WEEKEND HOLIDAY SAFETY
If you need to travel during the holiday weekend, be sure to practice defensive driving skills. Leave enough space between you and other vehicles in front to allow for sudden stops and breakdowns, look left right and left again before entering an intersection. If traffic is heavy, keeping your speed down allows you time to react to unfolding events around you, especially on multi-lane highways.
How to Properly Use a Fire Extinguisher
PASS It On: All extinguishers work in a similar manner, and an easy way of remembering how to use one is the acronym “PASS”.
P=Pull the pin at the top of the extinguisher.
A=Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire, not at the flames.
S=Squeeze the handle to release the extinguishing agent.
S=Sweep the spray back and forth across the fire until it’s out.
Always check your fire extinguisher when you do your Pre-Trip Inspection to make sure it is fully charged and properly secured.
Hundreds of people are struck by lightning each year. The good news: 90% of victims survive. The bad news: 70% suffer long-term effects, including: Burns; Vision or hearing loss; Nervous system damage; Muscle, ligament & bone damage; & Neurological defects.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimates lightning strikes the ground 25 million times per year in the U.S.. In 2014, those strikes resulted in 26 fatality reports.
Lightning can travel 10 to 15 miles away from a storm. If you hear thunder, you’re within range and should seek shelter.
Reduce risk before and during a lightning storm:
Go indoors at the first sign of a storm.
Invest in home lightning protection.
Avoid touching electronics or anything with a cord, such as your phone.
Stay away from water sources, including pipes, sinks and showers.
Do not stand or lean on concrete structures.
Seek shelter in a hard-top vehicle if you’re stuck outside.
If you’re outside and shelter isn’t available, crouch down away from tall objects, tuck your head in and cover your ears.
The July 2015 edition of the Super Service Newletter is now available!
No Fireworks on a CMV
The carrying of any explosive device in a company vehicle is against company policy except when it is for legitimate business purposes (hazmat load).
Please do not purchase and transport any fireworks in a company vehicle.
Avoid Staged Vehicle Accidents
Types of staged accidents include:
Swoop and squat.A car suddenly pulls up in front of you, slams on the brakes, causing an intentional rear-end collision.
Drive down. You’re attempting to merge into freeway traffic, a driver waves you forward. But instead of letting you in, driver speeds up crashes into your vehicle and blames you for the accident.
Sideswipe.You are making a left turn from a dual-turn lane and your vehicle drifts close to the other lane for a moment. The driver in the other left-turn lane sideswipes you and accuses you of reckless driving.
T-Bone.You are cautiously driving through an intersection when a waiting driver knowingly slams into your vehicle. Driver then tells the police that you ran the stop sign.
The wave. While you are attempting to change lanes, another driver gestures you over. Just as you’re completing the maneuver, the driver rams into your vehicle.
The best way to avoid a staged accident is to be a good defensive driver:
Never tailgate. Leave plenty of distance between your vehicle and the one directly in front of you. Added distance gives you more time to slow down if something unexpected occurs.
Look ahead. Traffic patterns change quickly. Don't judge purely by the pace of vehicles immediately in front of you. Look down the road for signs of possible shifts in traffic flow.
Don't multitask. Refrain from talking on your cell phone, texting, or eating while driving.
Trust your instincts. If another driver starts signaling you for no apparent reason, you're not obligated to respond. Sometimes it's better to err on the side of caution.
Jump-Starting a Vehicle Safely
Each year over 8,000 motorists suffer injuries because of improperly jump-starting a dead vehicle battery. Injuries can be caused by battery explosions, chemical burns, crush injuries from lifting or dropping the battery, and electric shock from battery and/or post contact.
Once you've found a running vehicle to provide the jump-start, make sure everything is prepared: Make sure the vehicles are not touching. Turn off all electrical devices in each vehicle. Turn off the ignition switch in each vehicle.
