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Bureau of Workers Comp

PA Training for Health & Safety


Safe Driving
In 2009, 33,808 people died and 2.22 million
were injured in motor vehicle crashes in the
United States. *
Inadequate driving skills pose a great danger, as
does distracted driving.
It can be difficult to unlearn bad habits, but
following a few driving rules can save your life
and the lives of others.

Source: National Highway Traffic




Setting Up

Adjust your seat so your arms are slightly bent at the

elbows when gripping the wheel.
Keep your hands at the ten oclock and two oclock or
nine oclock and three oclock positions on the steering
Hold the wheel tightly enough so your palms do not slip
Adjust side mirrors so you can either see the door
handles or angled away to cover blind spots.

Adjusting Side Mirrors

for Blind Spots
Park car and have someone walk in
both left and right blind spots.
Set mirrors so person is in view.
Check mirrors to see which areas
remain invisible.
Re-adjust and check again.

Safe Driving Tips - Merging

Merging requires attention to many different

Traffic moving at posted speeds = use the
acceleration lane to speed up and match traffic
Use your signal and look for an opening where
you can smoothly ease into traffic.
If traffic is congested and moving slowly, proceed
down the ramp slowly and look for an opening.
Try to avoid stopping at the bottom of the ramp
because it can disrupt traffic flow.

Safe Driving Tips - Intersections

Do not closely follow a large vehicle through an

intersection with stoplights. You cant see if the
light has changed.
Leave enough space so you have a clear view of
everything before proceeding.
When making a left turn, slow down and yield if
there is not a green arrow giving you the right-ofway.
Dont turn your wheels until youre ready to move
(if your vehicle is hit from behind, you could be
pushed into oncoming traffic).

Safe Driving Tips - Four-Way Stop

First car to arrive at an intersection with a

four-way stop (whether sign or traffic light)
should be first to go.
When it's unclear which vehicle arrived first,
general rule is driver to the right has the rightof-way.
Dont count on other drivers; proceed with


Vehicle Maintenance
Neglecting maintenance can cause crashes.
Monitor condition of and air pressure in your
tires. Not doing so could cause blowout or a flat.
Change wiper blades regularly.
Check your owner's manual for a maintenance
schedule, and stick to it.


Vehicle Maintenance - Tires

Check tire pressure regularly, including the

spare (at least once a month).
Inspect tires for:
Uneven wear patterns
Foreign objects
Other signs of wear
Ensure tire valves have valve


Vehicle Maintenance - Tires

Check tire pressure before a long trip.

Do not overload vehicle check tire info
placard for maximum recommended load.
If towing a trailer, remember that some weight
of loaded trailer is transferred to vehicle.
Try not to strike curb when parking.


Flat Tire/Blowout - Highway

At the first sign of trouble:

Firmly grip the steering wheel

Do not slam on brakes
Take foot off the gas pedal
Work vehicle toward the shoulder or exit
If changing lanes, use turn signals
Steer as vehicle slows down



Flat Tire/Blowout - Highway

Once off road, place reflective triangles

Keep emergency flashers on
Change tire, if you know how
Keep away from traffic
Call for professional help, if necessary
Do not stand behind or next to vehicle



Safe Driving Skills

Keep your eyes constantly moving:

Look up and down the road
Look to the sides of the road
Look into the rear view mirror
Always leave yourself an out:
Try to find a place to head if a crash occurs
Think about other drivers blind spots
Dont linger while passing.
Dont follow too closely (tailgate).
Avoid packs of vehicles.



Safe Driving Skills

Ensure other drivers see you keep headlights

on both day and night.
Always use turn signals well ahead of time.
Never assume what other drivers will do.
Maintain an average speed on highways; going
too fast or too slow creates a hazard.


Safe Driving Skills

Use average traffic speed when merging.

Think ahead avoid making sudden
movements when exiting highways.
Obey all traffic signs and signals.
Keep your eyes on the road, not on a cell
phone or music device.
Watch for pedestrians, bicyclists and
Scan the road ahead for animals.



Safe Driving Skills

Stopping on Highways:
Dont be a stationary object or semi-stationary
Stopping at the end of an entrance ramp
is dangerous; learn to time a safe merge.
Avoid stopping on the shoulder of road; exit
highway before stopping, if possible.


Safe Driving Tips - Sleepiness

Driving sleepy is driving impaired!

Reaction time and vision
deteriorate when you are tired.
Pull over, take a short cat nap or
just close your eyes for a while.
Sometimes taking a short walk will
Stop every two to three hours if
driving long distances.


Safe Driving Tips - Familiarization

Be familiar with your vehicle:

Know what every button, switch and lever
Know where the oil, brake fluid, engine coolant
and window washer reservoirs are.
Know how to fill those reservoirs.
Know what every indicator light means.
Know how to operate basic items, such as the
defroster, wipers, radio and headlights.


Safe Driving Tips Nighttime Driving

Traffic deaths are three times greater at night
than during the day (Source: National Safety
Prepare car for nighttime driving: clean
headlights, taillights, signal lights and windows
(at least weekly).
Have vehicle headlights properly aimed.
Dont drink and drive!
Reduce speed and increase following distances.
Dont overdrive headlights should be able to
stop inside illuminated area.


Safe Driving Tips

Nighttime Driving
When following a vehicle, keep your headlights
on low beam.
If oncoming vehicle doesnt turn high beams
down, look to the right side of road.
If tired, stop and rest.
If you have car problems, pull to the side of the
road and place reflective devices; turn on
emergency flashers.


