Policy [COMPANY NAME] is committed to instituting and maintaining a Fleet Safety Program. The goal of the Fleet Safety Program is to take the proper steps to prevent loss of life, injury, or property damage to all employees and members of the general public. [COMPANY NAME] recognizes that the responsibilities for safety and loss prevention must be shared by everyone.
• Assume responsibility for the driving record of employees while they are on duty.
• Frequently check for compliance of the established requirements and policies in which all personnel are required to adhere to.
• Personally review the decisions on accidents and take all steps necessary to prevent a recurrence.
• Establish and adhere to policies on disciplinary actions in accordance with the policy regarding actions that will be taken against employees who show a repeated disregard for good driving practices.
• Insist that all assigned vehicles are maintained adequately for safe operation.
• Establish periodic inspection of assigned vehicles for safety discrepancies, malfunctions, signs of abuse, unreported damage and cleanliness. Have repairs made as soon as possible.
• Fully support the [COMPANY NAME]’s driver training program to promote defensive driving.
• Review each preventable vehicle accident and unsafe driving report with the employee and his supervisor to emphasize management's intolerance of irresponsibility behind the wheel.
• Establish an aggressive campaign to enforce the wearing of seat belts on all trips.
• Insure that employees do not drive any [COMPANY NAME] vehicle unless they have a VALID Drivers' License and are familiar with [COMPANY NAME] driving rules and regulations.
• Insure that only authorized personnel be allowed to operate [COMPANY NAME] vehicles, special purpose vehicles, and trucks.
• Must be alert in observing unsafe practice of employees and insure that action is taken immediately to correct the driver.
• Review all preventable vehicle collisions with employees at Safety Meetings and discuss each unsafe act that was responsible.
• Periodically ride with the vehicle and truck drivers to check for compliance with operating instructions and traffic regulations.
• Insure that unsafe vehicles are not driven until safety discrepancies have been corrected.
Employees who drive [COMPANY NAME] vehicles are responsible for following all of the guidelines set forth in the Fleet Safety Program. These responsibilities include:
• Safe operation of vehicles and for the safety of passengers and cargo
• Having a valid driver's license in their possession
• Inspecting the vehicle which they are about to drive, in accordance with established policies
• Reporting any vehicle accidents
The Safety/Loss Control Officer will be in charge of implementing the policies the Fleet Safety Program. Responsibilities will include:
• Monitoring the driving experience of employees who operate entity vehicles.
• Be sure proper maintenance procedures are being followed to keep vehicles in a safe operating condition.
• Verify that adequate insurance limits are maintained by drivers who use their personal vehicle for entity business.
The driver is responsible for checking the safety and general condition of the vehicle , including gas, oil, and other fluid levels, lights, and brakes. With the assistance of the Safety/loss Control Officer, supervisors will furnish vehicles with inspection checklists. If there is something wrong with the vehicle, which may affect safety, repairs will be made before use.
1. Vehicle Abuse. No employee will use a vehicle or equipment for any purpose for which it was not designed, operate it beyond its designed limits, operate it in areas or locations for which it was not designed, or cause damage through neglect, misuse, improper driving techniques, or improper handling.
2. Transporting Employees in [COMPANY NAME] Vehicles No more than (Enter Answer Here) employees will ride in the front seat or cab of a vehicle. Each position will be equipped with a seat belt, and each person will use the seat belt provided. No employee will be authorized to ride or work from the bed or rear of a vehicle while it is in motion.
3. Traffic Laws Employees will adhere to all traffic laws and regulations when operating [COMPANY NAME] vehicles. An employee will at all times operate [COMPANY NAME] vehicles in such a manner as to avoid injury to persons or damage to property.
4. Unauthorized Use of Vehicles [COMPANY NAME] vehicles are to be used for [COMPANY NAME] business only. Persons found using [COMPANY NAME] vehicles for their personal errands may be subject to disciplinary action.
5. Operation and Occupancy of Entity Vehicle by Unauthorized Persons Employees will not permit unauthorized employees or non-employees of [COMPANY NAME] to ride in (Enter Entity Name ere) vehicles, except when such persons are conveyed in the performance of duty, or authorized to ride by supervisory staff.
