ASSE Offers Motorists/Employers Safe Driving Tips for Bad Weather/Driving Around Snow Plows
For Immediate Release Contact: Diane Hurns, 847-768-3413, firstname.lastname@example.org
|American Society of Safety Engineers Offer Motorists/Employers Safe Driving Tips for Bad Weather & Driving Around Snow Plows|
Des Plaines, IL (February 1, 2011) — With a massive storm preparing to be unleashed in the U.S. and as transportation incidents continue to be the number one cause of on-the-job deaths in the U.S., the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) is offering driving tips to help motorists navigate safely on roads, especially during severe weather conditions.
“During inclement weather we are urging drivers to be even more cautious when driving, not only for their passengers and themselves, but for fellow travelers and the thousands of workers whose vehicles are their office — such as law enforcement personnel, snow removal and salt trucks, firefighters, emergency responders, truck drivers, utility workers and more,” ASSE President Darryl C. Hill, Ph.D., CSP, of Michigan, said today. “Treacherous weather and the conditions it brings cannot be controlled by motorists. However, if motorists drive cautiously they are more likely to make it to their destination safely and without incident.”
According to the National Academy of Sciences, adverse weather conditions reduce roadway safety, capacity and efficiency, and are often the catalyst for triggering congestion. In the U.S. each year, approximately 7,000 roadway deaths and 450,000 injuries are associated with poor weather-related driving conditions. It is reported that weather plays a role in approximately 28 percent of all crashes and accounts for 19 percent of all roadway fatalities. In addition to the intangible toll these crashes cause, the economic toll of weather-related deaths, injuries and delays is estimated at $42 billion per year.
Some of the leading causes of fatal roadway crashes are failure to keep in the proper lane or running off the road; driving too fast for conditions or in excess of the posted speed limit; driving under the influence; failure to yield the right of way; distracted driving; operating in an erratic/reckless manner; and, failure to obey traffic signs, signals. ASSE suggests these tips to help increase roadway safety during winter weather travel:
Knowledge: Before leaving home, find out about the driving conditions.
Don’t be Distracted While Driving: Many states, including Washington, D.C., prohibit texting while driving for all drivers. Distracted driving is deadly even in good weather.
When driving around snowplows:
Distance: Give snowplows room to work. The plows are wide and can cross the centerline or shoulder. Don’t tailgate and try not to pass. If you must pass, take extreme caution and beware of the snow cloud.
Additionally, an employer whose employees drive in areas that experience cold and inclement weather should consider equipping each vehicle with a winter storm kit that includes blankets, a flashlight, cell phone with charger and extra batteries, a shovel, first-aid kit, non-perishable food, extra warm clothes, water container and more. Hypothermia is a potentially dangerous exposure during extremely cold winter months. Employees can suffer from hypothermia when they lose body temperature in cold weather as a result of exposure.
Employers and employees should consider taking the following steps to be safe on the road in winter weather: 1) Plan ahead and allow plenty of time to travel – businesses should maintain information on employee driving destinations, driving routes and estimated time of arrivals. Be patient while driving in winter conditions as travel time can increase in snow, sleet or ice; 2) Make sure vehicles are winterized – before driving have a mechanic look at the battery, antifreeze, wipers and windshields washer fluid, ignition system, thermostat, lights, flashing hazard lights, exhaust system, heater, brakes, defroster, tire tread and oil level. Carry a windshield scraper for ice and snow removal. 3) Check weather conditions before traveling – a National Weather Service winter storm watch alerts the public of the possibility of a blizzard, heavy snow, freezing rain or heavy sleet; a winter storm warning is issued when a combination of heavy snow, heavy freezing rain or heavy sleet is expected; and a winter weather advisory is issued when accumulations of snow, freezing rain, freezing drizzle and sleet may cause significant inconvenience and moderately dangerous conditions.
For a copy of ASSE’s free “Prevent Roadway Crashes” brochure please go to www.asse.org/newsroom under press kit where it can be downloaded or request a copy at email@example.com. Founded in 1911, the 100-year-old Des Plaines, IL-based ASSE is the oldest professional safety organization and is committed to protecting people, property and the environment. It has more than 32,000 occupational safety, health and environmental professional members.