Respect the cone zone!
Focus. Slow down. Follow directions.
Everyone deserves a safe place to work – and drive.
Orangeis your clue. When you see orange signs, barrels and barricades reduce your speed, move to the correct lane and be patient.
Summer is here and is in full swing (even in Michigan!). With the warm summer months and school out many professional drivers are taking the opportunity to bring their children on the road with them. When at truck stops please be aware of the increased pedestrian traffic and watch out for small children that you may not see during winter months.
What are some of the most common reasons drivers choose not to wear seat belts?
Myth:I’m a safe driver!
Truth: That’s great! Unfortunately many people on the road are not – You know this since you see them cut you off every day on the road.
Myth: I will be safer if I am thrown for the vehicle.
Truth: You are 25 times more likely to be killed in an accident if you are thrown from the vehicle (either from the landing or from other vehicles).
Myth: I don’t want to be trapped in the vehicle if there is a fire or if I am submerged in water.
Truth: Only .5% of accidents involve water or fire in any form - In comparison 80% of accidents result in the death of the driver if they are not wearing a seat belt.
U-turns are the highest risk maneuver a truck can do while moving forward. When you make a u-turn you are, by definition, crossing through and interrupting the flow of all traffic lanes on the road while simultaneously putting all that traffic in your blind spot! Needless to say such a high risk maneuver should never be done. Instead go to a proper exit to find a safe place to turn around then reenter the street properly to go the opposite direction.
The number one reason drivers pull out in front of you, or even a pedestrian steps out in front of you, is they simply don’t know you are there. The art of defensive driving is watching others and being prepared if they rush out in front of you. That art can be made easier through the practice of eye contact.
What is eye contact? Simply put – Look at other drivers and pedestrians within your field of vision to try and make eye contact with them. If you don’t make eye contact then the safe bet is on the fact they don’t know you are there and may act on that misinformation. Be prepared if you can’t make eye contact.
Defensive driving is always critical to safely driving on the road but looking ahead and making eye contact with others can be that extra warning you need to stay safe.
Truck stops are always a welcome site as they indicate a break from the road. They are also the unfortunate site of many preventable accidents. This happens because drivers relax when they pull into the truck stop since they are coming off of drive time and driver fatigue starts to set in. The truck stop is a break from the stress of the road but the reality is that you have to remain alert.
Truck stops should be treated just like any pick-up or delivery you do while on-duty – Drive defensively, watch other drivers and pedestrians, use you four ways to alert other fatigued drivers you are moving through the lot, and when parking GOAL. Don’t forget to plan ahead and park your truck in a way that will make departure safe and easy!
A truck stop is an essential part of driving but being safe and aware of your surroundings will ensure you don’t end up staying in the truck stop a lot longer than the break you intended to take.
Share the road safely:
Use proper parking areas when pulling off the road. Trucks are four times more likely to be rear-ended than cars. It is 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.
G.O.A.L. – It’s not just for backing up!
Getting Out And Looking around (G.O.A.L) the truck is essential to safely back the truck up. But it is also essential for a safe and successful trip and you perform it more often then you may realize. For example:
- A pre-trip inspection is simply a GOAL that looks at the truck itself to ensure it is mechanically sound to drive.
- When you couple a trailer to the tractor you GOAL to ensure the trailer is properly connected to the fifth wheel.
- If you run over an object on the road (aka the tire gator) you have to GOAL to inspect the tires, tandems, or the engine.
- If you have a clearance issue in a city you creep up to the low bridge and if needed GOAL to check the height.
- Before departing a truck stop you GOAL just to make sure there are no hazards around you.
GOAL isn’t just for backing up, it is essential to operating a truck safely in many instances.
How many can you come up with?
Take Action to Avoid Driving Distractions
It may seem harmless to answer a quick call, grab a bite to eat or let your dog ride in your lap when you’re behind the wheel. But in 2008, accidents caused by distracted drivers injured about 515,000 people.
It takes two hands, a sharp eye, and your full attention to safely drive your car. Anything that keeps you from doing so means you’re driving while distracted, or "DWD."
Basic Gardening Safety:
Wear safety goggles, sturdy shoes, and long pants when using lawn mowers and other machinery. Keep children away from machinery at all times.
Protect your hearing when using machinery. If you have to raise your voice to talk to someone who is an arm's length away, the noise can be potentially harmful to your hearing.
Wear gloves to lower the risk for skin irritations, cuts, and certain contaminants.
Lower your risk for sunburn and skin cancer. Wear long sleeves, wide-brimmed hats, sun shades, and sunscreen with sun protective factor (SPF) 15 or higher.
Before you start gardening, warm up with some stretches to protect your lower back and legs. Change position and/or get up and walk around if you feel your back start to tire. Take rest breaks when you need to.
Stay hydrated during hot weather. The sun is most intense between 10am and 4pm, so garden early in the day or in the evening if possible. Keep water nearby and take frequent breaks to rehydrate. Head to shade or back inside if you become overheated.
When in the woods or mosquito- or tick-infested areas: Protect yourself from diseases caused by mosquitoes and ticks. Use insect repellent containing DEET. Wear long-sleeved shirts, and pants tucked in your socks. You may also want to wear high rubber boots since ticks are usually located close to the ground.