Myth Busting – Seat Belts
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.
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.
Spotlight on CSA
Unsafe Driving BASIC:
The most commonly written violations in the Unsafe Driving BASIC for Super Service drivers
- Speeding – over 55% of the violations
- Failure to obey traffic control device – 12% of the violations
- Improper lane change or lane restriction violation – 12% of the violations
- Failure to use seatbelt – 8% of the violations
- Following too close – 6% of the violations
What do all of these violations have in common? They are behaviors that an officer can observe while you are driving down the road. These “observable defects” cause a driver to be pulled over, often resulting in other violations being found during the inspection. Following all state traffic laws and always wearing your seatbelt are the first steps in having a violation free record.
We are getting multiple incidents weekly where our equipment is getting backed into by other drivers at truck stops. Try to park where other drivers can do a straight in backing on each side of you. Avoid parking on end of rows, where other trucks will be making turns across the front of your tractor.
Try to park in the row facing the fuel pumps; these are usually pull thru lanes. You do not have to settle for the first space you find. If you do not feel safe where you are keep watching for a better space to open up and move to it. Avoid rest stops, as the large majorities are poorly planned for semi-trucks and it is too easy for someone to run over your front and make a quick getaway down a ramp.
If you do not have a hazardous material load that requires placarding, you must not have any message displayed in the placard holder. This includes the “have a good day” and “drive safely” and other messages of this nature.
If you display an unneeded placard, you could be subject to a roadside violation and CSA points. If you pick up a trailer with an unnecessary placard, be sure to remove it before moving down the road. A paint scraper can be used to lift these off.
If you have a hazmat load with multiple stops you may have to remove the placards when the weight of the hazmat material is below the required placard quantity.
Accidents: Six Factors That Lead To 77% of All Accidents
These six bad habits have been documented to be involved in 77% of all accidents. If you see another vehicle driving this way that is your warning sign to create as much space as possible between you and that vehicle immediately!
- Right-of-way violations
- Poor lane control (drifting over the lane or poor lane changes)
- Improper passing
- Improper turns
If you are traveling at 55 mph and you have an accident your vehicle will stop… but you will not. You WILL leave that seat clocking 20 G-forces. As a comparison, military Air Force pilots in special suits and years of training can only handle 10 to 12 G-forces before they pass out. Your choice is between having the seatbelt slow you down or letting the steering wheel and windshield stop you dead in your tracks. At 20 G-forces option two it is not going to end well. Did you know that the number one excuse to not wear a seatbelt is that you are better off being thrown from your vehicle? Getting tossed from your vehicle and into traffic while passed out and clocking 20 G-forces is even more dangerous.
Wear your seatbelt and always be safe in the event of an emergency
Distracted Driving Kills – Do not be a distracted driver
Distracted driving crashes killed more than 5,400 people and injured nearly 500,000 in 2009.
Researchers report that texting while driving claimed more than 16,000 lives from 2001 to 2007.
Reaction time is delayed for a driver talking on a cell phone as much as it is for a driver who is legally drunk.
Drivers who are texting take their eyes off the road 400% more than when they are not texting.
More texting leads to more crashes. With each additional 1 million text messages, fatalities from distracted driving rose more than 75%.
Don't roll back when you start. You may hit someone behind you. Partly engage the clutch before you take your right foot off the brake. Release the brake only when you have applied enough engine power to keep from rolling back. On a tractor-trailer equipped with a trailer brake hand valve, the hand valve can be applied to keep from rolling back.
Speed up smoothly and gradually so the vehicle does not jerk. Rough acceleration can cause mechanical damage. When pulling a trailer, rough acceleration can damage the coupling. Speed up very gradually when traction is poor, as in rain or snow. If you use too much power, the drive wheels may spin. You could lose control. If the drive wheels begin to spin, take your foot off the accelerator.
There are many ways to be SAFE.
POT THE RISK
SSESS THE HAZARD
IX THE PROBLEM
VALUATE THE RESULT