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Sharing the Road with Small Vehicles Traffic Safety Series.

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Presentation on theme: "Sharing the Road with Small Vehicles Traffic Safety Series."— Presentation transcript:

1 Sharing the Road with Small Vehicles Traffic Safety Series

2 Course Information Author: Lynne Presley, Staff & Organizational Development, Oklahoma Department of Corrections Course Released: June 2005 Course Updated: July 2010 / GJ Course Code SAFI Training Credit: 30 minutes Copyright All rights reserved.

3 Data Sources National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) web site. Accessed July Oklahoma Driver's Manual, Oklahoma Dept. of Public Safety. March 2010.

4 Course Background Oklahoma Department of Safety Driver's Manual / March 2010 Chapter 4, "Driving Safety and Courtesy" Drivers have a personal and legal responsibility to keep a "right attitude" while driving.

5 The RIGHT ATTITUDE can help you and others stay safe and alive. You should maintain safety consciousness, a cooperative attitude, and a “readiness to respond” to an emergency. Course Background Right Attitudes for the Road:  Alertness  Sharing  Giving  Self-Control

6 The RIGHT ATTITUDE includes: Give your driving full attention Obey the law Share the road with others and remember the Golden Rule Be alert for potential collisions Control your emotions so they don't interfere with your driving Give yourself a cushion of safety and allow others to do the same Course Background

7 Course Introduction This online course will emphasize sharing the road with rather unique vehicles compared to what the majority drive. These unique vehicles include: motorcycles of various sizes smaller, open vehicles which, by their nature, are less visible and more vulnerable to collisions resulting from inattention by drivers of larger vehicles bicycles

8 Blind Spots As we drive, our field of vision is partially blocked by our vehicle. This results in “blind spots.” Virtually all vehicles have blind spots. The extent of these blind spots depends on the size of vehicle. Trucks, vans and SUVs have larger blind spots than passenger cars. It also depends on the height of the driver; the shorter the driver, the larger the blind spots.

9 Relative Vehicle Sizes and Blind Spots Many of our agency's vehicles are multi-passenger which are larger than cars and other unique vehicles. When you combine the larger size with blind spots, there may be potential for a collision. This dune buggy is extremely difficult to notice, or even see at all, if the van driver isn't especially attentive to surrounding traffic and aware of the van's blind spots.

10 Relative Vehicle Sizes and Blind Spots Notice that smaller vehicles may be hidden from view. This situation can result in an inattentive driver cutting in front of the buggy or merging into traffic, causing the buggy driver to make unsafe maneuvers to avoid a collision.

11 Relative Vehicle Sizes and Blind Spots Not only is a motorcycle more vulnerable to collisions than 4-wheel vehicles, the narrow profile may lead other drivers to crowd the motorcycle into a smaller space on the road than is necessary for safe handling. Let's consider another vehicle - a full-size motorcycle. Notice that it's fairly high off the ground, taller even than some cars, but has an extremely narrow profile.

12 Relative Vehicle Sizes and Blind Spots Now look at the motorcycle in traffic. Imagine the results of an inattentive driver who makes a left-hand turn in front of, changes lanes directly into, or cuts off, the motorcyclist. The likely result is a collision! All motorists and other road users are reminded to safely "share the road" with motorcycles and to be extra alert to help keep motorcyclists safe. Motorcyclists are reminded to make themselves visible to other motorists. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) In 2008, 5,290 motorcyclists were killed and 96,000 motorcyclists injured.

13 Relative Vehicle Sizes and Blind Spots Another factor is that some drivers have a fear of, or prejudice against, motorcycle riders or don't consider motorcycles adequate vehicles to be on the road. This attitude can lead to a "road rage" type confrontation which can result in a collision. What does this mean to us? We must be extra vigilant when we drive. Notice motorcycles in our vicinity. Keep watch for other surrounding vehicles. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) compiled a list of safety precautions for avoiding collisions with motorcycles and other unique vehicles.