6. Parking Vehicles All employees will park their vehicles in a legal and proper manner. Employees will remove the keys and lock the vehicles, except when specifically instructed otherwise. Employees will not park on the wrong side of a street or highway, unless it is mandatory to park in such a location to perform a job. All signs, cones, lights, and warning devices as required by law will be used when vehicles are parked or in use in a public travel lane. Employees will use all safety brakes, lockout devices, and other parking safety methods when parking equipment.
7. Use of Personal Vehicles for [COMPANY NAME] Business Supervisors will identify and authorize those employees who are required, as part of their normal job duties to use their personal vehicle to conduct [COMPANY NAME] business. The employee’s own insurance policy is the primary coverage and, therefore, [COMPANY NAME] will not be responsible for any claims that arise out of any motor vehicle accident that the employee is involved while operating their personal vehicle. The mileage reimbursement the employee receives is intended to fully cover all costs of the operation of the employee’s personal vehicle including but not limited to fuel, maintenance, repairs, insurance, etc.
8. Transporting Equipment Employees using [COMPANY NAME] vehicles will exercise caution when transporting equipment, packages or other materials in the driver/passenger compartment that would became flying projectiles in the event of an accident. Such items as briefcases, laptop computers, tools, etc. need to be transported in the trunk of passenger vehicles. Pickups, whether standard cab or extended, should have secured storage capabilities in the bed of the vehicle such as tool storage or camper shells if they are used with any regularity in the transport of items that could injure the driver or passenger(s) in the event of an accident. Vans used in the regular transport of such items should have screen type barriers between such cargo and the driver/passenger compartment. It is always important to keep the driver/passenger as free as possible of objects that could distract their attention or could cause from unexpected movement.
[COMPANY NAME] believes knowing the ability, experience and attitude of drivers is a key factor in the selection process. An important area in this process is to establish qualification standards for new employees and existing employees that have driving duties. To enforce these standards, [COMPANY NAME] has implemented the following driver qualification procedures.
1. Driver Age Requirements All drivers must be a minimum of (enter your answer) years of age.
2. Application for Employment All driver applicants shall complete an Application for employment and Driving Position Supplement containing all of the information required for positions in which driving is required. [COMPANY NAME]'s hiring standards also require that driver applicants list all former employers for the past (enter number of years) years. Any gaps in employment for more than a (enter your answer) period must be satisfactorily accounted for on the application.
3. License [COMPANY NAME] will obtain a legible copy of the license of all driver applicants. A review of the license will be conducted to be certain it is valid, has not expired, and is the appropriate for the class of vehicles in which driving is required.Whenever driving [COMPANY NAME] vehicles or operating their personal vehicle for comapny business, employees must have in their possession a valid driver's license. Employees will notify their supervisor if their license is suspended, revoked, or expired.Employees who drive vehicles, which require a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), will comply with the _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ State Department of Motor Vehicles' requirements for medical examinations and license renewal.Supervisors will maintain a system that insures all employees operating vehicles have the proper class of license and check licenses for current status at frequent intervals.
4. MVR Check and Evaluation[COMPANY NAME] will request an MVR for driver applicants being considered for employment in which driving entity vehicles or operating their own vehicle for entity business will be required. An MVR will be requested from every state the applicant has lived in during the past (enter number of years) years. The Safety/Loss Control Officer will review all MVR information to determine if driver applicant meets the qualification standards regarding driving records. A formal review of the driver’s MVR will be conducted on a/an annual basis (or more frequently where warranted) to ensure that existing drivers are meeting the established qualification standards. MVR’s are personal and confidential and should only be discussed with the driver or other persons authorized to know. The Safety/Loss Control Officer will receive results of the MVR check and any needed corrective action will be applied in a timely manner.
