BE A DRIVING FORCE FOR SAFETY. Driver Improvement Training Program Driver Improvement Training Advance the program to the next page by clicking your mouse.
Table of Contents Advance the program to the next page by clicking your mouse.
Table of Contents Advance the program to the next page by clicking your mouse.
Drive SafelyWe care about you! The average State employee received his or her driver’s license 30 years ago! How long has it been since you have reviewed the rules of the road? The State of Maryland is genuinely committed to protecting its employees on the road.This Driver Improvement Program is a tool to freshen driving skills and keep State employees out of harm’s way. Be a driving force for safety – protect yourself, your colleagues, your family and friends by driving safely.
Why be a driving force for safety? • Each year traffic crashes kill more people in Maryland than homicides. • Over 90% of fatal crashes are preventable incidents caused by driver error. • Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for people ages 3 to 33. The Driving Force for Safety campaign is part of the overall Choose Safety for Life campaign, an effort to promote traffic safety, raise awareness, prevent crashes and injuries and save lives.
Introduction Everyone loses when there is a serious crash. When a person is fatally injured, the loss is felt in families, communities and work places. Injury crashes can be nearly as devastating. This training program will help sharpen your driving skills, so that driving will continue to be a safe and pleasurable experience. The Choose Safety for Life Campaign empowers drivers, pedestrians and cyclists to make the right choices on the road. Nearly 600 lives could be saved every year if everyone practices the B-SAFE tenets: Buckle up, Slow down – speeding kills, Always drive sober, Focus, Everyone share the road – everyone gets home. Be A Driving Force for Safety is a call to action to State employees to protect themselves on the road , and to set the example for others. By doing so, lives can be saved. Crashes are no “accident.” You hold the key to their prevention.
State Fleet Drivers set the standard for other drivers on Maryland roadways. The following is an extract from the Department of Budget and Management, Policies and Procedures for Vehicle Fleet Management. If you would like to view the complete document you can do so on the Department of Budget and Management Internet site at: www.dbm.maryland.gov DRIVER ELIGIBILITY AND USAGE OF STATE VEHICLES Only authorized drivers are eligible to drive a State vehicle. The privilege to drive a State vehicle is contingent upon compliance with the Policies and Procedures for Drivers of State Vehicles. Prior to driving a State vehicle, the driver shall sign an Acknowledgement Statement. A copy of the signed Acknowledgement Statement shall be retained by the Agency fleet manager. Drivers who do not sign the Acknowledgement Statement are NOT authorized to drive State vehicles.
POINTS Rules for Drivers of State Vehicles Driver Eligibility In order to be eligible to drive a State vehicle a driver must have a driver’s license valid in the State of Maryland and appropriate for the class of vehicle driven and have five (5) or fewer points on his/her current driving record. Eligibility shall be immediately suspended for a driver who is charged with any motor vehicle violation for which a penalty of incarceration is possible while driving a State vehicle. Motor vehicle citations for these violations will indicate that the violation is a “Must Appear” violation and that the driver must appear when notified by the Court. Eligibility shall remain suspended until the Agency’s Accident Review Board has reviewed the occurrence, and a decision regarding further action is made. Drivers who have had their driving privilege suspended as a result of point accumulation, being charged with any offense for which a penalty of incarceration is possible while driving a State vehicle, or a determination by the Accident Review Board or Agency Head shall be reimbursed for use of a private vehicle at no more than one-half of the effective State reimbursement rate.
Rules for Drivers of State Vehicles Driver Record Review The driving record of each authorized driver will be reviewed by the Agency when the driver signs the Acknowledgement Statement and when information is received regarding an authorized driver’s point accumulation via MVA monitoring programs. Drivers with out-of-state driver’s licenses must provide a certified copy of their driver record to the Agency when they sign the Acknowledgement Statement, and annually thereafter. Drivers with out-of-state driver’s licenses must notify their Agency fleet manager in the event they accumulate more than five (5) points on their driving record. This notification must occur within ten (10) days of the points being assessed.
