The Element Fleet blog is written by various fleet experts we've invited to participate. They offer their opinions and comments on issues related to fleet management, maintenance, telematics, trucks, vehicle accident management, driver safety and more. You also have the opportunity to respond or ask questions. So go ahead and join the conversation.
Just a note: The opinions of the writers don’t necessarily reflect the position of Element Fleet Management on these subjects.
As we look forward to celebrating Canada Day and the Fourth of July this week by firing up the barbeque and holding parties for family and friends, keep in mind that summer celebrations are the second worst time of the year for drunken driving accidents (New Year is first).
Almost 11,000 traffic deaths each year involve a driver with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. Before your drink and drive, please remember this:
- The legal limit of alcohol concentration for drivers in all the United States and Canada is .08
- Alcohol retards a judgment and causes loss of coordination
- Alcohol impairs vision and prevents concentration
- Alcohol promotes a false sense of confidence in one’s abilities
Almost 50% of children 14 and under who are killed in alcohol-related crashes are passengers in vehicles driven by drunken drivers. These findings contradict a widely held perception that kids are usually killed by drunken drivers who hit the cars they are in. The cost of drinking and driving is too high a price to pay.
State and local law enforcement agencies will be working to reduce alcohol-related traffic deaths with promotions to raise public awareness of the dangers of impaired driving.
If you see an impaired driver, pull over to a safe place, stop and call 911 to report it.
If you decide to drink, please designate a driver prior to attending holiday celebrations.
Element Fleet Ride & Drive
- Look for stopped or slow moving traffic in the distance.
- Watch for road hazards such as stalled or wrecked vehicles in the travel lanes or on the shoulder.
- Be aware of upcoming work zones, where lanes may be shifted or redirected
- Watch for police giving someone a ticket, attending to a stalled vehicle or chasing someone down the highway.
- At night, drive slowly enough to stop within the distance of your headlights. Driving any faster is referred to as “over driving” the headlights, which is potentially dangerous.
- Keep an eye out for debris in the roadway like alligators (tire tread thrown off by trucks) or wooden boards or other trash.
- Notice any pedestrians walking along the side of the road or kids on the overpass with glass bottles or rocks who may be looking for a thrill as they target your large vehicle.
- Be careful of reckless or unobservant drivers who may pull out suddenly in front of you at a crossroads. Be prepared to take evasive action if necessary.
- When police are on the highway, they are there for a reason – and it often causes havoc with traffic flow. If you are looking far into the distance you can usually spot the warning signs of slowing traffic and flashing brake lights far in advance.
- The increasing importance of safety and productivity in van and truck upfitting. Fleet managers are giving increased consideration as to whether an upfit will be ergonomically safe for the driver over the service life of the vehicle.
They’re also increasingly focused on how upfits can be designed to enhance productivity. In our Truck Excellence team, we look at what clients are doing with their trucks. Are they climbing in and out of them numerous times a day? Do they have particular needs for servicing their own clients? At the Red Cross, for instance, the people driving the vehicles are not professional drivers – they’re nurses, aid workers, etc. These workers have a dual role. As companies push to meet their bottom lines, they’re considering alternatives to get the job done. They want the upfitting to accommodate that and make it safe, comfortable, and productive for the driver.
- Customized re-designs of interior packages. Clients turn to us and say, “What can we do to redesign?” We look at what they’re hauling, their requirements or the vehicle itself (how much room for payload, etc.), what hours they operate, whether there’s an option in terms of the body’s material, and make recommendations. For the Red Cross, for example, we wanted to get out of being classified as a DOT vehicle and into a lighter GVWR, but haul the same product.”
- Increase specification of LED Lighting. One very specific upfitting trend we’ve noticed is a growing interest in LED lighting. It takes less energy and provides better lumen, more of a maintenance-free operation, and lasts longer.
- Try driving a big truck using our virtual reality truck simulator – test your skills in this video game-like immersion experience!
- Improve your fleet strategy and get personalized tips from our experts about reducing your fleet’s total cost of ownership – discover what you could be doing more effectively.