Facebook Icon.       LinkedIn Icon.

Work Vehicle Safety Tips

Jul 5th, 2022

Many U.S. workers drive work vehicles as part of their job, whether a company car or a big-rig truck. But not everyone operates these vehicles safely or under the safest of conditions. As a result, work vehicle accidents happen more often than you might think. In fact, nearly one-fourth of all work-related deaths in 2019 were caused by crashes involving work vehicles.

July 10-16, 2022, is Operation Safe Driver Week, a week designated by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) to raise awareness of the need for work vehicle safety. To that end, let’s discuss some important tips to help you keep safer behind the wheel at work–no matter what type of vehicle you’re driving.

Avoid Speeding

This year’s Operation Safe Driver Week is focused on speeding, and for good reason. Speeding accounts for about one-fourth of all vehicle crash deaths each year. The important thing to note is that with many heavy-duty work vehicles (like trucks), safe speeds aren’t just about obeying the posted speed limit. They’re about driving in a way that keeps you in control of the vehicle. OSHA has posted some basic guidelines about determining safe operating speeds when driving a work vehicle. Staying well within these parameters will keep you and others safer when operating one.

Follow the Rules of the Road

This may seem like an obvious one, but it is even more important to follow basic driving rules while driving a work vehicle than when driving your own. You probably driving a vehicle that is larger than normal and more capable of causing damage. You and your company could also be held liable for any damage or injuries you cause by breaking traffic laws. Make sure you always come to a complete stop at stop signs and red lights. Use your turn signals when changing lanes or making turns, and never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Keep Your Vehicle Maintained

Tire blowouts, brake failures, and engine trouble are all more likely to happen when a vehicle isn’t properly maintained. And when these things happen while driving a work vehicle, the consequences can be much more severe than if they happened while driving your personal car. That’s why it’s so important to make sure your work vehicle is always up to date on its maintenance, including regular oil changes, tire rotations, and brake inspections.

Stay Focused and Alert

When driving a work vehicle, it’s important to stay focused on the task at hand: operating the vehicle safely. This means no texting, no talking on the phone, no eating/drinking, and no fiddling with the radio or other controls. If you can’t stay focused while driving, pull over to a safe location and take a break. It’s also important to make sure you’re well-rested before getting behind the wheel of a work vehicle. Drowsy driving is just as dangerous as distracted driving. If you’re feeling tired, take a nap or switch to another task until you’re well-rested. If your company requires you to take breaks after a certain amount of drive time, make sure you follow those requirements.

Practice Defensive Driving Techniques

Even if you’re following all the rules, it doesn’t mean other drivers are, too. Defensive driving is just as important to work vehicle safety as other forms of driving, and probably more so because your vehicle is more likely to cause harm. Maintain safe driving distances from other drivers (no tailgating), slow down at intersections, and keep an eye out for unexpected behavior from other drivers.

If you are injured in a work vehicle accident, worker’s compensation should cover your treatment and lost wages. If the accident occurred due to someone’s negligence (e.g., poorly maintained vehicles), you may be eligible to collect other damages. Our attorneys will evaluate your case to help you receive all the compensation to which you’re entitled. Call our office to schedule a consultation.