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SAFETY CORNER


Defensive Driving Techniques Four points to decrease your chances of an accident


BY JAKE SANDAU MCM Safety Coordinator


Professional drivers know the hazards


associated with the open road, especially when it comes to the vehicles around them. Often times it is the action of another driver that contributes to a commercial motor vehicle accident. By utilizing defensive driving techniques, one may avoid a situation that could lead to an accident. Let’s take a moment to review the important requirements of defensive driving:


Knowledge –Defensive drivers take the time to educate themselves about safe driving techniques. They know how to recognize hazards and avoid collisions. They know the traffic laws in their area and how to maintain their vehicles in a safe operation condition.


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Alertness –Defensive drivers are alert to how traffic conditions and health, both physical and mental, may affect their driving. They pay ample attention to the traffic patterns around them, checking their mirrors many times per minute. They give their full attention to the task of driving safely.


Foresight –Defensive drivers know that their worst enemy is the unexpected. They never assume that the other drivers will do the right thing. They anticipate hazards through scanning the roadways and identifying possible hazards as far ahead as possible.


Judgment –Good drivers use common sense and knowledge to make wise and quick decisions while behind the wheel. They maintain control over their behavior,


ISSUE 4, 2014 | www.mttrucking.org


resisting the temptation to make risky maneuvers to get somewhere faster.


Defensive driving techniques do not


require a high degree of specialized training. In fact, the techniques are easily implemented every time a driver hits the road. A recent study conducted by the MontanaDepartment of Transportation shows that the number of miles travelled by commercial motor vehicles in Montana is on the rise. That same study reported that the number of fatal crashes and the number of crashes resulting in injury involving commercial motor vehicles is declining. This is great news! More miles are being travelled and fewer serious accidents are occurring. By continuing to remember defensive driving techniques, we can continue this trend until we reach our goal of zero CMV related fatalities and accidents resulting in injury. RW


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