SAFE DRIVING

It's a well-known (yet completely made-up) fact that getting behind the wheel suppresses the portions of our brain responsible for reasoning. So let's break it down. Vehicles are big, heavy, fast moving things that can really hurt you or others if not given the proper respect. So, when you're driving, you should only be doing two things. Driving and thinking about driving.

Flip the cards for great tips!

DID YOU KNOW?


Nearly 6,700 people across the U.S. are injured in car crashes every day.

Americans drive more than 3 trillion miles annually.

Distracted driving is the #1 cause of crashes



There's a ton of information out there. So whether you drive professionally or just rack up the miles on your own time, we suggest checking out the safety materials from our friends at the Ohio Department of Public Safety. Also, you may want to download the Safer Ohio app, a neat tool that includes the ability to request emergency or roadside help and monitor traffic conditions. It's available through the Apple App Store or Google Play.

If you're responsible for the safety of employees where you work, you may also like some of our driving-related Safety Talks.
Flip the cards for great tips!

DON'T DRIVE DISTRACTED

Distracted driving is the number one cause of crashes. We hear a lot about texting and driving, but eating, shaving, putting on makeup and even sleeping are types of distracted driving. So use this rule. If you do something in the kitchen, bedroom or bathroom, don't do it in the car.

SLOW DOWN

Speeding is always one of the top three contributors to car crashes. And it's a double whammy. Not only does it reduce the time you have to react, it increases the severity of any resulting injuries.

DRIVE SOBER

Drinking and driving is bad. But it's not enough to say you won't drink and drive. Drinking impairs your judgement, so don't trust yourself to make the right choice when the time comes. Have a plan in place before you even start. We think it would be an uber-great idea to arrange for a lift home beforehand.

Drinking isn't the only thing that impairs your ability to drive. In addition to recreational drugs, many over-the-counter and prescription drugs - even used as directed - can make you drowsy or dizzy. Be aware of the side effects and never get behind the wheel with a new medication before you know how it affects you.

LEAVE EARLY

Sounds silly, right? But worrying about being late distracts you and increases the likelihood you'll speed. Remember the tips about not speeding and not being distracted? So leave early and chill!

STAY AWAKE

Sleep or drive. Pick one. Losing focus, yawning, heavy eyelids, drifting out of your lane - these are all signs you may be too tired to drive. Keep these tips in mind.

  • Nap before you leave.
  • Take a friend - It's easier to stay awake when your chatting. Plus they can take a turn driving.
  • If you're still sleepy, find a safe place to pull over and take a short nap.

DRIVE DEFENSIVELY

Even if you're the best driver out there, you have to contend with the rest of the world. Be your own guardian angel and take steps to always be safe.

We suggest the four As.

  • Anticipate. Drivers must remain alert at all times to what is going on around them and in the distance ahead.
  • Adjust. Drivers must continually adjust to changing circumstances. The extremely changing nature of driving requires constant attention to detail and adjustment.
  • Assume nothing. Drivers should take nothing for granted.
  • Allow no distractions. Drivers need to stay focused on their job of driving safely and arriving at their destination without incident.

VISUAL DISTRACTIONS
- Eyes off the road

Internal distractions include:

  • Reading maps/notes/newspaper;
  • Applying make-up/shaving;
  • Adjusting radio, iPod, CD;
  • Programming GPS;
  • Other occupants in the vehicle.

External distractions include:

  • Snow/ice on windows/windshield;
  • Sun glare;
  • Billboards and signs;
  • Pedestrians;
  • Animals;
  • Accidents or other events.

MANUAL DISTRACTIONS
- Hands off the wheel

  • Programming a GPS
  • Talking on a cell phone
  • Selecting phone numbers
  • Texting/emailing
  • Adjusting climate controls/radio/seat/mirrors/steering wheel/safety belt
  • Changing/adjusting clothes
  • Reaching for cargo/objects
  • Smoking
  • Consuming food or drink

COGNITIVE DISTRACTIONS
- Mind not on task

  • Inattention/daydreaming
  • Fatigue/drowsiness
  • Stress from work, home, family, finances, etc.
  • Physical and emotional conditions (anger, anxiety, grief)

Check out the GUARDIAN ANGEL SPOTS!