5. Driver Qualification Standards To ensure that potential new and existing drivers meet [COMPANY NAME]’s qualification standards for motor vehicle records set forth in the Commercial Vehicle Safety Program, the following policies have been instituted regarding:
1. Actions taken based on the number of points and violations shown from the MVR checks and evaluations, and
2. Standards and penalties for drivers involved in preventable accidents. [COMPANY NAME] has established a point structure system to evaluate potential new and current driver motor vehicle records. If a driver meets or exceeds (enter number here) points total within the previous (enter number of years) or exceeds (enter number here) points within the previous (enter time interval here), he/she will not be eligible to drive (a/an) [COMPANY NAME] vehicle. If the MVR reveals (enter violation or number of points here) then the following corrective action will be taken: (Enter answer here) No potential new or existing driver will not be allowed to drive (a/an) [COMPANY NAME] vehicle or other vehicle on [COMPANY NAME] business if there MVR reveals: (Enter violations here) Each employee involved in a preventable, at fault vehicular accident, whether it involves the public or not, will be required to: (Enter answer here) An employee who receives any moving violation must notify his/her supervisor of the incident within (enter number here) days. Any corrective action will be evaluated based on the type and severity of the incident.
6. Investigation of Previous Employment [COMPANY NAME] will contact all former and current employers of the driver applicant for the previous (enter number of years) years to verify as much of the following information as possible:
• Dates of employment
• Type of work performed
• Type of vehicle(s) operated
• Extent of driving experience
• Vehicle accident record
• Overall work history and performance
All former and current employer information gathered from the inquiries must be in writing and will be retained in the driver's (if hired) qualification file. In the event a former or current employer refuses to release information, a note stating this will be placed in the file. The Safety/ Loss Control Officer will review all former and current employer information to determine if the driver applicant meets the hiring standards regarding past and current employment, and to determine if the applicant was truthful about information listed on the employment application.
7. Driver Performance (Enter Entity name) requires all driver applicants who will require a CDL license for their driving position to successfully complete a road test examination conducted by (enter your answer) prior to an offer of employment. Note: the road test may be waived if the employee will only be driving automobiles and mini vans and has a clean driving record. The road test examination shall be performed in the type of vehicle the driver will operate. Performance will be monitored during the selection process as well as at periodic intervals throughout the driver’s career using information obtained form motor vehicle records and file data.
8. Driver Qualification File The driver selection process includes developing a driver qualification file. Elements of this file will include such items as:
• Employment Application
• Interview notes
• MVR checks
• Driver training information
• Driver evaluation and performance reviews
Several types of slings are used throughout [COMPANY] and include:
• Alloy Steel Chain Slings
• Wire Rope Slings
• Natural and Synthetic Fiber Rope Slings
• Synthetic Web Slings
Sling selection for a particular task is based on:
• Rated capacity of the sling• Nature of the task
• Amount of weight required to be lifted, hoisted or moved
The user should determine that the sling is being used in accordance with rated capacity as listed in the manufacturer’s catalog. The alloy steel chain, wire rope and fiber rope slings are typically used where sling damage to the load is not critical. Synthetic web slings are ideal where sling damage to a load is not acceptable.
Driver Training and Reviews[COMPANY NAME]'s goal is to have a process in place to hire only qualified and safe drivers. Once on board, [COMPANY NAME] is committed to retaining these drivers. In order to keep drivers and supervisors well trained and informed, [COMPANY NAME] has instituted a number of policies regarding driver training. These policies include driver orientation, periodic driver meetings, and driver performance evaluation and reviews.
1. Driver Orientation [COMPANY NAME] has an orientation program which all new drivers are required to complete. The orientation program consists of comprehensive classroom training that will cover a variety of subjects. Among the topics are established driving policies and procedures, regulatory compliance, vehicle maintenance and inspections, accident reporting procedures, and defensive driving procedures After successfully completing the classroom portion of the orientation, all new drivers will be assigned to a driver trainer. The purpose is to evaluate the new employee's overall driving skills and techniques, and to apply what has been learned in classroom to an actual job situation. This time should also be used to familiarize the new driver with paperwork procedures relating to vehicle maintenance and inspections and to answer any questions or concerns that were not addressed in the classroom training.
2. Driver Meetings Every (enter time interval), a drivers meeting will be conducted by driver supervisors. These meetings between supervisors and drivers are held to share news and information, and to give our drivers a forum to discuss issues, questions, or concerns. All drivers are expected to participate in these meetings, and all driver input is welcomed and appreciated.
3. Driver Evaluation and Performance Reviews Driver supervisors are responsible for conducting a periodic, structured performance review with each of their drivers a minimum of every (enter your answer) months. It is important for [COMPANY NAME] drivers to understand that their performance will be evaluated on an on-going basis, and they may request, or their supervisor may recommend, a review at any time. However, all drivers will receive periodic structured reviews of their individual performance.
