Vehicle crashes claim over 30,000 lives each year in the United States. Getting into a vehicle and operating that vehicle is as much a part of life as anything else. Sometimes we forget or get complacent in the fact that every time we get behind the wheel of a vehicle, we are taking a very dangerous risk. That is why it is vitally important now more than ever to take all the proper precautions and to pay close attentions at all times when operating a vehicle.
The purpose of this safety topic is to raise awareness of the subject and to make an effort to lessen these numbers going forward. We make the mistake of not treating driving like every other task we do while on the job but we should. It needs to be taken just as seriously and these steps and rules should be followed at all times.
Before Operating a Vehicle
- All personnel who operate vehicle must have a valid, current and unrestricted driver’s license, anyone with a suspended or revoked license will not be allowed to operate a company vehicle.
- Pre-Trip inspections should be done and include but not limited to checking tires, windows, mirrors, lights, turn signals, and brakes. The drivers should also verify valid inspection sticker, license tag, and registration sticker. This should be done before operating the vehicle.
- There must be enough seatbelts in the vehicle for every person in the vehicle. Seatbelts must be secured before putting the vehicle in motion. NO persons are allowed to ride in the bed of trucks.
Vehicle in Motion
- Before operating the vehicle, verify all passengers are wearing seatbelts, check all clearances in the front, back and both sides of the vehicle. Utilize a spotter in congested areas if possible. If unsure of the situation, get out of the vehicle and survey the area in order to avoid damage. If all clear, start to move the vehicle. The first move of the vehicle should always be forward.
- Legal and posted speed limits will not be exceeded. The speed of the vehicle should be adjusted according to bad weather and road conditions.
- All local traffic laws and traffic signs will be followed at all times.
- Absolutely no texting and driving. Only hands free cell phone devices are permitted.
- Drivers should always drive defensively and remain calm when others drive offensively. Try to refrain from “road rage.”
- Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol will never be tolerated.
- the next time that the vehicle is operated, the first move can be forward.
In the Event of an Accident or Collision
- Remain calm.
- Contact local authorities immediately.
- Contact Supervisor and HSE Department. HSE department can be contacted at (985) 872-0505.
- Exchange insurance information with other party. (If there is a second vehicle involved in accident)
- Take pictures of vehicle damage.