Rules for Drivers of State Vehicles Permissible Use of State Vehicles State vehicles are to be used to conduct official State business. Whenever possible, trips should be planned to coincide with other authorized driver travel requirements so that vehicles are used efficiently and economically. a. State vehicles shall not be used for personal reasons, including to transport friends or members of the family (e.g., transporting children to and from school). b. Passengers in State automobiles are limited to persons being transported in connection with State business. c. There shall be no smoking in State vehicles.
Rules for Drivers of State Vehicles All drivers shall operate State vehicles in compliance with the Motor Vehicle Laws of the jurisdiction in which the vehicle is being driven and in a manner that reflects concern for safety and courtesy towards the public. You set an example for drivers around you. a. An authorized driver shall operate a State vehicle in accordance with any license requirements or restrictions, such as corrective lenses, daytime only, etc. b. The driver of a State vehicle shall take every precaution to ensure the safety of passengers. No person may ride in a State vehicle unless properly restrained by a seat belt or, in the case of children, an appropriate child seat. (NOTE: Some State Agencies must transport children as part of their job.) It shall be the driver’s responsibility to ensure that all passengers are properly restrained. c. All traffic and parking laws are to be obeyed. Posted speed limits are not to be exceeded, nor is the vehicle to be operated above safe driving speeds for road conditions. All traffic and parking violations and fines, including any late fees or penalties, are the responsibility of the driver involved. Failure to promptly pay a violation or fine may result in disciplinary action.
Rules for Drivers of State Vehicles d. The driver of a State vehicle shall take every precaution to ensure the safety of the vehicle and its contents. The driver shall lock the vehicle and take the keys, except in those instances when a commercial parking garage requires the keys to be left with the vehicle. e. Authorized drivers of State vehicles are personally responsible for vehicles operated by them. If a State vehicle is damaged beyond repair as a result of misuse or gross negligence, the operator of the vehicle may be required to make restitution of the difference between the amount obtained as salvage value and the amount of the then current wholesale value of the vehicle as reported in the National Auto Research Black Book Used Care Market Guide, MD Edition.
New hands-free cell phone use policy is in effect If a mobile communications device must be used by an employee while driving a State vehicle, a hands free device must be used. Drivers are encouraged to keep mobile communications device use to a minimum. Whenever possible, employees should not make or receive calls while driving. Only in the case of an emergency is the use of a hand held mobile communications device without a hands free device permitted. **Remember there is a new State law in effect that bans “texting” while driving.
Rules for Drivers of State Vehicles Moving Violation Reporting An authorized driver, including Agency Heads, charged with a moving violation or a “must appear violation” while driving a State vehicle shall notify his/her Agency fleet manager immediately, and in no case later than the following business day. In turn, the Agency shall notify DBM in writing within two business days of receiving notice of the charge. Failure to timely report the receipt of a moving violation or a must appears violation may result in disciplinary action.
Rules for Drivers of State Vehicles Incident Guidelines and Reporting If there is an accident involving a State vehicle, the State Accident Guidelines should be followed. A copy of these guidelines will be kept in the Vehicle Mileage Log folder. Authorized drivers, including Agency Heads, who are involved in an accident while driving a State vehicle shall report the incident to their Agency fleet manager immediately, and in no case later than the following business day even if no other vehicle is involved or there are no apparent injuries or damages.
Be a driving force for safety. ... Stay alert, Drive responsibly.
Pre-Operation Safety Check • Before you operate a State vehicle, perform a simple and easy vehicle pre-operation safety check. • Look at the overall condition of the vehicle. • Check your turn signals for proper operation. • Turn on the lights and walk around the vehicle to ensure that all lights operate. • Check to see if the tires are properly inflated and in good condition. • If you must back out of a parked position, always inspect behind your vehicle for obstructions before getting into the vehicle. • Every time you refuel, check your oil and other fluid levels. Look for noticeable leaks throughout the engine compartment. • Report anything needing service. • As a common courtesy to others, after you’re finished using a State vehicle, if the fuel reading is below half a tank, make sure to refuel the vehicle before parking. The pre-operation safety check at the right is for State passenger vehicles, light trucks and vans. Our heavy equipment fleet is subject to a more rigorous pre- and post-trip daily inspection checklist.
