Motor Vehicle Safety Toolbox Talk

In this toolbox talk, get a refresh on general driving safety as well as tips for defensive driving, on and off the construction site.

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Driving at Work Safety Talk

Vehicle crashes are a leading cause of fatalities on and off the jobsite. It is important to always drive safely when you are operating a moving vehicle. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that in the US there were approximately 6.45 million car accidents that occurred, with police reports in 2017.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the leading cause of workplace injuries was from automobile crashes. There are many instances when automobile accidents leave people unable to continue with their job or even work at all anymore. This is a situation that can put you and your family in a very bad situation, if you're no longer able to earn an income.

Below, we'll discuss some general driving safety tips for when driving at work, a crash course on defensive driving, important vehicle safety features, and the reasons why you should always drive with identification.

Safe Driving Tips

The impact that a car accident can have on your family financially and emotionally is tremendous. When an employee is involved in a wreck on or off the job, it affects the business as well. Everyone should make it a habit to make safe driving choices anytime behind the wheel of a car. Here are some safe driving tips to follow:

1. Stay Focused

When you are driving, your only focus should be on the road ahead of you. No other devices, people, or things should be capturing your attention. Things such as cell phones, make-up, or even eating should not be done while the car is moving. Distracted driving is one of the main causes of accidents.

2. Vehicle Housekeeping

A dirty car is a hazard to you in many ways. If your windows and mirrors are dirty, it can obstruct your view from the road. Lots of items such as trash, water bottles, books, or other things in your car can cause harm to you if you were to be in an accident. It is best to always try and have only what you need in your car while driving. A tidy vehicle is a safe vehicle—that's why frequent housekeeping is so important.

3. Be a Defensive Driver

A defensive driver is a good driver. When you are driving, you should always know what you would do or where you would go if something goes wrong. Having a plan is part of what can help you in those split seconds you have to react. Having a plan of how you are going to react can be what saves your life.

4. Wear a Seat Belt

There are seat belts in a car for a reason and they should be used at all times when the car is moving. According to the statistics recorded by the National Highway Traffic Safety, your chances of injuries in a crash are reduced by 50% when you are wearing your seatbelt. Anyone who is in the car should be wearing one as well.

5. Keep a Safe Distance

The general rule of thumb when operating a vehicle is to stay 3 to 4 seconds behind the car in front of you. By doing this, you are giving yourself enough time to stop in case they do so abruptly. Hitting someone from behind can cause a lot of damage and even injuries to you or them.

How To Be A Defensive Driver

As mentioned above, being an aware and observant driver is what it means to be defensive. Having a plan of action should anything abruptly happen. There are a few simple defensive driving safety tips that you can follow to make this happen:

1. Look Ahead

Always be looking ahead. When driving, you are looking out the windshield, but you should always be looking ahead past the car in front of you in addition. That way you are observing what is going on ahead of you and can adequately prepare yourself.

2. Blind Spot

Every car has blind spots, but they are all in different areas. It depends on the type of car that you are driving. You should always familiarize yourself with where they are when you first get into the car. That way you know to be extra aware and careful.

3. Adjust Your Speed

Be cautious and always adjust your speed appropriately at intersections. You never know when someone is going to speed through a red light or stop sign. Looking and possibly even slowing your speed can help you to be prepared if someone else is breaking the driving laws.

4. Watch Your Distance

Watch your distance. Following too closely to cars can result in your hitting them from behind. Most of the time, whoever is in the back is the responsible party for the accident when it comes to police reports. If you keep a safe distance from other cars, you will be able to fully stop in time in case of an emergency.

5. Minimize Distractions

Try to be as focused as possible on the road and not on other things going on in the car. Don’t hold cell phones, make-up, try to eat, or even turn around to look at people in the back seat. Minimizing all distractions and making your main focus on the road ahead of you is the best way to be safe while driving.

Vehicle Safety Features

When you are driving a company vehicle, you are most likely covered under their insurance. Hopefully, you will not have to worry about ever being in an accident in the company car, but things like that do happen from time to time. There are safety features that should be in all cars that are being driven, such as:

  • Airbags
  • Tractions control
  • Antilock brakes
  • Adaptive headlights
  • Electronic stability control
  • The seatbelts that are in the vehicle is also a safety feature. They should be worn at all times when the car is being operated, not to mention it is the law. All of these features have their own function in helping to make the car as safe as it can be.

    Never Drive Without Identification

    Whether you are driving at work or off the job, when you are operating a car, you should always have the correct identification on you. You will need identification and other important documents in case of an accident or getting pulled over. Licensed, registration, and insurance cards should always be somewhere that you can find and easily access them. Those are things that you can get you a ticket for if you don’t have them on you when asked.

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