4. On Road Performance Evaluation The on road evaluation is conducted by the supervisor to monitor the performance of current drivers by riding with them or following them. The supervisor should document the results and counsel drivers concerning problems or deficiencies that were observed. This is the best way for the supervisor to ensure that the driver is following the proper vehicle inspection and defensive driving procedures.
5. Performance Review Driver performance reviews should be held in private and away from the operation area. The review is considered the driver's time and interruptions should not be allowed. The actual driver performance review should cover, but is not limited to, five basic areas. These are:
1. The measurement of the driver's actual results against established goals and standards of the company.
2. Recognition of the driver's contributions and accomplishments.
3. Correction of any new or existing performance problems.
4. Establishment of goals or standards for the next review period.
5. Review of Driver’s MVR
Once the driver and his/her supervisor have concluded their discussion of past performance; addressed any development, training, or corrective action needs; and have established new goals and standards for the future, they are expected to reach mutual agreement and wrap up the review. The wrap-up should include the following:
1. A positive summary of the performance review discussion including all mutually agreed upon plans and goals.
2. An opportunity for the driver to react, ask questions, and give additional ideas and suggestions.
3. A sincere and meaningful expression of appreciation for the driver's participation, time, and efforts.
4. A written record of what was discussed, agreed upon, and corrective action/training plans.
5. Recordkeeping A copy of the written performance review and MVR check shall be given to the driver, the supervisor's immediate manager, and the original placed in the driver's personnel file.
[COMPANY NAME] 's policy is to fully investigate any accident involving [COMPANY NAME] personnel and vehicles. All accidents involving [COMPANY NAME] vehicle regardless of the severity must be reported immediately. The investigation of minor accidents involving [COMPANY NAME] property only is the responsibility of the driver and supervisor only. The Safety/Loss Control Officer will be in charge of the investigation of accidents in which serious property damage or death to (a/an) [COMPANY NAME] employee has occurred. The Safety/Loss Control Officer will also be in charge of accident investigations in which a third party is involved. Management may initiate any other investigations deemed appropriate.
1. Accident Investigators At the scene, the accident investigator(s) will carefully survey the scene, noting the position of any debris from the accident. The investigator(s) should take photos of the scene, with careful notes of what the photos depict. A map of the site should be drawn to scale, with any landmarks near the scene noted as to position. Photos of all vehicle and property damages incurred from accident should be taken from all sides, with careful notes made. The more accurate the information provided is, the easier it is when it comes to canvassing the accident scene. It is important that the accident investigator(s) be as objective as possible in gathering and evaluating data from the accident scene.
2. Driver Responsibility in Accident Investigation Certain driver responsibilities must be carried out at the scene of an accident. Two main concerns at the scene of an accident are to deal with immediate problems and to gather and report pertinent accident information promptly. These two items can be broken down into a 6-step accident procedure for drivers to follow.
Step 1: Stop, stay calm
Step 2: Turn on your emergency flashers as an immediate warning signal. Then do a quick evaluation of accident victims, if any, and provide assistance. Next, set out emergency warning devices on the roadway.
Step 3: Either contact local law enforcement personnel and your supervisor yourself or arrange to have someone do it for you. Be courteous and cooperative when providing information to authorities. Never admit guilt or liability at the scene of an accident. Never leave the scene of an accident.
Step 4: Write down names, license numbers and other information regarding the accident and those people involved in it. Draw a simple diagram of the accident scene. The more detail you can provide, the better it will be for insurance and/or legal purposes later. If you have a camera for use at the accident scene, document the situation with photographs from various angles.
Step 5 : After the vehicle has been secured, warning devices put in place, assistance rendered to injured person(s) (if any), and law enforcement personnel contacted, you (the driver) should communicate the accident to your supervisor.
Step 6 : Complete Vehicle Accident Report Form at the scene of the accident.