Pre-Operation Safety Check Make all the necessary adjustments ... Before you set out, make sure the driver's seat, steering wheel (if adjustable), seat belts, head restraints and rear- and side-view mirrors are positioned for maximum comfort, control and visibility. Check your map in advance and, if you’re going to listen to music, select your favorite radio station before you take off so you never have to take your eyes off the road once under way. Adjust your mirrors so that you get the widest view possible. This is particularly important on multi-lane highways where you may have to keep tabs on lanes on both sides. Many drivers do not turn their outside mirrors out far enough and simply duplicate the same scene in all three mirrors. Smart Driving Performing a vehicle pre-operation safety check is every driver’s responsibility. Also, remember to keep State vehicles clean, free of paper, empty soda cans, etc. Someone else will likely be driving the vehicle after you.
Pre-Operation Safety Check Adjusting Your Mirrors: Rule of Thumb: If you can see even a glimpse of the sides of your car in your outside mirrors they are turned too far inwards. To properly adjust the left mirror, place your head close to the left window and adjust the mirror so that you can just see the left side of the car. For the right mirror, move your head towards the center of the vehicle and adjust the right mirror in the same way. When you are sitting correctly in the driver's seat, you will not be able to see your vehicle, but your blind spots will be greatly reduced.
ODC/ESR Form All State agencies have a formal inspection program for State vehicles to assure that they are clean, properly equipped, and well maintained. An Operator’s Daily Checklist (ODC) and/or Equipment Service Request (ESR) form*, or combined Operator’s Daily Checklist/Equipment Service Request (ODC/ESR) form is an important part of the fleet service and maintenance program. These form(s) are used for both passenger vehicles and heavy equipment. Prior to using a State vehicle, you should inspect the vehicle to make sure that it is in proper operating condition. If there is any problem with the vehicle, a completed ESR form must be submitted with the vehicle to the appropriate maintenance facility prior to use. * Note that different State Agencies may have different titles for these forms.
Steering Tips What's the Best Way To Hold a Steering Wheel? When driving a vehicle with a driver's side air bag, it’s recommended to grip the wheel within the 9 and 3 o’clock, and 10 and 2 o'clock positions. A grip any higher puts you at risk of wrist and/or face injury, should the air bag deploy. Any lower position not only encourages lazy driving, with the arms resting on the driver's thighs or lap, but it also significantly reduces a driver's ability to steer accurately and swiftly in the event of an emergency. Steering - Use Two Hands Many people fail to use two hands when driving. Modern cars with advanced suspensions shield us from the road; they almost tempt us to be lazy. Don’t allow yourself to be fooled. Cars appear stable when driven in a straight line. However, when someone near you loses control of their car, and you are forced within less than 1/2 second to take an evasive maneuver, the real test of a car's stability is called into question.
Tire Safety Everything Rides On It Tire tread provides the gripping action and traction that prevent a vehicle from sliding, especially when the road is wet or icy. In general, when a tire’s tread has been worn down to 1/16th of an inch, it is not safe and should be replaced. Tires have built-in tread wear indicators that notify motorists when they should be replaced. These indicators are raised sections spaced intermittently in the bottom of the tread grooves. When they appear "even" with the outside of the tread, it's time for tire replacement. Another method of checking tire tread involves the use of a Lincoln penny. The motorist should place the penny upside down within the tread. If the top of Lincoln's head is visible, the tire needs to be replaced.
