Here are my seven key rules for good driving habits to be shared with your chauffeurs and drivers:
No. 1: Watch your blind spots: Other motorists may not be aware of your "no zones" including your blind mirror zones and directly behind your vehicle in larger vehicles. Remember to check your mirrors while making wide turns that a vehicle doesn’t slip in between you and the curb on the wide turn.
No. 2: Reduce speed in construction zones: About one-third of all fatal work-zone accidents involve commercial vehicles. Make sure to take your time going through interstate construction.
No. 3: Maintain your vehicle: Give your vehicle a thorough check each shift including fluid levels, horn, mirrors, etc. The brakes are particularly vital, given how much weight is riding on them. If you spot anything unusual, report it to a dispatcher or manager before attempting to drive.
No. 4: Passengers should be seated: Make sure that passengers remain in their seat unless there is a need for them to be out of their seat such as walking to the restroom. Encourage them to remain seated for their safety.
No. 5: Reduce speed on curves: Usually, following the speed limit is a good thing. When it comes to commercial driving, there are times when even adhering to posted signs is still too fast. This is particularly true on exit/entrance ramps. The speed limits are meant more for cars and buses have a tendency to tip over if they take the curves too fast. When going through any curve, it's best to set your speed far lower than the posted limit to make up for your vehicles unique dimensions.
No. 6: Adjust for bad weather: Inclement weather causes about 25% of all speeding-related commercial driving accidents. Cut your speed down by one-third on wet roads and by one-half on snowy or icy ones roads. Also allow more time for maneuvers in poor weather. Let your blinker run for a good five blinks before you change lanes and signal for turns before slowing down.
No. 7: Take care of yourself: A big part of driver safety has less to do with your vehicle and more to do with you. Getting enough sleep, eating right, exercising and taking quality home time will all help you feel more content and refreshed behind the wheel.
I've learned good will with law enforcement goes a very long way.
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