5 Tips to Help You Be a Better Defensive Driver

We all have responsibilities on the road of life, which is especially true when you drive a motor vehicle on company time. Commercial drivers’ most important job is to operate their vehicles safely – and employers have good reason to incentivize safe driving habits.

Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of on-the-job deaths, in addition to being a major off-the-job hazard as well. Aside from the lost time these accidents cause, employer liabilities and costs quickly add up:

  • The average crash without injury costs an employer $16,500.
  • When a worker has an on-the-job crash that results in an injury, the average cost to their employer balloons to $74,000.
  • Costs can exceed $500,000 when a fatality is involved.

With nearly 95 percent of all crashes related to driver error, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the simple fact is that these accidents are avoidable. When it comes to staying safe on the road, the best offense is a good defense.

5 defensive driving tips to help you steer clear of a collision:

  1. Expect other drivers to make mistakes and drive defensively. If you see someone driving in an erratic way, just give them plenty of space.
  2. Simply slow down. The faster you drive, the longer it takes to stop and the more devastating the impact will be when a crash occurs.
  3. Adjust for inclement weather such as rain or snow by reducing speed and making sure there is plenty of space between your vehicle and the driver ahead of you.
  4. Use directional blinkers and be mindful of when other drivers are using them as well.
  5. When preparing to brake, step gently on the brake pad to slow yourself rather than coming to an abrupt stop. This better alerts those behind you of your intentions.

Visit the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s website for other tips and suggestions to sharpen your defensive driving skills or those of your workers.

To learn more about FFVA Mutual’s defensive driving course and other upcoming safety events, click here.