Tire Safety Tire Safety - Everything Rides On It A radial tire can lose much of its air pressure and still appear to be fully inflated. Operating a vehicle with substantially under-inflated tires can result in tire failure, such as tire separation and blowouts, with the potential for loss of control of the vehicle. Under-inflated tires also shorten tire life and increase fuel consumption. Tires should be inflated according to the vehicle manufacturer's recommendations. These can be found in the owner's manual or on a placard, which is often located in the glove compartment or on the driver's doorjamb. Motorists should not rely on visual tire inspections to determine whether a tire is properly inflated but should use a tire pressure gauge to do so.
Actual Accounts Tire Failure Accident “My wife and I had bought a brand new 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee. We had only had the vehicle for about eight days when we went on vacation to a family reunion. On our return home, I was with my brother-in-law in his car and my wife and her sister were in the Grand Cherokee with my 3 year old daughter and 6 year old son. We were on a straight road on a beautiful day. The tire blew out on the Grand Cherokee, sending it out of control and flipping over. My wife and my son were killed instantly. This accident and the deaths of my wife and son are all due to a tire blow out. Please inspect your tires routinely.”
Restraint Use • All persons who ride in a State vehicle must have their seat belt fastened. • FACTS: • Every 13 minutes, someone is killed in a traffic crash. • Three of five people killed in vehicle crashes would have survived their injuries had they been wearing seat belts. • Seat belts save an estimated 9,500 lives in the United States each year. • (Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) Smart Driving In a crash at 30 mph, if unrestrained, you will be thrown forward with a force up to 60 times your bodyweight. SEAT BELTS SAVE LIVES. ALWAYS WEAR YOUR SEAT BELT.
Restraint Use This video clip shows what can happen to your body in an accident when you don’t wear a seat belt. (video will start automatically) Footage approval from DriveCam at http://drivecam.com/default.asp Ejected = Death! Wear Your Seat Belt. It Will Save Your Life!
Restraint Use The driver in the previous slide amazingly walked away from the collision. He was extremely lucky. The majority of people thrown from their vehicle in a collision don’t live to talk about it. If you are ejected from a vehicle your chances of survival are slim. Always wear your seat belt, and wear it correctly. When putting it on make sure that the lower lap portion of the belt is snug around your hipbones (not your stomach) because strong hipbones can much better withstand the force of a collision. Makes sense, doesn't it?
Driver Fatigue • DRIVER FATIGUE IS A KILLER • Tips on avoiding driver fatigue on long trips ... • An obvious cause of fatigue is the lack of sleep. Get enough rest and don't start a trip late in the day. • Plan your trip to include regular rest breaks (at least 15 minutes every two hours). Get out of the car, walk around, stretch, jog or do calisthenics. Exercise fights fatigue. • In addition to exercise breaks, stop for light meals and snacks. Never drink alcohol and drive. Smart Driving Stay Rested - Drivers who are sleepy or fatigued demonstrate the same impaired judgment and decreased reaction times as drunk drivers.
Driver Fatigue • If possible, don't drive alone. Passengers can take turns driving and also serve as conversation partners to keep you awake. • Try not to drive when you would normally be asleep (early mornings and late nights). • On long trips, plan to stay somewhere overnight. • The glare of lights, both on your dashboard and outside your car, increases the danger of highway hypnosis. • Turn the radio volume up, and switch stations frequently, but avoid soft, sleep-inducing music. • Adjust your car's environment so that it helps keep you awake and alert. Keep the temperature cool. • Don’t use cruise control - keep your body involved with the driving. • Drive with good posture - with your head up and shoulders back.
STOP! You May Be Too Tired To Drive Actual Accounts More than 100,000 auto crashes in the US each year are the result of driver fatigue. All could have been prevented.
Be a driving force for safety ... Smart Driving When being approached by an emergency vehicle, pull to the right shoulder of the road and stop. Put on your hazard lights to allow others to see you better.
Using Your Signals State law now requires that you use your headlights anytime you are using your windshield wipers. The use of headlights is important - not only to see, but to be seen. As a driver and roadway user, there is a good likelihood that at some point you’ll have to communicate a breakdown or accident. Use your four-way emergency flashers – they serve as a warning so others don’t pull off at the same spot. Make your presence known - use your horn to indicate a potential risk or to let another driver know you are there. A car is visible for nearly four times the distance with its headlights on.