14 Advice from the NHTSA As a motorist, there are steps to become more aware of motorcyclists. This advice is also appropriate for other small vehicles. RESPECT THE MOTORCYCLIST: Remember the motorcycle is a vehicle with all of the privileges of any vehicle on the roadway. Give the motorcyclist a full lane of travel. LOOK OUT: Look for the motorcyclist on the highway, at intersections, when a motorcyclist may be making a left turn, and when a motorcyclist may be changing lanes. Clearly signal your intentions. ANTICIPATE A MOTORCYCLIST'S MANEUVER: Obstructions (debris, potholes, etc.) that you may ignore or not notice can be deadly for a motorcyclist. Predict their evasive actions. ALLOW PLENTY OF SPACE: Don't follow a motorcycle too closely. Allow enough room for the motorcyclist to take evasive actions.

15 Sharing the road with Bicyclists Bicycles are a viable means of transportation and sport for many people. Bicyclists are obligated to follow all traffic laws, just the same as motorists. It’s OK law Drivers of motor vehicles need to share the road with bicyclists. Be courteous – allow at least three feet clearance when passing a bicyclist on the road, look for cyclists before opening a car door or pulling out from a parking space, and yield to cyclists at intersections and as directed by signs and signals. Be especially watchful for cyclists when making turns, either left or right. (NHTSA)

16 Sharing the road with Bicyclists Do not drive in a bicycle lane. Pay particular attention in school zones and residential neighborhoods, because children may dart out suddenly on a bicycle. Remember that children may not judge speeds or distance well, and you can't depend on children to follow traffic laws. In 2008, 716 pedal cyclists were killed and an additional 52,000 were injured in traffic crashes. NHTSA, NHTSA

17 Driving Aggression and Road Rage There are motorists who become aggressive when they drive in the vicinity of smaller vehicles. Some even become hostile. Both driving aggression and road rage increase the chance for a collision. If you are in the same vicinity, you could become involved in the collision, too.

18 Driving Aggression and Road Rage Driving aggression is defined as a progression of unlawful driving actions such as: Speeding (exceeding the speed limit or driving too fast for road conditions) Improper or excessive lane changing (failing to signal intent; failing to see that movement can be made safely) Improper passing (failing to signal intent, using an emergency lane to pass, or passing on the shoulder) Running red lights Tailgating

19 Driving Aggression and Road Rage Graphic: Adapted from NHTSA This graphic shows common causes and acts of aggressive driving. Most of us have observed this dangerous style of driving, which can affect any driver who is in the vicinity of the aggressive driver. This behavior may be intensified when a smaller vehicle is in the path of the aggressive driver.

20 Driving Aggression and Road Rage What is the difference between aggressive driving and road rage? According to the NHTSA: Aggressive driving is when an individual commits a combination of moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property. It is a traffic offense. Road rage is a criminal offense, defined as an assault with a motor vehicle or other dangerous weapon by the operator or passenger(s) of another motor vehicle or an assault precipitated by an incident that occurred on a roadway.

21 Driving Aggression and Road Rage According to the US Census Bureau, there were 10,600,000 vehicle accidents in the U.S. in It is unknown exactly how many of those crashes are caused by aggressive driving, but estimates indicate the number to be substantial, based on the violations committed by the drivers of the vehicles involved in the crashes, and reported by law enforcement agencies as the contributing factor of the crash.

22 Driving Aggression and Road Rage Aggressive driving (left) and road rage (right) can be lethal to those directly involved, as well as to drivers in the vicinity. NHTSA

23 Conclusion Now that we know some of the issues involved with smaller vehicles on the road, aggressive drivers, and road rage, what are the best precautions we can take to avoid a collision? One good solution is following the Oklahoma DPS "right attitude" suggestions mentioned in the beginning of this course: Give your driving full attention Obey the law Share the road with others and remember the Golden Rule Be alert for potential collisions Control your emotions so they don't interfere with your driving Give yourself a cushion of safety and allow others to do the same

24 Conclusion 3000 crosses were placed throughout Oklahoma by a public service group in June 2005 to show where people died in traffic accidents. They are a sobering sight. Don't be a statistic! Thank you for taking the time to complete this safety presentation. Stay alert, and stay safe!


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