In Washington, motor vehicle incidents are a common cause of workplace fatalities and hospitalizations. These incidents happen because of:
- Unsafe lane changes.
- Lack of knowledge about the vehicle.
- The use of handheld devices while driving.
- Poor weather conditions.
- Driving while tired or impaired.
Cell phone use or texting while driving is illegal in the State of Washington.
If you drive for work, you should never drive while tired or impaired by drugs or alcohol. Unlike many workplaces, roadways can be unpredictable, and safe driving requires your full attention. Get plenty of rest before driving, always wear a seatbelt, set realistic goals on the number of miles you can drive safely each day, and avoid aggressive driving.
Employers should ensure that driving safety is a part of an overall Accident Prevention Program (APP).You are your employer’s most valuable asset! The way that you drive says everything about you and your company. Make a positive statement by following these work-related safe driving practices.
- Use a seat belt at all times – driver and passenger(s).
- Obey all traffic laws.
- Be well-rested before driving.
- Avoid taking medications that make you drowsy.
- Be sure that any prescription drugs you may be taking are not going to influence your driving abilities.
- Set a realistic goal for the number of miles that you can drive safely each day.
- If you are impaired by alcohol or any drug, do not drive.
- Driving requires your full attention. Avoid distractions, such as adjusting the radio or other controls, eating or drinking, and talking on the phone.
- Be observant of your surroundings, watch for moving machinery and workers while on a construction site.
- Continually search the roadway to be alert to situations requiring quick action.
- Stop about every two hours for a break. Get out of the vehicle to stretch, take a walk, and get refreshed.
Avoid Aggressive Driving
- Keep your cool in traffic!
- Be patient and courteous to other drivers.
- Do not take other drivers’ actions personally.
- If another driver cuts you off, tailgates, or drives too slowly remain calm.
- Drive defensively and control your emotions.
- Reduce your stress by planning your route ahead of time (bring the maps and directions), allowing plenty of travel time, and avoiding crowded roadways and busy driving times.
Use caution in the following situations:
- Driving in high levels of pedestrian vehicular traffic.
- Driving in a school zone.
- Entering an intersection. Look both ways before entering, even if the light is green.
- Backing up. Always look behind you, check in mirrors, and honk to warn any pedestrians or vehicles.
- Changing lanes. Always double check using your mirrors.
- Driving through a work zone. Workers and equipment may enter unexpectedly.
- Towing a trailer.
Let’s be safe out there!