Driver Safety Quiz
What are the three main types of distracted driving?
- Visual distraction – taking your eyes off the wheel.
- Manual distraction – taking your hands off the wheel.
- Cognitive distraction – taking your mind off what you are doing.
WHY IS IT RIGHT
SAFE DRIVING PROGRAMS
Employers Should Set Up a Safe Driving Program to Keep Employees Safe on the Road
A safe driving program can save lives. Workplace vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for workers of all ages. The impact of losing a loved one can be far reaching. Kids may never be the same after losing a parent. Spouses may not recover from losing their loved one.
The employer program should work to keep the driver and others the road safe. The program must work to change driver attitudes, improve behavior, and increase skills to build a safe culture. Employers should instruct employees on basic safe driving practices. Employers should reward safety-conscious behavior driving.
Employees are an employer’s most valuable assets. Workplace driver safety programs make good business sense and demonstrate that employers care about their employees. By implementing safe driving programs, an employer can help save lives.
THE BENEFITS OF DRIVER SAFETY PROGRAM
Employers have a significant role in reducing vehicle crashes. Through workplace policies and education, employers can help protect their workforce, protect their organizations and, in turn, protect employees’ own families and communities.
Implementing a driver safety program, will help your organization keep employees safer and can potentially:
- Decrease risk of motor vehicle collisions and traffic violations
- Minimize exposure to liability risks and legal costs
- Reduce insurance premiums and workers’ compensation claims
- Lower vehicle repair bills and replacement expenses
- Protect business operations and brand identity
- Every 7 seconds, someone is injured in a car crash
- Every 15 minutes, someone is killed
- Many of the crashes occur during the work day or the daily commute
- Employers absorb costs associated with these crashes, whether they occur on or off the job
- Motor vehicle crashes are the #1 cause of workplace death
Driving Safety Tips for Employers
- Educate Your Employees
Employers can reduce work-related auto accidents by educating their employees about driving safety. Consider hiring a driver educator to give your workers a refresher course.
- Make Sure Work Vehicles Are Properly Maintained
Employers should perform a monthly comprehensive workplace vehicle inspection on each company vehicle. This helps ensure the vehicle won’t have any potentially dangerous malfunctions while it’s on the road.
- Consider Staffing Changes
Make sure that your workplace is adequately staffed. Overworked drivers are often unsafe drivers, and some workers may have trouble staying awake during late night shifts. Smart staffing helps you prevent accidents.
- Implement an Incentive Program
Although no one wants to get in a car accident, you can help employees stay aware of automobile safety if you offer an incentive program. Give out a monthly gift card to the employee with the best driving record or least number of work-related accidents.
- Discipline Unsafe Drivers
In addition to offering an incentive, you should also consider a discipline system for drivers who have accidents. There should be a thorough report about all incidents, and drivers who are at fault should be disciplined.
EMPLOYEES WHO DRIVE
Employers have important obligations to protect employees, including when employees are operating a motor vehicle in the course of their work. But, in very practical terms, road safety is a shared responsibility.
The driving environment is dynamic – road, weather and traffic conditions change frequently. It’s tough to write a policy or procedure to address every possible event a driver may encounter. Your employer is relying on you to conscientiously apply your training, driving skills and good judgement plus the procedures explained in the road safety plan.
Before You Drive
- Manage journeys – Ask yourself if you can get your work done without driving. Can you use a phone call, an email, an online meeting to avoid unnecessary driving? Can you reduce risks by using public transit?
- Taxis and ride-hailing services are travel options you can use to eliminate some of the driving you do. Use the suggested practices in this tip sheet to ensure a safe trip.
- If you need to drive, prepare for the trip. Even if it’s a short trip, TripCheck is a handy online tool to help you get ready for the trip ahead.
- Prepare yourself – Are you well-rested, alert and confident to reach your destination?
- Prepare a trip plan – Check the route you intend to travel and scope out an alternate route just in case. Check traffic and road conditions. Set up a check-in contact, and share your plan with your supervisor.
