Roll on Roll off
This is not a Karate move that Mr. Miyagi conjured up. This is the key to smooth acceleration and deceleration. It will also improve your shifting technique while operating vehicles with a manual transmission. The key is to remember to use your heel as a pivot point. Sounds simple however quite a few drivers don’t adhere to this. They use the common “on/off” throttle action. Your first and last pressure point is the heel of your foot. Place your heel on the floor board of the vehicle or entirely on the pedal if the layout allows this. Then simply roll your foot on the throttle for acceleration and roll your foot off for deceleration. This will make for a smother operation as well as ensure closing down a sticking throttle. This technique should be used for the brake pedal as well. This technique is very important for operations where there are standing passengers. Transit operators take note. Abrupt throttle and brake application are a major cause of standing passenger mishaps.
Name, Rank, and Serial number
In the case of commercial drivers that would be name, driver’s license and insurance information. I am sure most commercial drivers know not to talk to anyone after a serious commercial vehicle accident. What you may not know is that law enforcement should be included in the “anyone” category. Shocked? Surprised? Well I am here to tell you anything you may say in a statement to police can and will be used against you either in criminal court or civil court. Law enforcement may not compel you to give a statement at the time of an accident. (See Tiger Woods) Most officers who ask you “so what happened” are not expert accident investigators. Make no mistake they are professionals who have a difficult task that requires them to have a working knowledge in many areas. They all drive patrol cars, sometimes at breakneck speeds but are they all expert stunt drivers? They all are required to carry and possibly use their weapons but are they all S.W.A.T. sharpshooters? Get my point? Officers have to turn in a report usually with some kind of conclusion and recommendation. They do not like a driver holding up production just because he or she is protecting themselves and their company. I have seen many accident reports over the years where by the officer has put their own spin or interpretation on the events based on what the driver said in a statement. Often times the driver will come back and say that is not what I said or that the officer left out some parts of the statement. By doing so it changes the entire complexion of the accident. Officers will try and subtly intimidate you into giving a statement. It is a stressful moment in your career but the very future of your career may depend on how you react to this situation. Take a deep breath, be strong, and politely decline to give a statement. It will be difficult. After all the officer is carrying a gun. Make sure you are complying with company policy first and foremost. If your employer requires you to make a statement then do so. Remember we are talking about serious accidents where injury or possible loss of life has occurred. Please don’t make the officer’s life difficult over a fender bender. Insurance companies can sort that out. Your best course of action is to avoid accidents. If you find yourself in this situation, keep your wits about you, emotions in check and lips sealed.