Goals: This safety session should teach employees to
Recognize that highway driving poses serious dangers.
Drive in a safe and responsible manner to protect themselves and others.
Applicable Regulations: None
- Highway Driving is Highly Hazardous
- Year after year, motor vehicle accidents continue to top the list as the number one cause of occupational death.
- Highway crashes in particular are the leading cause of on-the-job fatalities, accounting for nearly 25 percent of all work-related deaths.
- Add to that workers being struck by vehicles or equipment, and workers dying in non-highway accidents such as tractor rollovers, and the death toll climbs even higher.
- But there’s a lot you can do to protect yourself from this potentially deadly occupational hazard.
- Secure Your Safety Belt
- It’s the law in nearly every state in the nation.
- It’s a proven fact that wearing safety belts saves tens of thousands of lives each year.
- Safety belts prevent you from hitting the dashboard, windshield, and steering wheel.
- Safety belts prevent you from being thrown from your vehicle. Seventy-five percent of passengers thrown from their vehicles do not survive the accident.
- It only takes a few seconds to buckle up.
- Stay Within the Speed Limit
- Speed is a contributing factor in fatal accidents.
- Stay within the speed limits and adjust your speed for traffic and for the conditions of the road.
- Slow down in rain, snow, and fog.
- Don’t Drink and Drive
- Alcohol is involved in 40 percent of all fatal crashes.
- Even one drink can make you drowsy and cause you to fall asleep at the wheel.
- Fight Fatigue
- Many fatal crashes happen after midnight when a sober driver simply falls asleep at the wheel and drives off the road.
- Get a good night’s rest before beginning your trip.
- Avoid long drives at night, particularly after midnight.
- Stay alert by keeping the temperature cool, by playing the radio, and by avoiding cruise control.
- On long drives take a break every two hours, stopping for food, drinks, or a short walk.
- Know the signs of fatigue: back tension, burning eyes, and erratic driving.
- If you feel yourself getting drowsy, pull over at a rest stop or truck stop and take a nap.
- Watch Out for Construction Crews
- Each year, motorists are responsible for killing road construction workers as they pass by highway work zones.
- As soon as you see construction signs, slow down, heed the signs, and stay in designated lanes.
- Stay out of highway work zones marked by traffic cones and barriers.
- Stay alert to workers on foot and flaggers directing traffic.
- As the slogan says, „Let ’em Work, Let ’em Live.“
- Keep an Eye Out for Emergency Vehicles
- Each year, while performing emergency work on roadways, tow truck operators, police, firefighters, paramedics, and EMTs are struck and killed by passing motorists.
- Slow down as soon as you see emergency vehicles on or alongside the road.
- Expect the unexpected. Emergency crew and accident victims are likely to be on foot. Cars and emergency vehicles might be in the roadway, and police might not have arrived yet to safely channel traffic.
- If Your Car Breaks Down, Pull Over
- If your car breaks down on the highway, you are at risk of being struck by another vehicle.
- At the first sign of car trouble, take your foot off the gas and steer toward an exit, the breakdown lane, or the side of the road.
- Make your car visible to other drivers by using your emergency flashers or by placing reflective triangles on the road.
- Never change a tire unless you have pulled your car off the road away from traffic.
- If you need a tow, raise the hood to signal for help. If your car is safely off the road, wait inside for a police officer. If your car is in the road, stand away from the car.
- Do not walk on the highway, and never try to cross a multilane highway on foot.
Conclusion: Stay Alert to Highway Hazards
Highway driving can be dangerous. So stay alert to highway hazards in order to protect yourself and others.