While the winter season is often associated with risky driving conditions, summer has its own risks. From road construction to out-of-town recreational drivers pulling boats and campers, summertime hazards require drivers to be extra alert and share the road.
Vehicle accidents kill more American workers than any type of workplace accident1; in 2014, 35 percent of workplace injuries involved a motor vehicle.2 Since drivers cause more than 90 percent of vehicle crashes3, make sure they are aware of these summer hazards and know how to share the road safely.
Hazard No. 1: Summer Construction Brings Increased Traffic
“The increased traffic on our roads is an unmistakable hazard of summer driving,” says Daniel Brown, a Travelers Risk Control transportation safety professional. Estimates predict a new record high for vehicle miles traveled in 2016, likely due to low fuel prices and economic activity. This has already led to a 9.3 percent increase in roadway deaths during the first nine months of 2015, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Traffic delays and detours caused by road construction can make traffic snarls worse. It is important for drivers to be patient and alert, and to share the road.
To ensure the highest safety in work zones, drivers should:
- Either avoid known work zones or anticipate the delay and allow extra time.
- Find an alternate route or adjust their work schedule to avoid hazards or delays.
- Follow signs and, if lanes are being closed, merge early before entering the work zone.
- Expect the unexpected: slow down, increase their following distance and avoid distractions.
Hazard No. 2: Motorcycles on the Move
As the number of motorcycles on the road increases, so does the opportunity for motorcycle crashes. There are more motorcycles on the road now than a decade ago, with the number of registered motorcycles increasing 45 percent between 2004 and 2013, and the number of motorcyclists more than doubling.4 Make sure everyone in your organization understands the unique hazards that motorcycles present, including the risk of accidents caused by a vehicle turning left in front of a motorcycle.
Drivers should consider the following when sharing the road with motorcycles:
- Be extra aware: Motorcycles can be difficult to see and can disappear in your blind spot. Also, it can be easy to misjudge a motorcycle’s speed.
- Look twice to make sure a motorcycle is a safe distance from your vehicle.
- Follow motorcycles at greater distances, as motorcycles can stop more quickly than automobiles.
Because of the extra dangers motorcycle riding can present, consider a policy that prohibits employees from using motorcycles for business travel. Read More