POWER OF DATA BLOG

Fleet Safety: Following Too Closely

Changing Driver Behavior
Dec 07/2016 Published by:

Proper following distance is one of the most fundamental aspects of safe driving yet it is still one of the most common risky behaviors we see at DriveCam. That was true 30 years ago when I first entered the field of driver safety, and it is still true today. For some drivers, it’s a training issue. They just never learned the right way to do it. For others, it is an issue of belief. They don’t believe it is possible to maintain proper space and still get to their destination on time.

It can get pretty frustrating for those running into challenges getting drivers to improve following distance. The resistance can wear you down and sometimes you may not feel like fighting the battle. But in the words of basketball coach Jimmy Valvano in a speech he gave on ESPN after being diagnosed with cancer, “Don’t give up, don’t ever give up.” This is the attitude you need to have when it comes to getting drivers to improve their following distance. Keep grinding away. You may not know it, but it is having an impact.

I recently received an email from a co-worker that re-energized me on the commitment to getting others to maintain a safe distance. This is a co-worker who has had to put up with my rants on following distance for many years.  Here’s his email:

“My wife was driving to work this morning going north on the 5 from Carlsbad to Irvine. She started to observe the young lady in the car in front of her following too close and hitting her brakes at the last second to avoid hitting the car in front of her. Finally, this young lady had to swerve to avoid hitting another car and ended up ramming the k-rail and being spun 180 degrees at 70 MPH facing my wife head-on when she finally stopped. The resulting collision involved 5 separate cars, including two cars behind my wife that were following each other too closely.  Fortunately, my wife was the only one who drove away unscathed without a scratch on her car. When I spoke with my wife, she said, “…the only reason I didn’t end up in the collision was because I was paying attention to my following distance after all the stories you’ve told me…

Thanks Del…your little voice in the back of my head (and now my wife’s) probably saved her from a devastating accident.”

You may never have the good fortune of such feedback but your efforts are having the same impact with your co-workers. Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up!


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