In This Issue:

The Dangers of Snow and Ice Accumulation on

4 Tips to Safely Navigate Unfamiliar Roadways

How to Form a Safety Committee

Loss Prevention Director Dennis Shinault Awarded DSSA

Safety Message: Truck-Involved Fatalities Drop Significatly

Resource Library

2010 Quill Index


4 Tips to Safely Navigate Unfamiliar Roadways

The Large Truck Crash Causation Study (LTCCS) found that 22 percent of large-truck crashes occurred when commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers were unfamiliar with the roadway. Since CMV drivers often find themselves traveling in new cities and towns, it is crucial that they prepare for variations in road systems and traffic patterns, and have a route mapped in advance.

Provide your drivers with these four safety tips to help them prepare for travel in unfamiliar areas:

1. Review maps and plan route before driving
Having a plan before getting behind the wheel will help your drivers stay on schedule and prevent them from being distracted by trying to read maps or directions while they’re driving. Electronic navigation systems can help drivers find their way without the distraction of maps and written directions by giving audible turn-by-turn directions. However, if your drivers use these, make sure they know to enter their destination before departure or when they are parked in a safe location to prevent the device itself from becoming a distraction. Drivers who prefer to follow written directions should be sure they are written in a large and easy-to-read font so their next move can be easily determined at a glance.

2. Do not suddenly change direction of travel
If drivers miss a turn or an exit, they should continue on until they locate a place where they can safely turn around. Trying to correct a missed turn or exit is extremely dangerous. The maneuver may be illegal and could result in an overturn or jackknife collision, threatening the safety of the driver and others on the road. Drivers should not attempt shortcuts, due to the increased likelihood of missed turns and exits. Shortcuts also tend to be difficult to navigate in large commercial vehicles; especially in metropolitan areas where narrow roads, low clearance obstacles, tight turns and collisions are common.

3. Signal intentions in advance
Turn signals should be used to indicate the intent to change lanes prior to visually scanning for adjacent traffic and road hazards, and then executing a safe lane change. Remind drivers to turn their signal on in advance and allow the minimum legal required distance to make a lane change. Communicating their intentions to other drivers will allow the turn or lane change to be executed safely.

4. Reduce speed and prepare for the unforeseen
Drivers must slow down in order to react to unpredicted changes and obstructions. Extra time is needed on unfamiliar roadways to identify and respond to unexpected obstacles including curves in the roadway, fallen trees, potholes, pedestrians, animals and downed power lines.

Trying to read a map or interpret directions behind the wheel is not an option. Make sure your drivers are prepared before they travel into any new territory.


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Baldwin & Lyons, Inc.
1099 North Meridian Street, Suite 700 | Indianapolis, IN 46204
(800) 644-5501 | Fax: (317) 632-9444