On a long and uneventful drive, it's sometimes easy to find yourself staring down the middle of the road, as if you're in a trance. In such times, it's important to remind yourself to keep your eyes moving and scan the scene. Here is this week's fleet safety tip, culled from the California Driver Handbook. You may want to pass this along to your fleet drivers as a friendly reminder.
Take in the whole scene - If you only look at the middle of the road, you will miss what is happening on the side of the road and behind you. Scanning helps you to see:
- Cars and people that may be in the road by the time you reach them.
- Signs warning of problems ahead.
- Signs giving you directions.
Watch for hazards - Look beyond the car ahead of you. Don't develop a "fixed stare." Keep scanning. Check your rear-view mirrors every two to five seconds so you know the position of vehicles near you.
On the freeway, be ready for changes in traffic conditions. Watch for signals from other drivers. Expect merging vehicles at on-ramps and interchanges. Be prepared for rapid changes in road conditions and traffic flow. Know which lanes are clear so you can use them if necessary.