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Environmental Health and Safety

LSUHSC-NO Defensive Driver Course

Revised: October 19, 2016

It is presumed that all LSUHSC-NO employees travel at least occasionally in the performance of their duties, unless/until specifically exempted in writing by their Supervisor. If you feel like you do not travel on state business, please refer to this webpage on how to be removed from the driver safety requirements

About This Course

The Defensive Driving course is designed to both introduce and reinforce safe driving techniques.

Target Audience: State employees whose duties may include driving State owned/rented vehicles or their own Personal Owned Vehicle (POV).

Prerequisites: A properly classed and valid driver's license.

Completion of this course is the first step of a three step process to become qualified to drive on state business or to renew your qualification to drive on state business.

Qualification Process

There are 3 steps:

  1. Completing this online course or attend an equivalent classroom course.
  2. Completing a Driver Authorization Form (DA 2054) and submit electronically to the LSUHSC-NO Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) Department for recordation (only required for new employees).
  3. Receiving a satisfactory report on review of your driving record.

Training Requirements

To maintain qualification to drive on official state business, employees must repeat this course every three years.

You will be prompted by KDS (our online training system) when it is time for you to renew.

Definitions

State or University Business - Any legal and lawful activity conducted/engaged in, by an employee or agent of State business, on behalf of and benefiting the state (University) in the course and scope of their duties. Some examples of State business would be if you:

State Vehicle - Any licensed vehicle owned, leased and/or rented by the State of Louisiana.

High Risk Driver - Individuals having three or more convictions, guilty pleas, and/or nolo contendere pleas for moving violations, or, individuals having a single conviction, guilty plea, and/or nolo contendere plea for operating a vehicle while intoxicated, hit and run driving, vehicular negligent injury, reckless operation of a vehicle or similar violation within a one year period.

Vehicular Accident - Any incident in which the vehicle comes in contact with another vehicle, person, object, or animal that results in death, personal injury, or property damage, regardless of: who was injured, what was damaged or to what extent, where it occurred, or who was responsible.

Example Trip

You and several coworkers must attend a meeting in another office building. John unlocks the doors of the state vehicle and gets in the driver's seat. Mary gets in the front seat and fastens her seatbelt. Dave and you sit in the back seat.

As John starts to back out of the parking place, his cell phone begins to ring. As John reaches for his cell phone, Mary says, "John, don't you think you ought to ..."

What did John forget to do?

  1. Perform a vehicle “walk-around inspection.”
  2. Fasten seatbelt.
  3. Ensure all passengers have fastened seatbelts.
  4. Check/adjust position of all mirrors, seats, and other internal controls.
  5. Verify that all passenger doors were closed and locked.
  6. Turn off cell phone to prevent distractions.

Did You Know?

Employees are not permitted to use wireless telecommunication devices while driving in state-owned, leased, or private vehicle that is being driven on state business. This includes writing, sending, or reading a text-based communication and engaging in a call. Use of a wireless telecommunication device is permissible for passengers in such vehicles. Exceptions:

Distracted Driver

As John reaches for his cell phone, Mary says, "John, don't you think you ought to let that roll to voice mail?“

John replies, "Well, it might be important!" as he returns his hand to the wheel.

As Mary starts to reply, Dave interrupts her, "But John, what's more important than everyone's safety? I had a cousin who was hurt in an accident. The other driver was tailgating and wasn't paying attention. Well, she was paying attention, alright... but not to traffic. She was too busy watching the road construction work and hit my cousin so hard he was knocked into the car in front of him. Thank goodness he had his seat belt on or he would have had more than just bruises."

Did You Know?

More than seven out of ten drivers rate themselves as better than average drivers. However, nine out of ten vehicle accidents are caused by driver error.

How do you rate yourself?

Top Driving Distractions

  1. Outside person, object, or event
  2. Adjusting the radio/CD player
  3. Other passengers
  4. Unknown distractions
  5. Objects moving in vehicle
  6. Other device or object.
  7. Adjusting vehicle climate controls
  8. Eating and drinking
  9. Using or dialing cell phone
  10. Smoking
  11. Aggressive driver

Two Second Rule

"I know about tailgating! Look at that jerk behind me. He doesn't have a clue about following the two second rule!" John grumbles.

"Two second rule? What's that?" you ask.

"The two second rule is really important and easy to remember," Mary answers. "See that shadow from the billboard over the road? When the car in front of us comes out of the shadow, start counting one-thousand-one, one-thousand-two. If our front bumper enters the shadow before we get to one-thousand-two, then John is following too closely. But that's just the rule under good driving conditions."

Did You Know?

You can't do much about stop-and-go traffic, but you can stop tailgating. A pattern of "rabbiting" through traffic with sudden stops and squealing accelerations wastes ten percent of your fuel and increases wear on tires and brakes.

Four factors that should increase the time in the two second rule are:

Impaired Drivers

"Just let him go around you, John," Mary continues. "You never know what kind of driver he is! The newspaper recently did a series about impaired driving. Did you know that other types of driving impairments are just as dangerous as driving while drunk? One of the articles I read talked about how some over-the-counter medications could impair your driving as much as some prescription drugs.

Did You Know?

An impaired driver is one that is unable to effectively drive due to drugs, alcohol, sleep deprivation, or other factors.

Every 30 minutes someone is killed by a drunk driver and every 2 minutes someone is injured.

High Risk Driving

"Yeah," you say, "you don't need to be messed up to be a dangerous driver."

"I remember when I was a student worker," said Dave. "The guy before me was fired because he got too many traffic tickets."

"Really?" you ask. "Just for too many tickets? What did he do, get a DWI?"