Safe Driving Tips Seasonal Changes

Winter driving = slippery roads, visibility

issues, cold, etc.
Spring = rain can cause slippery roads.
Summer = high temperatures can cause
vehicle problems; theres more traffic on
Fall = wet leaves on road can make it slippery.
Daylight savings time = sun's position in sky
changes causing darkness and glare.


Safe Driving Tips - Rain

Drive slowly and carefully especially on
Steer and brake with a light touch.
When slowing/stopping, do not brake hard or
lock the wheels could cause skidding.
Maintain mild pressure on the brake pedal.
Adjust your speed to the wet road conditions.


Safe Driving Tips - Skids

Remain calm.
Ease your foot off the gas.
Steer in the direction you want the front of
the vehicle to go (steering into the skid).
If vehicle has ABS (anti-lock brakes), avoid
slamming on the brakes, brake firmly while
steering into skid.



Safe Driving Tips - Hydroplaning

Occurs when water in front of tires builds

up faster than vehicles weight can push it
out of the way.
Water pressure causes vehicle to rise up
and slide on thin layer of water between
tires and road.
Can cause skidding, drifting out of lane,
leaving roadway.
To avoid: keep tires properly inflated, maintain
good tread, slow down, avoid puddles.



Safe Driving Tips - Hydroplaning

If hydroplaning, do not brake or turn suddenly.

Ease foot off gas until vehicle slows down and
you can feel the road again.
If you need to brake, do so gently, with light
pumping actions.
If vehicle has anti-lock brakes, brake normally.



Safe Driving Tips - Winter

Ensure vehicle wiper blades are in good

condition and washer fluid is filled.
Ensure vehicle battery is in good condition
and appropriately charged.
Clear snow/ice from all windows, lights, hood,
trunk and top of vehicle before driving.
Adjust your speed accordingly.
Check tire pressure regularly.
Dress warmly with layered clothing that is
loose-fitting and lightweight.


Safe Driving Tips - Winter

If in vehicle and stranded due to road conditions:

Stay in vehicle.
Display trouble sign (ex: brightly-colored
cloth on antenna).
Occasionally run engine with heater on to
keep warm.
Keep exhaust pipe free of snow and open a
window to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
Watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia.



Safe Driving Tips - Winter

If in vehicle and stranded due to road conditions:

Do minor exercises to keep up circulation.

Clap hands and move arms and legs frequently.
Try not to stay in one position for too long.
Use newspapers, maps, mats, etc., for warmth.
Avoid drinking fluids containing caffeine or alcohol:
can quicken effects of cold.



Safe Driving Tips - Winter

Stopping Distances and Wet/Snowpack/Icy Roads:

Vehicle may travel 4x the stopping distance than
on dry road.
Dry pavement vehicle traveling 70 mph requires
600 feet to stop; wet road requires 800 feet.
Snowpacked road requires approximately 1300
feet stopping distance @ 70 mph.
Icy road requires 2,500 feet @ 70 mph.



Safe Driving Tips - Winter

Winterizing Vehicles:
Ensure ice scraper and windshield de-icer
are on board.
Carry spare set of wiper blades.
Carry kitty litter, oil dry or sand for traction.
Carry blankets, flashlight, road flares.
Have lock de-icer available.



Safe Driving Tips Vehicle Fires

Get yourself and all others out of and away from
the vehicle.
Move a safe distance from the vehicle and call fire
Do not stand near vehicle bumpers.
Remain away from vehicle; do not attempt to get
back into burning vehicle.
If trained, are comfortable and
fire is small, use appropriate fire
If you suspect fire under
hood or in trunk, do not open.


Vehicle Safety - General

Always use seatbelts!
When backing up, use caution: if you have
passenger, ask them to get out and direct; if
not, get out and check area before backing.
If vehicle is not operating properly, report and
discontinue use.
Shut off motor and do not smoke or use cell
phone while refueling.
Do not leave engine running in an unattended
Report all work accidents, no matter how
minor, to your supervisor.


Vehicle Safety - General

Inspect vehicle before driving:

Ensure the horn, lights and turn signals work.

Ensure tires are in good condition.
Ensure brakes are working (test upon moving).
Ensure emergency brake works.
Check gauges after starting (e.g., fuel, battery,
temperature, etc.) to ensure theyre working.



Vehicle Safety - General

Distracted Driving:
Nearly 6,000 people killed and 500,000 injured as
a result of distracted driving (2008; USDOT).
Distracted driving is a factor in more than 20
percent of crashes.
Drivers on cell phones fail to see up to half of
information in driving environment.
Do not text while driving pull over!
Pull over to talk on phone even using a hands
free device is distracting.


Preventing Road Rage

Dont offend, dont engage.

Adjust your attitude (stay calm).
Avoid cutting people off.
Dont tailgate or follow closely.
Dont make obscene/questionable gestures.
Avoid eye contact.
Dont start a fight give angry drivers lots
of room.




Operating a motor vehicle is dangerous, but

it can also be a pleasant experience.
Use common sense, obey speed limits, drive
defensively and observe road safety rules.
Distracted driving can be just as dangerous
as alcohol-impaired driving.
Be careful, alert, courteous and safe.
Have a safe trip!



Safe Driving Quiz