The operation of motor vehicles involves a set of tasks so outwardly mundane that the average driver hardly devotes sufficient time to discern its associated risks. However, the dangers of automotive transport perpetually haunt most roadways, as accidents are frequent and the resulting fatalities are distressingly numerous. For businesses, motor vehicle operations are occasionally unavoidable, and, in some instances, they are the crux of business itself. Helpful guidance for these practices is addressed in ANSI/ASSE Z15.1-2017: Safe Practices for Motor Vehicle Operations.
To be more specific about the absolute dangers of automobile accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are over 30,000 fatal car crashes annually in the United States alone. In each instance, there is undoubtedly a cause, and in some examples, preventable measures may have been possible. Being able to identify these issues systematically and fortifying appropriate means to safeguard the drivers and the automobiles is crucial. ANSI/ASSE Z15.1-2017 examines this and many other issues in its risk management based approach.
Overall, the ANSI/ASSE Z15.1-2017 document is purposed with providing organizations with a standard for the development of policies, procedures, and management processes to control risks associated with the operation of motor vehicles. In addition to background information, such as definitions, the standard specifies the significance of leadership in the overall motor vehicle safety program, as well as other responsibilities, emphasizing safety policies, orientation and training, communications, regulatory compliance management, recognition, and management program audits.
Furthermore, other risk management and safety considerations covered in ANSI/ASSE Z15.1-2017 are focused on the drivers, the vehicles, and, in the event of an incident, reporting and analysis. From driver selection and training to avoiding high risk driving behavior, many of these are relatively common conventions (e.g. wearing a seatbelt) and others are practiced in adherence to laws and other regulations (e.g. following the speed limit). However, some are issues often overlooked yet crucial to business motor vehicle practices and drivers in general.
An example of this would be the focus of Section 4.7 in ANSI/ASSE Z15.1-2017, titled “Fatigue Management”. Drowsy driving, as it is called by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is a major problem in the United States, having caused 72,000 crashes, 44,000 injuries, and 800 deaths in 2013. For commercial drivers and other individuals who drive for a living, there is a much higher likelihood of operating a motor vehicle under this effect. To mitigate the possibility of driver fatigue jeopardizing the safety of the driver and any other people on the road, the standard advises that, at a minimum, employees be empowered to stop and rest if they become too tired to drive safely.
ANSI/ASSE Z15.1-2017: Safe Practices for Motor Vehicle Operations is available on the ANSI Webstore.