The Safety/Loss Control Committee will review all vehicle accidents to determine the true cause and whether it was preventable or non-preventable. A preventable collision is one in which the driver failed to do all that could be reasonably expected of them to avoid the collision. The functions of the Committee in reviewing vehicle collisions are as follows:
1. Convene as soon as possible after a collision involving a/an [COMPANY NAME] vehicle to objectively consider the evidence presented. This evidence includes any information given by the driver, his or her supervisor and the police report of the accident. These same rules also apply to any employee officially authorized to drive his or her personal cars on official [COMPANY NAME] business.
2. Determine the true cause of the collision and whether it was preventable or non-preventable.
3. Review the driver's past driving record.
4. Report in writing to Management the Committee's findings, and the recommendations for corrective action.
5. In the case of a preventable ruling, schedule a personal one-to-one meeting with the driver to discuss the decision, possible remedial training, and/or possible disciplinary action. This meeting will be scheduled as soon as possible after the preventability determination has been made.
It is important to ensure that vehicles selected for a specific function are adequate in design and capability for the intended purpose. It is the responsibility of each driver to select the appropriate vehicle to be used in performing tasks.
It is the policy of [COMPANY NAME] to keep all vehicles well maintained and in safe and efficient operating condition at all times. The specifics of that approach will be detailed in the procedures to follow. A good preventive maintenance program lowers repair frequency and lowers overall maintenance cost. The service portion of Preventive Maintenance is actually scheduled maintenance. [COMPANY NAME] vehicles will be given Preventive Maintenance according to the current fleet maintenance schedule.
Vehicle Inspections [COMPANY NAME] is committed to following a strong daily inspection program. All vehicles are to be inspected every day they are operated.
Driver Pre-trip Inspection Each driver must be satisfied that his/her assigned vehicle is in proper working condition prior to operating. Each driver must also be satisfied that any cargo is properly distributed and secured. The driver will also review the last completed Driver's Vehicle Inspection Report to verify that any needed repairs were made to the vehicle. If the defects noted were not acknowledged by an authorized signature, the driver shall not drive the vehicle until the defects are handled appropriately. When a driver reports safety related problems or vehicle damage, the vehicle inspection report should be submitted to his/her Supervisor. The Supervisor will sign the report indicating that repairs have been made (or are not required to be made). The original inspection report and certification of repairs will be retained in the Vehicle Maintenance File. The original inspection reports on which no defects were noted and on which defects were noted, and the certification of repairs, will be retained in the Vehicle Maintenance File.
Driver On-The-Road Inspections. Once on the road, the driver must examine any cargo and its load securing devices and make any necessary adjustments. If a problem is found, the driver will notify his/her supervisor and either have the necessary repairs or adjustments made prior to operating the vehicle, or safely travel to the nearest repair facility.
A complete record on each vehicle in the fleet will be kept. It will include basic vehicle information and information indicating the nature and due date of any inspection and maintenance operations to be performed on the vehicle, and a record of any inspections, repairs and maintenance performed on the vehicle in question, including dates performed and specifics on the nature of the operations.
Vehicle Breakdown Driver's responsibilities when a breakdown happens include: Safely stopping and securing the vehicle and load,
• Safely placing the warning devices,
• Diagnosing and calling in the breakdown to his/her Supervisor Supervisor responsibilities when a breakdown occurs include: Determining the nature of the breakdown and best course of action
• Locating, contacting, and dispatching a vendor to facilitate repairs
• Obtaining all vehicle repair records
MVR Check If a potential employee will be required to operate an entity vehicle as part of his/her job requirements, an MVR check must be completed either by The Safety/Loss Control officer or the supervisor for that employee before an employee may be offered employment. A point system structure has been established to evaluate new hire and current employee motor vehicle records. If a potential new employee meets or exceeds seven (7) points total within the previous three (3) years or exceeds four (4) points within the previous 12 months, they are not eligible for a position that requires driving an entity vehicle. The same point policy applies to existing employees as in the hiring process in terms of points assigned to traffic violations or motor vehicle offenses. Driver must not meet or exceed seven (7) points accumulated in a three (3) year period. Motor Vehicle Records will be obtained on all entity vehicle drivers every twelve months. Each MVR received will be reviewed in a timely manner and evaluated for compliance. A copy of all records will be maintained in the employees file along with any corrective action documentation.
