Employers have important obligations to protect employees, including when employees are operating a motor vehicle in the course of their work. But, in very practical terms, road safety is a shared responsibility.
The driving environment is dynamic – road, weather and traffic conditions change frequently. It’s tough to write a policy or procedure to address every possible event a driver may encounter. Your employer is relying on you to conscientiously apply your training, driving skills and good judgement plus the procedures explained in the road safety plan. More importantly, your family and friends are counting on you to arrive home safely at the end of each day.
Here are some important things every driver needs to consider.
Before You Drive
- Manage journeys – Ask yourself if you can get your work done without driving. Can you use a phone call, an email, an online meeting to avoid unnecessary driving? Can you reduce risks by using public transit?
- If you need to drive, prepare for the trip. Even if it’s a short trip, TripCheck is a handy online tool to help you get ready for the trip ahead.
- Prepare yourself - Are you well-rested, alert and confident to reach your destination?
- Prepare a trip plan – Check the route you intend to travel and scope out an alternate route just in case. Check traffic and road conditions. Set up a check-in contact, and share your plan with your supervisor.
- Prepare your vehicle - Are the seat, mirrors and headrest adjusted for you? Do a pre-trip inspection to confirm everything is working properly. Is the maintenance up to date? If you don’t think the vehicle is up to the trip, talk to your supervisor.
While You Drive
It’s up to you to know the rules and make sure you follow them.
- Wear your seatbelt.
- Take a break from driving at least once every two hours. Stretch your legs. Have a quick walk. Rehydrate.
- Pay attention and avoid distractions. Don’t use a cell phone or adjust the GPS while driving. When you’re behind the wheel, driving is your only job.
- Drive for the conditions. Speed limits are set for optimal driving conditions. Adjust your speed so that it’s right for you and your vehicle in those conditions.
After You Drive
- Report any vehicle damage or required maintenance.
- Share information about unsafe routes or things to watch out for so your colleagues don’t encounter the same problems, are better prepared or can make other adjustments like timing.
Crashes are preventable. Do your part to improve motor vehicle crash prevention at your workplace. Here’s where you can learn how.