Using Your Signals • In addition to speeding, the non-use of turn signals is one of the most frequent improper driving habits seen on our highways. • The non-use of turn signals when making a turn is against the law. • Turn signals are an important safety alert to other drivers that you are changing lanes or turning. • It’s important to use turn signals immediately before you want to turn and make certain they are canceled promptly after your turn. • Be safe and show off your manners … • … Use Your Turn Signals! It's the Law in Maryland Full Stop Before a Turn on Red. Unless there is a sign prohibiting it, Maryland law allows drivers to turn right only after stopping for a red light. Drivers may also turn left from a one-way street onto another one-way street if there is no sign that says “No Turn on Red”.
O Using Your Signals Here are the correct and incorrect ways to use your signals for communicating. Turn Signals Correct – when making turns, lane changes, entering roadway Incorrect – forgetting to cancel, wrong way, too late, too early Four-Way Emergency Flashers Correct – when disabled, emergency stops on shoulder, when mechanical problems cause you to temporarily move slower than other traffic Incorrect – failure to use in an emergency, using for normal driving
Using Your Signals Brake Lights Correct - To warn of traffic conflict ahead, when slowing unexpectedly, to signal a stop in traffic, when turning from a high-speed highway Incorrect – Failure to pump (flash), flashing for routine stops, flashing too late, riding the brake Horn Correct – To get attention, to warn others, to pass Incorrect – Failure to use, unnecessary use, blast instead of a toot and vice versa, using too late Smart Driving Drive to Communicate Always signal your intentions, and use your lights and horn when necessary to let others know you are there.
Driver Error • Driving is serious business. • Do not put yourself and others on the road at risk. • Your life and the lives of others are in your hands when you operate a vehicle. • If you become complacent about driving, you’re headed for trouble. • Stay alert and on guard at all times. For most people, operating a motor vehicle is the most dangerous thing they do during each work day. Smart Driving Pay Attention! “I never saw him!” is the most common excuse heard after a collision.
Driver Error The majority of serious vehicle related crashes are caused by: • Driver Inattention • Speeding • Following Too Closely, and • Failure To Yield Note: Driver Inattention is responsible for as many crashes as all of the other three causes combined! DRIVER ERROR is responsible in over 90% of all vehicle crashes! This means that nearly all highway crashes are preventable.
Driver Inattention Driver inattention is one of the main causes of crashes, injuries and deaths. If a driver looks down for just one second while driving 65 mph, their vehicle has traveled almost 100 feet! Playing with the radio, dialing a mobile phone, trying to eat some fast-food can all be dangerous practices. Do not allow yourself to be distracted while driving. Stay focused on the task at hand - driving. Smart Driving Look Down the Road! This means keep your eyes up and looking down the road. Many drivers focus on the road only 5 or 8 seconds ahead. You should be looking about 15-20 seconds ahead of your vehicle, farther if you can. This gives you the time to recognize and avoid most potential hazards before they become a problem. You'll see lane restrictions or construction areas, traffic congestion, truck entrances, mishaps, etc.
Driver Inattention • Driver Distractions • When behind the steering wheel, nothing is more important than driving. It can literally be a matter of life or death. Pull off to the side of the road (in a safe place) when you must do something other than driving. • Talking on a cell phone – this distraction can increase your chance of a collision by nearly 400% • Grooming (make up, shaving, combing hair, etc.) • Tuning the radio or selecting a new CD to play • Excessive volume from radio or passengers • Reading or writing - checking the map • Watching the children (in your personal vehicle of course) • Reaching for something on the floor or in the back seat • Dashboard Dining (eating and drinking on the road) Smart Driving Look Well Ahead, Searching and Scanning Quick reactions won't always stop you having an accident. Spotting and responding to problems ahead in plenty of time will.