Point Structure Automatic Disqualification to operate an entity vehicle No potential new or current employee will allowed to drive a company vehicle (including personal vehicle) for entity business if his/her MVR reveals:
• Murder or assault with a motor
• Theft of a vehicle
• Hit and run
• Negligent homicide
• An alcohol related offense in the last 3 years
• Illegal drug offense in the last 3 years
7 point offenses:
• DWI, DUI, OWI (alcohol or drugs)
• Reckless driving resulting in bodily injury or property damage
• Fleeing a police official
• Leaving the scene of an accident
• Driving with a suspended/cancelled/revoked license
• Racing on public road
4 point offenses:
• Speed in excess of 15 mph over posted speed limit
• Failing to stop for a school bus
• Failing to stop at a railroad crossing
• Second preventable accident
3 point offenses:
• Failure to obey a traffic control device
• Failure to yield right of way
• Speed too fast for conditions
• Following too close
• Careless/Reckless driving
• One preventable accident
1 point offenses:
• Seat belt violations
• Failure to use turn signal
• Improper stop/parking
[COMPANY NAME] is strongly committed to a sound and thorough defensive driving policy. While operating entity vehicles, drivers should always drive in the safest manner possible. Specifically, our drivers must operate entity vehicles in accordance with all provisions of The Commercial Vehicle Safety Program. Full-time and designated part-time employees driving [COMPANY NAME] vehicles shall be required to attend the Defensive Driving Course.
1. Assignments for classes shall be made by the employee's supervisor to insure class quotas are met and to maintain satisfactory work schedules.
2. Frequency of employee attendance of Defensive Driving Courses shall be once per year.
3. New employees required to drive Entity vehicles shall be required to complete the Defensive Driving Course satisfactorily before starting their driving assignment.
The core concepts of defensive driving are:
• Recognize the hazard.
• Understand the defense.
• Act in time.
Intersections. Getting into and out of intersections without an accident is a mark of a good defensive driver. Besides your own skill level, intersections also demand anticipation of the actions of other drivers and taking appropriate evasive action as required.
Backing is an extremely hazardous maneuver. If you are backing with the assistance of a guide, the ultimate responsibility for the safety of the backing maneuver remains with you as the driver.
Front-End Collisions. The primary way to avoid front-end collisions is by maintaining a safe and adequate following distance. You should be prepared for possible obstructions on the roadway, either in plain sight or hidden by curves or the crests of hills. A special situation occurs at night, when speed should be kept to a level that will allow you to stop within the distance illuminated by the headlights of your vehicle.
Rear-End Collisions. As a driver, you risk being struck from behind if you do not maintain an adequate margin of safety in your own following distance. If enough space is not allowed in front of your vehicle, chances go way up that somebody can (and will) impact you from the rear. Passing Failure to pass safely indicates faulty judgment on your part as a defensive driver, and failure to consider one or more of the factors that need to be checked:
• Is there enough room ahead?
• Is there adequate space to move back into your lane of traffic after passing?
• Have you signaled your intentions?
Being Passed. As a driver, you must be aware of the actions of other drivers, and give way if another driver begins to sideswipe you or to cut you off. A good defensive driver will avoid problems with this kind of accident situation.
Encroaching on Other Traffic Lanes. Observant defensive drivers will not usually get trapped when other drivers change lanes abruptly. In the same manner, entrapment in merging traffic can be successfully avoided by a good defensive driver with a little preplanning and willingness to yield. Blind spots are not valid excuses for this kind of accident - allowances must be made in areas of limited sight distance.
Railroad Grade Crossings. Driving across railroad crossings, or in areas where there are rail vehicles of some sort, demands special care. Careful observance of the traffic situation is your best defense.
Oncoming Traffic. A defensive driver will avoid a collision with an oncoming vehicle at all costs. Even if the vehicle enters your lane of traffic, an accident can be avoided with some evasive maneuvers.
Turning. Turning, like passing, is a dangerous maneuver, and demands special care and an observant eye from you as a defensive driver. You should be aware of other vehicles in your path, and of the complete configuration of the turn you are about to undertake.
Pedestrians. As a sensible defensive driver, always assume that if there is a pedestrian (or small vehicle of some sort) involved in a situation, slowing down is your best defense. Be certain to give people and small vehicles the benefit of the doubt.
