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Ten-Minute Training Topics Driving Too Fast for Conditions

Statistics “Adverse weather conditions appear to be associated with an increased incidence of speeding- related crashes involving large trucks. Data from the FARS indicate that in 1997, 25 percent of all speeding related multi-vehicle large truck fatal crashes occurred during adverse weather conditions” - Office of Motor Carrier Safety, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

“Speeding reduces a driver’s ability to steer safely around curves or objects in the roadway, extends the distance necessary to stop a vehicle, and increases the distance a vehicle travels while the driver reacts to a dangerous situation.” - Office of Motor Carrier Safety, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

“…15 percent of the nonspeeding-related multi-vehicle large truck fatal crashes occurred during adverse weather conditions. For the speeding-related crashes, 16 percent occurred in rainy weather (compared to 10 percent for the nonspeeding-related crashes) and 7 percent occurred during snow storms (compared to 2 percent of the nonspeeding-related crashes).” – US Department of Transportation Publication No. MCRT-00-004

Introduction The goal of “safe driving” is to avoid collisions; however, “safe driving” isn’t just obeying traffic laws like speed limits – why?

It’s possible to drive within the speed limit and still drive too fast for “conditions”. There are several conditions that should cause us to consider driving with greater caution:

  • stress and emotional upset,

  • poor weather,

  • traffic congestion,

  • the condition of your vehicle (tires/brakes/steering, etc),

  • your own physical well being (if you are tired or feeling sick, etc.)

Other types of conditions include: approaching intersections that have view blocks (can’t see cross traffic), blind curves, and roadways that may be slick with fallen leaves or oils from the asphalt after a rain storm. Loss of control from hydroplaning (tires riding on top of a layer of water) is another form of driving too fast for conditions.

Each of these situations can make it harder for you to recognize a problem, react to it safely, and stop (or avoid it) in time.

Adjusting To The Conditions We have to drive to get the job done so we need to adjust our driving to the conditions we are likely to encounter. Here are some tips to consider:

  • 1.

    Preparation for dealing with conditions starts before the trip – careful inspection and maintenance of the vehicle will help avoid breakdowns and minimize other problems:

    • a.

      Check for dull wiper blades that could create visibility problems from a ‘streaky’ windshield. Check washer fluid levels.

Copyright 2004

SafetyFirst Systems, LLC

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