Defensive Driving Tips for Your Employees

Your defensive driving program should stress how to avoid collisions and how to drive safely in the dark.

Collisions are a major cause of injury and death in traffic accidents. The main types of collisions are:

  • Head-on collisions
  • Hit from behind
  • Hitting the driver in front
  • Side collisions

Two-car collisions are among the most common kind of traffic accident. About one-third of two-car collisions occur at intersections, so workers need to be especially careful when entering an intersection.

Head-on collisions are particularly dangerous and can be deadly. The key to avoiding them is to keep looking ahead down the road for possible problems. If a crash looks like it’s coming, employees should slow down and even go off the road to the right to avoid a head-on crash.

Rear-end collisions are also dangerous, but they, too, are preventable. For example, employees should:

  • Signal their intentions when stopping or turning;
  • Be alert for tailgaters;
  • Slow down gradually; and
  • Leave room in front of you when stopped so that if you are hit from behind, at least they won’t hit another vehicle in front.

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To avoid colliding with a vehicle in front, employees should take these precautions:

  • Look well ahead for hazards, brake lights, and turn signals.
  • Always maintain sufficient distance between their vehicle and the vehicle in front so that they have enough room to stop safely.

To avoid side collisions, workers should be sure to approach all intersections with caution, and always look both ways before proceeding—even if they have right-of-way. They should never try to force their way through an intersection if another driver is set on going first. It is better to let the other driver go ahead of you than it is to get into an accident that can be costly and perhaps dangerous to them and to others.

Nighttime Driving

More accidents occur at night than any other time of day. The reason is simple: It is much harder to see at night, and much harder to react quickly when you do see a hazard.

Here are some defensive driving tips you can share with employees for driving at night:

  • Keep windshield clean to improve vision.
  • Turn lights on 1/2 hour before sunset.
  • Increase following distance to 4 seconds.
  • Be extra careful on curves and at intersections.
  • Switch from high to low beams to keep from blinding other drivers.
  • If you have trouble, pull completely off the road and use flashers.

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