MEETING SATURDAY OCTOBER 27th

 

 

SAFETY TALK!

Friday September 14, 2007

As drivers of very large vehicles, we often forget what it feels like to be in a small car.  Although we are careful to prevent collisions, we rarely think of how nervous our driving can make other people.  Having grown up around trucks, I can say with much confidence that I am more secure driving around trucks than most; but there are still times that I get nervous being on the road with semis.

The most frightening thing that I think a small car experiences is driving between two semis.  If the semis are obeying all traffic laws, this is something that very rarely legally happens.  In other words, you shouldn’t be driving in the left hand lane.  However, I am aware that in certain instances, such as 465 on the east side where it splits into 7 lanes, this can legally occur.  The best thing that you can do in this situation is stay in the center of your lane.  There is nothing more frightening than when one (or both) trucks move toward the lane where the car is.  Please take extra precautions to make sure to stay in the center of your lane and not swerve in the lanes, especially when being passed.

Another thing that is crucial when driving with smaller vehicles is to use turn signals.  This should be something that is done every time the truck turns or changes lanes, yet we all know that it doesn’t happen nearly as often as it should.  If you use your turn signal, the cars around you are more at ease because they understand your intentions.  It is extremely disturbing to have a truck careen into a lane in front of a small car when the car has no idea that the truck is coming.  I will agree that there are some people on the road that see you turn on your turn signal and speed up to avoid being behind a semi.  While this may momentarily delay you, you probably avoided having an accident with this car that probably would have sped up to cut you off when you began to move anyway.

When I see trucks driving poorly on the road, I call their office.  Drivers call our office as well and tell us what they think of our trucks.  When you drive poorly around other traffic, we know.  Take a few moments and put yourself into the other driver’s shoes.  Better yet, imagine that you’ve just gotten your license and are nervous driving anyway.  How would you want a semi to drive around you?

Always buckle your seatbelt while in the truck.  Also remember the driver’s meeting is coming up on Saturday October 27th.

DRIVER MANDATORY SAFETY MEETING SATURDAY OCTOBER 27th

 

SAFETY TALK!

Friday September 28, 2007

Trucker dies in chain-reaction crash

This was the headline in the Indianapolis Star on Wednesday September 12th. A truck driver was killed in a crash that occurred on Interstate 69. Some of our drivers were near this site when it happened. Parts of I-69 were closed for six hours.

This is a very tragic event. Police say the driver did not slow down for traffic entering a work area. A crash can happen in an instant and it’s the little things that you need to watch for to help prevent a crash. Slow down in work areas, do not follow too closely, and stay out of the left lane on the interstate.

A crash is never worth trying to gain that extra few minutes by going faster than the limit. We hope that we do not have to see any more of these headlines for any trucking accidents. Be safe on the interstates and always have the seat belt buckled.

Note: At this time the log requirements will remain the same. The Safety Meeting is scheduled for Saturday October 27th.

 

SAFETY TALK!

Friday October 12, 2007

Seat Belt Safety

 

Wearing a seat belt increases your chance of avoiding death and injury by up to 50%.  Half of the 634 commercial drivers killed in crashes were not wearing safety belts (source: FARS 2004).  Seat belts hold you in place while the vehicle absorbs the impact of the crash.  They protect your head and spinal cord from possible injury.

 

Here are some things to make sure your seat belt fits properly:

 

?  Do not allow the buckle to be located in the stomach area.

?  Do not wear the shoulder strap under your arm or behind your back.

?  Do not allow the belt to become too loose as you drive.

?  Wear the lap belt low on the hips and against the thighs.

?  Wear the shoulder strap across the center of your chest and to the center of your shoulder.

 

Wearing a seat belt is the law.  It is not worth taking the chance without it. 

 

SAFETY MEETING IN TWO WEEKS:

 

SATURDAY OCTOBER 27 AT 8:00 AM AT THE DOUBLE TREE SUITES IN CARMEL!

 

SAFETY TALK!

Friday November 30, 2007

Winter Driving:

 

The winter season will be on us soon.  Now would be a good time to check windshield wipers, heater hoses, and anti-freeze levels.  Check your safety equipment; you need a full fire extinguisher properly mounted in the cab and working triangle reflectors.  Drain all of the air tanks on both the tractor and trailer to help prevent a service call for freeze up.  Remember that tires lose pressure as the temperature drops; keep them at optimum pressure during the cold weather.  Be prepared with extra blankets and clothes also.

 

The holiday shopping season will be here soon also.  This means that there will be more motorists around commercial areas.  This added congestion can make things even more unpredictable on the road.  Be prepared for this, particularly if you are around these areas during high traffic hours. 

 

Keep driving safely, and always wear the seat belt.

 

Driver Distractions

 

It can be easy to get distracted while driving.  Talking on the phone, drinking coffee, reading a map, or adjusting the radio are all examples of things that can distract you enough to cause an accident. 

 

Try not to let in-cab distractions divert your attention.  If the task is serious enough, pull off to a safe area where you can solve the problem.  An accident is not worth taking the risk when a distraction is involved.  Here are some techniques you can practice to help minimize distractions:

 

?  Avoid using electronic devices when driving

?  Avoid large drink containers that block visibility when driving

?  Turn off the radio in heavy traffic or when loading/unloading

?  Avoid reading maps or taking notes when driving

?  Don’t let billboards, other motorists, or any other outside activity distract you

 

Don’t let the seatbelt be a distraction.  Buckle-up; it is the law.

 

 

 

SAFETY TALK!

Friday December 28, 2007

Preparing yourself for the winter:

 

Recently, there was a safety talk about preparing your equipment for the winter.  Remember that you should also prepare yourself.  Keep the following tips in mind to help winterize yourself:

 

?  You can find icy spots anywhere outside.  Be careful and aware when walking around during subfreezing weather.  Wear footwear with quality traction to prevent slips. 

?  To prevent frostbite, wear proper gloves and headgear, especially while you are outside.  Wear a warm coat to help keep your body core warm.

?  During snowy weather, wear boots to keep your feet dry.  Boots will also keep your feet warmer than other footwear.

?  Carry extra blankets and clothes in your truck.  You never know when you will need them.

 

As always, wear the seatbelt while you are driving. 

 

Unpredictable driving conditions:

 

As professional drivers, you probably notice many odd and unpredictable things on the road.  While I was driving over the weekend, I noticed several such things.  On I-65, I noticed how traffic increased substantially north of Rensselaer and people were switching lanes more frequently.  Later, coming back south on I-65, I noticed an automobile that did not have its lights on during the early morning before the sunrise.  I also noticed how cops were hiding in medians waiting for speeding drivers. 

 

These are all things that you may have noticed at some time or another.  The best thing you can do is be aware that unpredictable conditions can exist anytime.  If you notice people switching lanes, it is best to back off from them so you can keep a safe distance.  If you notice cars without lights, again is better not to be near them if traffic allows.  Cops will always be hiding in medians so it is best to maintain the speed limit at all times--even during little traffic on the interstate.

 

Please continue to maintain your safe driving habits in the new year.  And, always wear the seat belt while you are driving.  Have a safe and Happy New Year.