Extreme Weather and Road Conditions. Bad weather and other road hazards place special stress upon any defensive driver. The best rule in any kind of bad weather or extreme road condition is get off the road safely and as soon as possible. If you absolutely must continue, slowing way down and increasing following distance are your best defenses, along with increased awareness.
Fog reduces available visibility and impairs distance perception, making it perhaps the most dangerous type of extreme weather condition. Because of this, it is company policy that, whenever possible, drivers are to avoid driving in foggy conditions. Pull off the road and park safely until such time as the fog dissipates or is burned off, if at all possible. If you cannot safely pull off the road, follow these procedures:
• You should never assume the depth or thickness of any fog. Fog can range from a momentary blurring of the windshield to being several miles thick.
• Slow your vehicle's speed. Reduction in speed should be done gradually in order to avoid becoming a hazard for other motorists. Determining a correct and safe speed depends on the thickness of the fog and is left to your best judgment.
• Use low-beam headlights only when driving in fog. Low-beams serve two purposes. They help you see the immediate roadway and also allow other motorists to see your vehicle.
• Avoid the use of high-beam headlights while driving in fog. The water particles that make up fog will reflect more light back at you than onto the roadway when high beams are used, and will further reduce visibility for you.
• You should make use of windshield wipers and the defroster when driving in fog. Driving in foggy conditions will cause a constant fine mist of water to develop on the vehicle's windshield, reducing visibility in the process. Using the windshield wipers and defroster will alleviate this condition.
• Avoid passing other vehicles while driving in fog.
• You should avoid stopping on any roadway while driving in foggy conditions unless absolutely necessary. If you must stop, use the emergency or breakdown lane, activate your emergency flashers, turn off the headlights, and follow approved breakdown procedures
Rain causes roadways to become slippery, especially when it first begins. Roadways become covered with a thin layer of oil and other residues. When rain mixes with this layer, it results in an extremely slippery and dangerous road surface. This condition remains until additional rain can break down and wash away the oily mixture from the pavement. This process can take anywhere from a few minutes to several hours, depending on the severity of the rain. Water on the road surface can also create a potential hazard of hydroplaning. Hydroplaning happens when a thin layer of water separates the vehicle's tires from the road surface. When a vehicle is hydroplaning, it is literally riding on water. When the tires ride on water, they lose all traction and create an extremely dangerous situation. The faster a vehicle travels on standing water, the greater the chance of hydroplaning. Reducing speed is the best and safest way to avoid hydroplaning. Rain also reduces visibility. Because rain presents these hazards, drivers are expected to adhere to the following procedures when driving in rainy conditions:
• You should slow the vehicle's speed to avoid hydroplaning. Reduction in speed should be done gradually in order to avoid becoming a hazard for other motorists. Determining the correct and safe speed depends on how heavy the rain is and will be left to your best judgment.
• You are expected to increase your following distance from other motorists. Since rain causes the road surface to become slippery, you need to allow for greater stopping distance if the need to stop arises.
• You should make use of windshield wipers and the defroster when driving in rain. Driving in rainy conditions will cause a constant film of water to develop on the vehicle's windshield, reducing visibility in the process. Using the windshield wipers and defroster will alleviate this condition.
• You should avoid passing other vehicles while driving in rain. In addition, you are encouraged to follow other vehicles at a safe distance since vehicles traveling ahead will throw water off the pavement and leave "tracks". Driving in these tracks will give you the best possible traction under rainy conditions.
Snow, depending on the type and severity, can present a variety of dangerous conditions. Because of this, the following procedures have been developed for this defensive driving policy:
• Light, powdery snow presents few problems since it is quickly blown of the road surface. However if there is enough of this type of snow to cover the roadway, it will form a slick, smooth surface. You should reduce speed and increase following distance. Determining the correct speed and safe following distance will be left to your best judgment.
• Heavier, slushy snow can affect vehicle control. If snow becomes hard packed it can cause an ice hazard on the road surface. Again, you should reduce speed and increase following distance. Determining the correct speed and safe following distance will be left to your best judgment.
• All slow maneuvers such as starting out, steering, backing, and turning should be done smoothly and with extreme care to minimize skids and slides.
