According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 30,000 people each year—or one person every 18 minutes—dies in a car accident. To help reduce driving-related incidents, Cintas Corporation, the leader in first aid and safety products, today released its safe driving checklist to remind workers of top strategies for driving defensively. Through February 15th, Cintas is offering complimentary defensive driving courses, which provide additional training for company drivers.
“Whether traveling to meetings or delivering products, employees’ actions on the road can directly impact a business’ bottom line,” said Kate Lohner, Assistant Marketing Manager, First Aid & Safety, Cintas. “To reduce costs and increase driver productivity, businesses should equip drivers with the information and resources they need to stay focused and promote safe driving habits.”
Cintas suggests equipping drivers with the following checklist:
- Avoid Distractions – Each day, more than 15 people are killed and 1,200 people are injured in crashes reported to involve a distracted driver, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Cell phones are the newest and biggest distraction on the road, and while many states have passed laws banning the usage of phones while driving, many people continue to use them. Using a cell phone behind the wheel can delay reaction time by as much as 20 percent. Additional distractions include eating, changing the radio station and looking at directions. If the driver needs to engage in any of these activities, the employee should pull off the road until the task is completed.
- Slow Down – If a company delivery is behind schedule or an employee is late to an appointment, the driver may try to save time by exceeding the speed limit. Statistics show that not only is this dangerous, but it can also cause an accident. If an employee causes injury to someone due to negligent conduct, the employer can be liable for damages. To reduce opportunities for a collision and legal ramifications, remind drivers to slow down.
- Maintain a Clear Distance. No matter how careful the driver, it’s impossible to predict the actions of other drivers—particularly whether they will stop suddenly. To prevent drivers from rear-ending other vehicles, encourage them to follow the “three-second rule,” which requires motorists to maintain at least a three-second distance behind other vehicles. Maintaining a safe distance is particularly important during inclement weather. Rain, snow and ice all contribute to treacherous road conditions and will increase stopping time. In this type of weather, it is suggested to increase stop time to six seconds.
- Wear Your Seat Belt –NHTSA studies show that more than half of all accident fatalities were people who weren’t using a seat belt. Properly worn seat belts help prevent occupants from being ejected in the vehicle during an accident, particularly in the cabins of delivery trucks. Broken bones, lacerations and even death can be avoided by simply wearing a seat belt.
- Remain Calm – Remind drivers that delays are a part of driving and to limit their aggravation toward other drivers. Encourage them to yield to other drivers and refrain from aggressive actions that could trigger road rage or an accident.
“By practicing safe driving techniques, workers can protect themselves and others on the road,” added Jamie Samide, Director of Marketing - Emerging Business, Cintas. “It also has the added benefit of improving productivity and lowering insurance premiums, which helps improve a business’ bottom line.
From now through February 15, 2012, Cintas will be offering a two-part complimentary defensive driving series. The first course is titled “Distracted Driving – At What Cost?” The second part of the series is titled “Winter Driving – When the Rules Change!”
To register, please visit Cintas’ Online First Aid & Safety site.
For more information on first aid and safety products, visit http://www.cintas.com/firstaidsafety.