Driver Inattention Smart Driving The article at the right is partially correct regarding a driver’s Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC). “Driving while Under the Influence” (DUI) is .08 or more BAC. In Maryland you can also be arrested and convicted at a lesser BAC - “Driving While Impaired” (DWI) is .07 or more, but less than .08 BAC. More on this subject later in the program.
Driver Inattention • DRIVE ATTENTIVELY • In addition to obeying traffic laws, responsible drivers do all that they can to avoid crashes. More often than not, this means looking out for other drivers who are less responsible. • This includes... • Taking extra caution at intersections. • Staying out of blind spots (especially truck drivers). • Being prepared to stop or swerve suddenly to avoid a collision. • Thinking ahead - Are there children playing in the area? What's around the bend?
Just Drive DRIVING IS NOT A PASSIVE ACTIVITY! STAY ALERT AND ALIVE. DRIVE DEFENSIVELY.
Speeding Good Advice -- Reduce Your Speed. The faster you drive … … the less reaction time you have to brake, … the more distance you need to stop, … the harder it is to control your vehicle, … the harder your impact in a crash, and … the greater the chance of serious bodily injury or being killed in a crash. Smart Driving #1 - Don't speed! - Driving at a higher than reasonable speed increases your risk in two ways: it cuts your reaction time and results in more "stored" energy that must be dissipated in any collision. #2 - Leave early, plan to arrive 10 minutes before the appointed time. Speeding does not increase your ability to arrive on time, rather it only increases your chances of not arriving at all.
Actual Accounts Mustang Rear Ended at 130 mph My fiancé and I were on our way home from the beach about 7 p.m. On July 30th.We were traveling at 60 mph when we were struck from behind by a driver who the State Police estimate was going 130 mph. We were both ejected from the car. My fiancé landed on the side of the highway 100 ft from the car and I landed in the center travel lane. I suffered multiple skull fractures, a fractured spine and multiple lacerations, and my fiancé, well lets just say he was lucky enough not to receive what I did. Our seat belts were ripped from the floor behind us and both doors were bent out from the force of the rear wheels. I sure miss my Mustang, but I miss my health, ability to work and a lot of other things more than the car. Smart Driving Drive in a way that suits your ability and the traffic conditions.It doesn't impress anyone if you drive fast.
Following Distance The Two Second Rule Since the greatest risk of a collision is in front of you, at minimum use the Two Second Rule for establishing a safe following distance. The two second following distance works if you have to stop suddenly because the driver ahead brakes to a stop. To stay at least two seconds behind the vehicle ahead of you: • Choose a fixed road mark, such as a road sign; • Start to count as the vehicle ahead of you passes the road sign; • You should not reach the object before you count to one-thousand-two. If you do, you are following too close.
Following Distance Be warned that at highway speeds, a two second following distance will NOT give you enough time to stop if the road ahead is suddenly blocked by a collision or a vehicle stopped across your lane. The Two Second Rule As your speed increases, so does the time and distance required to brake to a stop. At 55 miles per hour, you need nearly four to five seconds to stop. Remember at all times the importance of adjusting speed. What you can and cannot see should influence your speed. Allowing at least four to five seconds to come to a complete stop is a good general rule of thumb. NOTE: Adverse weather of any kind - rain, fog, snow, or sleet requires additional following distance. Smart Driving When stopped behind another vehicle, you should be able to see the rear tires of the vehicle in front of you. This creates a cushion of safety between you and the vehicle in front of you.
Following Distance The speed of your vehicle affects the distance required to stop it. Stopping distance is determined by three factors: Perception Distance - This is the length a vehicle travels from the time you see a hazard until your brain recognizes it. For an alert driver, this is approximately ¾ of a second. Reaction Distance - This is the length a vehicle travels in the time it takes your brain to tell the foot to move from the gas pedal to the brake pedal and apply pressure. This takes approximately ¾ of a second. Braking Distance - This is the length it takes to stop a vehicle once the brakes are applied. Note that heavy trucks equipped with air brakes have an additional factor involved in braking distance – brake lag. More on brake lag in the Heavy Truck Operation section.