As long as humans are the ones operating motor vehicles, accidents are inevitable. In fact, in Alberta in 2013, 87% of total collisions involved at least one driver who committed a driving error. Whether you commute to and from work, drive for a living, or operate equipment, driving is a part of our everyday work-related activity.
Now more than ever before there is more to distract us while we are behind the wheel. Distracted driving doesn't always mean using a mobile device; distracted driving is anything that requires your attention. Distracted driving can occur in one of three basic ways:
- Visual: The driver takes his or her eyes off the road
- Manual: The driver removes his or her hands from the wheel
- Cognitive: The driver takes his or her mind off of the task of driving
To avoid distracted driving, ensure that you are pulled over to a safe spot off the main road when engaging in any of the following activities:
- Child minding
- Changing a CD
- Answering or making a phone call
Download this FREE Guide to Implementing a Driver Behavior Safety Analytics Program
In 2010, The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued a ban that prohibits commercial vehicle drivers from texting while driving. This includes parts drivers, heavy equipment operators, transit drivers, etc.. There have also been many initiatives to get individuals to pledge not to text and drive, which are similar to those regarding drinking and driving.
Statistics show that more accidents happen on Fridays than any other day of the week or weekend. To add to that, the highest amount of collisions occur during the evening rush hour period. One of the most common driver distractions is driver fatigue. When fatigue occurs, judgement, as well as mental and physical performance is weakened. Studies have shown that driving while fatigued can be just as dangerous as driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
Signs of driver fatigue include:
- Loss of concentration
- Yawning and drowsiness
- Slow reactions
- Sore or tired eyes
- Boredom and irritability
- Lane drifting
- Inability to read or see road signs
Driver fatigue can be avoided by delaying driving when feeling tired or fatigued, or taking breaks every two hours during a long drive. Fatigue can also be caused by dehydration, a concern especially during the summer months. For more on how to prevent worker fatigue, check out Fatigue Management.
The majority of accidents that resulted in fatality involved vehicles that lost control or ran off the road. In many instances, speed was a major factor contributing to the accident. In fact, in Alberta, 1 in 4 drivers involved in a fatal accident were driving an unsafe speed. Posted speed limits are there to ensure you are driving at a speed that allows you to always be in control of your vehicle. Speed management is an essential skill to master as a driver. Luckily, there is a variety of technology to assist drivers in speed management in addition to the speedometer.
Speeding through construction zones has also traditionally been a problem. Especially during the summer months when there is a heavy increase in the amount of road construction being completed. Speeding through construction zones poses an unnecessary risk to construction workers that can be avoided easily by paying attention to speed signage changes and your surroundings in these areas.
GPS and RFID technology allow commercial businesses to monitor and log fleet vehicle activity easily. This technology can increase the safety of workers and the data may be used to create future action plans. Find out more about this technology here.