Defensive driving is driving to prevent accidents in spite of
the incorrect actions of others or adverse driving conditions,
such as weather, traffic, lighting, vehicle or road condition,
or the driver's physical or mental state. The defensive driver
assumes that other drivers may make mistakes and is on guard
in the event an error is made.
Your safety program should include defensive driver training
on the proper way to start-up and back-up a vehicle. During a
typical start-up/back-up situation, a vehicle has been parked
for a long enough time to allow pedestrians and other vehicles
to approach and rest within a few feet of the parked vehicle.
Starting up forward, backward or steering left or right from
a stopped position can create an unexpected hazard for both
the driver and bystanders. Here are some areas that should be
addressed and tips to help your driver become a defensive driver.
- Are your drivers aware of different types of hazards that may arise during start-up/back-up?
- Do drivers take time to walk around their vehicles and look under vehicles to check for people, vehicles or other objects that may obstruct their start-up/back-up path?
- Does your company encourage drivers to make a walk-around check?
- Are vehicles provided with adequate mirrors?
- Are drivers aware of the concept of a preventable accident? A preventable accident is one in which the driver failed to exercise every reasonable precaution to prevent the accident. This is irrespective of the extent of property damage or personal injury, to whom it occurred or the location of the accident.
To be a defensive driver, drivers should:
- Walk around the vehicle and look underneath to ensure they have safe clearance before moving a vehicle.
- Check the blind area on the right and in front.
- Not delay in moving a vehicle after assuring all is clear.
- Adjust mirrors as needed.
- Start up slowly at first to allow other vehicles and pedestrians, who may have unexpectedly approached, to safely move away.
- Tap their horn in congested areas or recruit a signaler to assist them.
COPYRIGHT ©2005, ISO Services Properties, Inc.