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Home » Northland Risk Control Safety Tips
September 8, 2016

Northland Risk Control Safety Tips

A simple question professional drivers should ask themselves:

“How close would I follow the vehicle ahead of me if my family or loved ones were in that vehicle?”

Professional drivers must be in control of their vehicle at all times. Remember, if you are following too closely, you really are not in full control of your vehicle. The driver of the vehicle in front of you and other nearby motorists control whether you are involved in a collision. 

Before you begin a trip, consider these questions as you make preparations:

  • Did I thoroughly inspect my vehicle?
  • Are my brakes adjusted properly?
  • Am i well rested? 
  • Can I react quickly if necessary to avoid a collision?
  • Is the windshield clean, inside and out?
  • Are my headlights and other lights and reflective surfaces clean and working properly? 

Here are some definitions that truckers and everyday drivers need to know:

  • Perception distance: The distance a vehicle travels from the time the driver first sees a hazard to the time he/she decides to brake. For the average person, perception time is about 1 3/4 second
  • Reaction distance:  The distance a vehicle travels after the driver decides to apply the brakes, but before the brakes are actually applied. The average reaction time for most drivers is 3/4 of a second.
  • Brake-lag distance: The distance a vehicle travels after the brakes are applied, but before they are actually engaged. For heavy commercial vehicles with air-brake systems, brake lag time is about 0.4 seconds.
  • Braking distance: The distance it takes a vehicle to stop after the brakes are engaged. Actual braking distance varies depending on such things as speed, load, road, and weather conditions, type of road surface, tire style and  condition, and brake system efficiency. 

Sources: Northland Insurance 

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