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Safe Driving: 3 Tips for Avoiding Accidents (and OSHA Citations)

Amanda Rawls /

Vehicle accidents are a common workforce safety issue in the automotive industry. Collisions can cause deaths and severe injuries as well as major damage to property and equipment.

Plus, they tend to result in significant fines from the Occupational Safety and Health and Administration.

Fortunately, most vehicle accidents are avoidable. To improve safe driving habits and reduce the chance of an accident, always do the following:

1. Practice good housekeeping and recordkeeping. 

For many dealerships, accidents frequently occur at one or a handful of problem areas. Maybe there’s a busy intersection on the lot or an obstruction at a corner creating a large blindspot. Look for and eliminate potential hazards proactively, and address issues as soon as there’s an incident. Employees are sometimes aware of these problems before health and safety managers are, so encourage the members of your workforce to speak up if they’ve witnessed an accident or noticed a hazard.

2. Be mindful of where vehicles are parked.

Drivers should respect all signs and markers, and never leave a vehicle in a spot where it shouldn’t be parked—regardless of how quickly they intend to return. An improperly parked vehicle can increase the likelihood of collisions, as other drivers don’t expect the vehicle to be there or can’t see it, and may cause serious problems if there’s an emergency, e.g. if the vehicle is obstructing a fire lane.

3. Look out for speeding and distracted driving.

Drivers should obey speed limit signs (make sure to post these if you haven’t already), watch out for pedestrians, and never look at a mobile device, fill out paperwork, or engage in other activities while operating the vehicle. Discourage multitasking. No accident is worth a couple minutes saved.

For more health and safety guidance—and tips for staying on OSHA’s good side—visit KPA’s Resources Library.

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