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Drive Safe to Arrive Safe

Originally posted on https://www.unitedheartland.biz

When drivers get behind the wheel, they take responsibility for maintaining control of a two-ton machine that can easily cover a distance of more than 80 feet in one second. It’s a task that must be taken seriously, especially since more workers are killed every year in motor vehicle crashes than any other cause.

Two particularly dangerous vehicular concerns are fatigued and distracted driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicates nearly 6,000 people die and more than 400,000 are injured each year in crashes involving a distracted driver. That is why we’ve added information specific to avoiding these hazards to our Road to SafetyWeb page, where you can find materials on a wide variety of safe driving topics.

Here are examples of helpful safe driving tips:

Avoid Distractions: In a business climate with people always on the go and an emphasis on productivity, employees may feel the urge to talk, text and email while driving. However, doing business while behind the wheel is not only illegal in some states, it’s also extremely dangerous.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says that drivers who use hand-held devices are four times more likely to get into a crash. To reduce that number, a new federal law prohibiting commercial vehicle drivers from using hand-held mobile phones went into effect on Jan. 3, 2012. This ban prohibits commercial motor vehicle drivers from holding, dialing or reaching for hand-held cell phones, including phones with the push-to-talk function.

Avoiding Driver Fatigue: The NHTSA estimates that 100,000 police-reported crashes are the direct result of driver fatigue each year, resulting in an estimated 1,500 deaths and 71,000 injuries.

Tired drivers should immediately find a safe place to stop the vehicle and rest. Fresh air, walking around and drinking a caffeinated beverage are other helpful ways a drowsy driver can get energized. Signs of fatigue include:

· The inability to recall the last few miles traveled

· Having disconnected or wandering thoughts

· Having difficulty focusing or keeping eyes open

· Feeling as though your head is very heavy

· Drifting out of the lane or driving on rumble strips

· Yawning repeatedly

· Accidentally tailgating other vehicles

· Missing traffic signs