Put on eye protection and gloves. Identify the positive (+) battery terminal and the negative (-) on each vehicle. Reversal of polarity can cause serious damage to the vehicle and it's electrical system. Use a rag or steel brush to clean the terminals. Prepare the cables for connection. Lay the cables on the ground, making sure the clamps aren't touching. Connect a red cable (positive) to the dead vehicle's (+) battery post. Connect the other end of the red cable to the live vehicle's (+) battery post. Connect the end of the black cable (negative) to the live vehicle's (-) battery post. Do not connect the other end of the black cable to the dead vehicle's (-) battery post. Instead, locate an unpainted metal part of the dead vehicle's engine, away from the battery. Look for a large bracket or bolt, be careful not to put it near a part that will be spinning. Away from the open hoods, start the engine in the live vehicle. Wait a few minutes, start the dead vehicle.
If the dead vehicle starts, leave both vehicles running for a few minutes, then remove the cables in the opposite order. If it doesn’t start remove the cable in the opposite order and call breakdown for a tow.
Emergency Kit: Are you prepared?
Every Commercial Vehicle should be equipped with a set of spare fuses, a fully charged and secured fire extinguisher, and 3 emergency triangles. You should also have at least a gallon of each fluid - oil, coolant, and washer.
A well prepared driver also keeps an emergency kit containing the following items:
+ Jumper cables
+ Flashlights and extra batteries
+ First aid kit and necessary medications in case you are away from home for a prolonged time
+ Food items containing protein such as nuts and energy bars; canned fruit and a portable can opener
+ Plenty of drinking water for each person and pet in your vehicle
+ Battery operated AM/FM radio to listen to traffic reports and emergency messages
+ Toiletries, dust mask and garbage bags w/tape & plastic ties for sanitation
+ A whistle to signal for help
+ Cat litter or sand for better tire traction
+ Shovel and Ice Scraper
+ Pocket knife w/multiple tools (Swiss Army type)
+ Warm clothes, gloves, hat, sturdy boots, jacket, rain poncho and an extra change of clothes
+ Blankets or sleeping bags
+ Spare Cash and change
+ A charged cell phone
Driving Safely in the Rain
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, there are around 707,000 automobile crashes each year due to rain, resulting in approximately 3,300 deaths and 330,200 injuries. But being behind the wheel and a rain-splattered windshield doesn’t have to be a white-knuckled, nerve-racking experience.
1. Think. Many people drive subconsciously, out of habit; when it rains, they often don’t adjust their thinking. When conditions are less than ideal, drivers need to stay alert and focused on what’s going on around them.
2. Turn on those headlights (it is company policy to have them on day or night - so make sure they work!). It’s the law in all states to turn headlights on when visibility is low, and many states also require having the headlights on when the windshield wipers are in use.
3. Beware of hydroplaning. It’s easy enough to hydroplane: All you need is one-twelfth of an inch of rain on the road and a speed of more than 35 miles per hour. If you start to hydroplane, let off the accelerator slowly and steer straight until you regain control.
4. Turn off cruise control and Engine Retarders. Ironically, on rain or slick surfaces, cruise control may cause you to lose control. You might think it’ll help you stay at one steady speed, but if you hydroplane while you’re in cruise control, your vehicle will actually go faster.
5. Slow down. Speed limit signs are designed for ideal conditions when you have little traffic, good visibility and no inclement weather. Hardly the environment you’re driving in when it’s raining, so let up on the accelerator and allow more time to get to your destination.
Driving Tips for Traffic Jams
Make smart driving decisions:
- Avoid aggressive driving and weaving from lane to lane.
- Keep a safe distance — at least 7 seconds — between you and the vehicle ahead of you. This will help you avoid frequent braking and rear-end collisions.
- Watch the traffic ahead closely. When vehicles in front brake, take your foot off the accelerator to slow down gradually before you brake. Be cautious not to brake abruptly.
- Stay focused. Keep your mind on driving by avoiding distractions such as eating or using your cell phone.
Follow driving fundamentals:
- Use your blinkers when changing lanes or merging. Most state laws require activating blinkers at least 100 feet before merging or turning, but some states require at least 200 feet.
- Use your mirrors to monitor the areas around your vehicle. Perform head checks to check your blind spots before changing lanes or merging.
- Use the length of the acceleration lane to merge safely into traffic.
Be responsible with technology, and plan ahead. Before you start your trip, check traffic apps on your phone or listen to radio reports to avoid congested areas. Use your motor carrier’s road atlas to map out your route. If you’re worried about encountering heavy traffic during your commute, take time before you leave to map out an alternate route if needed.