Defensive Driving: Look! No Hands!

Yesterday we looked at 10 safe-driving tips from the veteran drivers/editors at Today we’ll look at some additional defensive-driving tips from our Safety Training Tips editor — and at a “hands-off” training tool that will drive home safe-driving techniques to your workforce.

Motor vehicle accidents are the most common cause of accidental death in the United States. OSHA says that they are also the most common cause of workplace deaths, representing about one-in-four fatal work injuries.

Whether they drive on the job or commute to work by car, employees at all levels in your organization have need of defensive-driving training. Our Safety Training Tips editor offers these basic rules of defensive driving that you can use as training points:

  • Buckle up for safety.

  • Follow traffic rules, signs, and signals.

  • Don’t speed, and keep at least 2 to 4 seconds behind the vehicle in front.

  • Keep your eyes on the road, your hands on the wheel, and your attention on traffic.

Have your vehicle operators teach themselves defensive driving with BLR’s Interactive CD Course: Defensive Driving. Completely self-contained and usable anywhere. Try it at no cost or risk. Find out more .

  • Check your rearview and side mirrors frequently.

  • Adjust your speed and driving to changing weather and traffic conditions.

  • Expect the unexpected and be especially alert in heavy traffic for sudden stops, vehicles passing or moving in and out of lanes, road debris, and work zones.

  • Keep cool, yield the right of way, and don’t get into disputes with other drivers.

  • Pull over to make or receive phone calls.

  • Don’t drink or take drugs and drive.

Don’t forget to discuss vehicle maintenance. A safe, roadworthy vehicle is an indispensable part of driving safely. If the vehicle is unsafe, the driver–and others on the road–are at risk.

Teach your employees to keep their vehicles properly maintained and follow the auto manufacturer’s recommendations for oil changes, tune-ups, and so on. Remind them to inspect their vehicles frequently between service checkups. Here are some things they should look for:

  • Are tires in good condition and are they inflated to the right pressure?

  • Are headlights and taillights clean and working?

  • Are directional signals and emergency flashers operating properly?

  • Are oil, coolant, and other fluids at the correct level?

  • Are belts and wires in good condition?

  • Are brakes working properly?

Talk about driving in the dark, too. It’s no surprise that there is a greater risk of accidents at night. Worse than that, night crashes tend to be more severe. Remind your employees to:

  • Start taking precautions as soon as the sun goes down. Dusk is one of the most dangerous times of day on the road.

  • Slow down and increase your following distance. Darkness makes judging distances harder.

  • Don’t overdrive your headlights. You need to see this far in order to be able to slow and stop safely when necessary.

  • Take precautions not to be blinded by oncoming headlights. Shift your eyes momentarily to the right side of the road and use the white lines to guide your steering.

Try BLR’s Interactive CD Course: Defensive Driving at no cost or risk. Get the details here.

A solid defensive driving training program can show your employees how much they have yet to learn–likely one reason that organizations recommend repeated training, supplemented by constant reminders.

Hands Off

To do this training both quickly and effectively, we’d like to bring to your attention BLR’s Interactive CD Course: Defensive Driving. It’s a hands-off, 50-slide audio presentation that:

  • Defines defensive driving and demonstrates its characteristics

  • Demonstrates the characteristics of driving defensively, such as the “2-second rule”

  • Focuses on handling dangerous conditions such as winter driving, poor lighting, or heavy rush-hour traffic

  • Warns against engaging with aggressive drivers in incidents of road rage

  • Explains the effects of alcohol and sleep deprivation on driving

  • Emphasizes importance of following company safe driving policy

Because your drivers are likely in and out on varied schedules, the program is completely self-directed. It can be used anywhere there’s a computer and whether or not you are present.

Motivation is built-in through a wide variety of interactive features that have your drivers doing “hands-on” tasks that make learning interesting. Built-in quick quizzes block progress until the material is learned. When it is, the program prints out a completion certificate. We’ve seen very few safe-driver training programs as engaging and effective as this one.

You can see for yourself how well BLR’s Interactive CD Course: Defensive Driving works as we’ve arranged for Advisor readers to evaluate the program at no cost or risk for up to 30 days so you can try it with some of your own “road warriors.” Please letus know and we’ll be happy to set things up.