- Prepare your vehicle – Are the seat, mirrors and headrest adjusted for you? Do a pre-trip inspection to confirm everything is working properly. Is the maintenance up to date? If you don’t think the vehicle is up to the trip, talk to your supervisor.
While You Drive
- Wear your seatbelt.
- Take a break from driving at least once every two hours. Stretch your legs. Have a quick walk. Rehydrate.
- Pay attention and avoid distractions. Don’t use a cell phone or adjust the GPS while driving. When you’re behind the wheel, driving is your only job.
- Drive for the conditions. Speed limits are set for optimal driving conditions. Adjust your speed so that it’s right for you and your vehicle in those conditions.
After You Drive
- Report any vehicle damage or required maintenance.
- Share information about unsafe routes or things to watch out for so your colleagues don’t encounter the same problems, are better prepared or can make other adjustments like timing.
WHY IS EVERYTHING ELSE WRONG
ASSESSING RISKS ON THE ROAD
Distractions create situations and hazards that can be prevented. When combined with a constantly-changing road environment, performing other tasks while driving can result in errors that can have tragic results.
As an employer or self-employed person, you are responsible for assessing the risks to health and safety in your business. Risk assessment for any work-related driving activity should follow the same principles as for any other work activity.
You can delegate the task, but you will need to make sure it is carried out by someone who:
- is competent to do so (has the right skills, knowledge and experience);
- involves your workers in the process;
- understands when specialist help may be needed.
Risk assessment is about identifying and taking sensible measures to control the risks in your workplace, not about creating huge amounts of paperwork. You may already be taking steps to protect your employees, but your risk assessment will help you decide whether you should be doing more. The aim is to make the risk of someone being injured or killed as low as possible.
A hazard is something in your business that can cause harm. A risk is the chance, however large or small, that a hazard could cause harm. Identify the hazards Look for hazards that may result in harm when driving on public roads. Remember to ask your employees, or their representatives, what they think as they will have first-hand experience of what happens in practice.
RECOMMENDATION AND RISK
By following the recommendations set out below, risks to work – related road safety can be substantially reduced and avoided.
- Assess the risks from work-related road safety in your organization.
- Produce a health and safety policy covering, for example, organizing journeys, driver training and vehicle maintenance.
- Make sure there is top-level commitment to work-related road safety in your organization.
- Clearly set out everyone’s roles and responsibilities for work-related road safety. Those responsible should have enough authority to exert influence and be able to communicate effectively to drivers and others.
- Do – Prioritize and control your risks, consult your employees and provide training and information
- In larger organizations, make sure departments with different responsibilities for work-related road safety co-operate with each other.
- Make sure you have adequate systems to allow you to manage work-related road safety effectively. For example, do you ensure your vehicles are regularly inspected and serviced according to manufacturers’ recommendations?
- Make sure you involve your workers or their representatives in decisions. This is a good way of communicating with them about health and safety issues.
- You must provide training and instruction where necessary. Check – Measure How you are Doing
- Monitor performance to ensure your work-related road safety policy is effective and has been implemented.
- Encourage your employees to report all work-related road incidents or near misses. Act – Review your performance and learn from your experience
- Make sure you collect enough information to allow you to make informed decisions about the effectiveness of your existing policy and the need for changes, for example targeting those more exposed to risk.
- Regularly revisit your health and safety policy to see if it needs updating.
There are four things employers can do to reduce the risk of distracted driving on the job:
Create a policy and safe work practices
Create a policy and safe work practices that clearly spell out the expectations on the use of electronic devices.
Communicate the policy and practices
Provide your workers with the necessary information, instruction and training, and supervision. Communicate the policy and practices to your managers, workers, and contractors — often. Let them know that they can’t talk on the phone or text while driving for work.
Support your workers
Tell your customers that staff can’t answer calls or texts while driving. Have your workers create an “I’m behind the wheel” voice message before they begin driving.
Set an example
Never use an electronic handheld device or adjust a GPS unit while you’re driving.