What is the #1 Safe Driving Behavior?

camera cops

Operation Peek-A-Boo on I-5

What is the one safe driver behavior every driver should do every time they drive?

Doing this one simple safe driving behavior:
• Would have saved 3 out of every 5 people killed in vehicle crashes.
• Reduces the risk of fatal or serious injury by up to 50%.
• Ensures driver control of the vehicle— when it is needed most.
• Protects the driver’s head, spinal cord, organs and limbs.
• In a rollover, a truck driver is 80% less likely to die.

Examples of not doing this safe driving behavior:

  • A Stockton, CA truck driver lost control of semi-truck and was killed.
  • Three Chicago-area movers were killed on a rain slicked road when their semi-truck jackknifed.
  • In fact, 35 percent of the truck drivers who died in 2012 were not doing this.

 But there is more to the story.

Researchers in one study have found that truck drivers who sometimes do this (7.8%) or never do this one behavior (about 6%), likely work for a company with no written safety program and engage in other risky behaviors as:

  • Driving ≥10 mph (16 kph) over the speed limit (5-7 CSA Severity Points),
  • Receiving two or more tickets for moving violations in the preceding 12 months (10 or more CSA Severity Points)

In the epoch of CSA, high insurance cost, and other associated costs of high-risk behaviors, who can afford such drivers?

Yet if one looks at the CSA Violation Summary of any organization or company pulled at random, they will generally find several citations for not doing this life-saving safe driving behavior— sometimes multiple citations for the same risky behavior.

Why don’t drivers do this?

Some reasons cited by drivers are because they:

  • Forgot to to do it. It’s not a habit
  • Are only travelling a short distance.
  • Can’t be bothered.
  •  “Feel safe” in a big rig.
  • No body will catch them.

Safe Driving Countermeasures

Implement a written safety program.

Monitor the CSA Violation Summary

Keep reminding drivers that they are required by federal regulations to do this and it is part of the job they signed on to do.

Provide job coaching and counseling for errant drivers.

As a last resort, use progressive discipline. Don’t settle for substandard behavior.

Thank you for reading this. Have a safe day.


J Taratuta

John E. Taratuta is an independent Risk Engineer. (989) 474-9599

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