Your Role as a Jefferson Lab Fleet Vehicle Driver

Your Role as a Jefferson Lab Fleet Vehicle Driver

Responsibility Number One – Safe Driving

As a vehicle operator, it is up to you to drive safely and sensibly to avoid crashes. The following guidelines and safety reminders are for your welfare and that of others:

Fasten All Occupants Safety Belts.  This is the law!  In addition, this is required by (Federal Management Regulation) FMR 102-34.250.  According to the National Safety Council, seatbelts save more than 15,000 lives in the U.S. each year.  NHTSA reports that every percentage point increase in safety belt usage yields and additional 270 lives saved each year and $800 million in costs saved.  Motor vehicle traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for individuals in the U.S. aged 3-33.

Attend Safety Training.  If you are a JLab Fleet customer, you can benefit from free online defensive driver training.  The General Services Administration (GSA) offers the National Safety Council’s Online Defensive Driving Course in a four hour course designed to provide convenient training on a personal computer. Drivers analyze real driving, spot driving hazards, and identify the correct defenses. Upon completion, students receive a Water Marked certificate from the National Safety Council, which, in many states may be used to lower insurance rates. The GSA's link to the training is at: http://www.gsa.gov/portal/content/102674.

Drive Safe – Not Distracted.  All forms of distracted driving, from cell phones or navigation systems to eating or drinking, more than double the risk of crashing.  Protect yourself and your colleagues; keep your eyes on the road, hands on the wheel and mind on the task of driving.  Visit www.distraction.gov for the latest facts and laws.

Don’t Text and Drive.  Executive Order 13513 prohibits text messaging while driving on government business or using government equipment.

Keep Vehicles Smoke Free.  Federal regulations, specifically FMR 101-39.300 (D), prohibit the use of tobacco products in all GSA Fleet vehicles.

Don’t Drive Under the Influence of Alcohol or Other Mind Altering Substances.  Alcohol is one of the greatest factors in motor vehicle deaths and injuries.

It accounts for a majority of all fatal crashes.  All states and the District of Columbia have enacted strict laws and penalties for driving under the influence and while impaired. You, the driver, are accountable for driving responsibly and obeying all motor vehicle laws of the States(s) and local jurisdictions in which you operate.  If you choose to drive impaired, and fines or penalties (including imprisonment) will be imposed upon you.

Be familiar with all aspects of your vehicle.  Before you start driving, know where everything is and how it works.  Each JLab Fleet vehicle is equipped with an owner’s manual provided by the manufacturer, in the glove compartment.  That manual provides detailed information on the care and servicing specific to your vehicle and should be reviewed before you operate the vehicle. 

Make sure other drivers see you.  Use your headlights even during daylight hours to help other drivers notice your vehicle.  Be aware and avoid the “blind spots” of other drivers.  The sides of the vehicles, especially the right sides, are the “blind spots.”

Drive with regard to the weather. 

  • At all times, and especially in bad weather, it is extremely important to inflate your tires properly and make sure there is plenty of tread.
  • Make sure your vehicle windshield wiper blades and defroster are working properly.
  • During winter months, keep your vehicle stocked with items necessary to prepare you for a winter emergency.
  • In rain, snow, sleet or fog, drive slowly, turn your headlights on low beam, turn on your fog lights of the vehicle has them, and do not use your cruise control.  There may be traffic you cannot see – try to listen for on-coming vehicles.
  • IMPORTANT – In ice and snow, your vehicle will require double the distance to stop compared to dry pavement.  Adjust the distance between you and the vehicle ahead of you, accordingly.
  • Driving can be difficult on wet or slick road surfaces.  If your vehicle is equipped with anti-lock brakes (ABS), make sure you are familiar with the manufacturer’s instructions before operating the vehicle.  If your vehicle is equipped with a conventional brake system, remember to pump your brakes gently to avoid locking the wheels.  DO NOT PUMP YOUR BRAKES ON VEHICLES EQUIPPED WITH ABS.
  • If your vehicle becomes disabled or an emergency requires you to stop on the side of a highway or public road, remember to pull off to a safe stopping location and to turn on the emergency flasher lights.