• Falling or blowing snow can greatly reduce visibility. In addition, falling and blowing snow can make it hard to see the road, road markings, road signs, and off ramps. If you must continue in snowy conditions, reducing speed and increasing following distance are the best techniques a driver can use to maintain vehicle control.
• As with driving in foggy conditions, the use of high beam headlights while driving in snowy conditions should be avoided at all times. The high-beam "shooting" light will reflect off falling and blowing snow and reflect back at you, further reducing visibility.
• Drivers will also be educated on the dangers of "snow hypnosis". Snow hypnosis occurs when a driver is traveling directly into heavy snow and begins to focus on the falling snow instead of the road ahead. This can cause a hypnotic-like effect on the driver. The danger of snow hypnosis is especially prevalent at night.
• In extreme conditions, chains may be necessary
Ice. All drivers need to be aware of changes in road surface conditions that may affect the vehicle's traction. To help, the following procedures for driving on icy roads for this defensive driving policy have been developed:
• As with all extreme weather conditions, if you must continue, the safest techniques to employ are to reduce speed and increase your following distance. But of these two, increasing following distance is by far the most important. Depending on the temperature and road conditions, stopping distance (distance needed to come to a complete stop) on icy roads can increase four to ten times versus stopping from the same speed on a dry road.
• Black Ice” forms when temperatures drop rapidly and any moisture on the road surface freezes into a smooth, almost transparent layer of ice. What makes black ice particularly dangerous is that you may not realize you are on it until it's too late. Determining the correct speed and safe following distance will be left to your best judgment.
• Bridges and overpasses are other areas to which you should give special attention. Ice will tend to form first on bridges and overpasses because cold air circulates both above and below these structures causing the temperature to drop more rapidly than on normal roads. Any moisture on the road surface of a bridge or overpass will freeze quicker and harder than elsewhere on the road. Extreme caution and a reduction in speed should be used while traveling over bridges and overpasses.
Night Driving. All drivers need to be aware of the potential hazards driving at night present. These hazards include fatigue, reduced visibility, poor lighting, other (impaired) motorists, and animals on the road. To help drivers better prepare for driving at night, the following procedures have been developed for this defensive driving policy: Fatigue is perhaps the most dangerous hazard of driving at night. Nothing we do is worth any one getting hurt. Fatigue usually sets in at night, but a tired driver, at any time of day, is an unsafe driver. Fatigue reduces drivers' reaction time and perception. All drivers are to review the following fatigue warning signs:
• Your eyes close or go out of focus by themselves.
• You can't stop yawning.
• You are experiencing trouble keeping your head up.
• You experience short-term memory loss. For example, you can't remember the last several miles you have driven.
• Your thoughts wander or you begin to daydream.
• You start drifting into other lanes of traffic, tailgate, or miss traffic signs.
• You experience an inability to maintain a constant rate of speed.
• You must jerk the steering wheel hard to correct a drift and get back into your lane. If you experience any of these signs, it's time to get off the road as soon as safely possible and get some rest.
Other Night Driving Hazards
• Reduced visibility is a hazard of driving at night. At night, visual acuity (degree of perception) and peripheral vision (side vision) are reduced, and the eyes may have difficulty adjusting from light to darkness. These factors all contribute to reduced visibility while driving at night. The best and safest techniques to counteract these night driving hazards are to reduce your speed and increase your following distance. Reducing speed is also the best way to prevent "out driving" your headlights.
• Poor lighting on the open highway or on rural roads is another hazard drivers should be made aware of. At night, with poor or no lighting aside from the vehicle's headlights, hazards in the road are much more difficult to see and avoid. You should reduce speed and use extra caution when traveling on poorly lit or unfamiliar roads.
• Impaired motorists (drunk drivers) are a hazard to everyone on the road. Drivers should be especially cautious when driving between the hours of midnight and 0300 (typical bar and tavern closing times). Drivers should be wary of motorists driving in an erratic manner including weaving in and out of traffic lanes, having difficulty maintaining a constant rate of speed, or braking suddenly. If you, as a driver, suspect that you are sharing the road with an impaired motorist, reduce your speed, let the motorist pass, and increase following distance.
• Animals on the road present another kind of hazard while driving at night. Drivers are to be especially alert when driving on roadways lined by woods or tall grass. Animals, especially deer, can jump out in front of an
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