"No," Dave said, "he just had a lead foot. I think he got three tickets for speeding in less than six months. He was a high risk driver. When I heard about that, I started paying a lot more attention to the speed limit signs!"

Mary asks, "John, isn't that our exit up there?"

"Yeah, it is, and I need to get over," John replies while trying to change lanes.

Merging/Passing

It is illegal to pass (or make a lane change) when:

When completing a pass or merge, it is safe to change lanes when the front grill of the vehicle you are passing is visible in your rear view mirror.

The exit John needs is just ahead. He is driving on a six-lane interstate in the center lane. He needs to take a right-hand exit. The first thing John needs to do prior to getting over is put his blinker on. This communicates his intentions to other drivers (and is the law in most states). Next, he should check his mirrors and be aware of blind spots. Finally, he should adjust his speed accordingly and remember to apply the two second rule.

Did You Know?

Passing and merging are similar in nature and can be two of the most dangerous maneuvers while driving. Interacting with many other vehicles and changing driving conditions can be very dangerous.

Before considering passing, ask yourself, "Is it worth it?"

Cushion of Safety

As John takes the exit, Dave says, “I’ve always found it helpful to maintain a reasonable amount of space all around my vehicle, not just in front, sort of a safety buffer or cushion of safety. This can be done by constantly scanning my surroundings. I check my rear view mirror, watch for possible red light runners, look from side to side, and glance at the car immediately ahead and several cars in front of it.”

You speak up. "I've learned several things today about being an alert driver just by listening to y'all. There were several things that were mentioned that I'd forgotten about or wasn't aware of."

"The question I always ask myself when I'm on the road is, 'Is it really worth it?'" Dave counters. "Sometimes people think they have so much to gain from being in a hurry. After what happened to my cousin I always try to maintain a cushion of safety between me and everybody else while driving."

As John arrives at the parking lot, a pedestrian starts walking between the parked cars.

"John," Mary exclaims, "watch out for that woman! She's not paying attention to where she's going."

"I see her. She's not anywhere near the crosswalk, but she is acting like she has the right of way," John replies.

"Sounds like that cushion of safety idea applies to everything around you - including people," you say.

"You know, you're right," John says as he slows for the pedestrian and pulls into a parking place. "I never thought of it that way. I didn't think I was a bad driver, but this trip has made me realize that I can be a more defensive driver."

"Well," Mary says, "now at least you see the importance of defensive driving. After all," she says with a smile, "you did manage to get us here safely!"

Vehicular Accidents

In the event of accident, we are required to send documentation to the Louisiana Office of Risk Management within 48 hours of the accident (weekends included).

Call the local Police to report the accident and obtain a traffic accident report when available. If the accident involves an LSUHSC-owned vehicle, occurred on LSUHSC grounds, or involved an injury or death, notify University Police at 568-8999 or 568-8270.

Complete and submit an on-line fillable DA 2041 form within 48 hours, weekends included (e.g., if the accident occurs at 4:00 P.M. on a Friday, you must submit the DA 2041 by 4:00 P.M. on Sunday). Alternatively, to expedite submittal if the DA 2041 form has been completed by hand, it may be scanned and emailed to DA2041@lsuhsc.edu and 6410StateofLouisiana@sedgwickcms.com

Include a copy of the local police traffic accident report with the DA 2041 submission. However, if the local police traffic accident report is not immediately available, submit the DA 2041 without it and follow-up later when received. Due to the time constraints on reporting, the DA 2041 can be submitted by either the employee or the supervisor.

To facilitate timely completion of the DA 2041, keep a hardcopy of the Vehicle Accident Reporting Quick Guide in your vehicle.

Completion of the DA 2000 form is not required for vehicle accidents.

Failure of a qualified driver to report any vehicular accident may be cause for suspension of Driver Authorization

The supervisor (or safety coordinator, if appropriate) may consider what corrective action(s) may be necessary for accidents.

Agency heads, or the designee, will review the Accident Report Form, the Uniform Motor Vehicle Traffic Accident Report (police report – if one was completed), and the Driver Authorization Form (DA 2054). These requirements must be met whether the vehicle is government, personal or rental.

Moving Violations

Employees are required to immediately report any moving violation(s) or revocation of their driver’s license to their supervisor, but no later than the next scheduled work day. The supervisor will then notify EH&S at jwrig9@lsuhsc.edu. Reporting violations applies whether on state or personal/private business, and whether in a state or personal vehicle. “Moving violations” require the completion of remedial driver safety training within 90 days of the violation to maintain “Qualified” driver status.

“High Risk” violations will result in a minimum 12 month suspension of authorization to drive on official University business. EH&S will notify the individual and their department head or designated official if they require remedial training or are considered “High Risk”.

See the High Risk Driver Policy for instructions on early reinstatement of driving privileges for operational reasons.

Qualification Process

For most employees, qualifying to drive on state business is a three step process. For drivers with a license from a state other than Louisiana, there is one additional step.

Refer to the Driver Qualification Process policy for more information.

  1. Take the Test- you must score an 80% to receive credit for this training. You may retake the test as many times as you wish.
  2. Electronically complete, sign, and submit the online Driver Authorization DA-2054 form (new employees only)- The completed form is sent electronically to the Environmental Health and Safety Department.
  3. ;Confirm that you are not a High Risk Driver by examining your Official Driving Record (ODR). (This step is performed by EH&S personnel.)

ODR Review

Once your 2054 form is received by EH&S, they will check your driving record (ODR) to confirm that it meets our Insurer’s criteria.

Note that if an employee requires remedial training as the result of a moving violation(s) the employee and supervisor will be notified by email that the employee must complete remedial training within 90 days to remain qualified to drive.

Note that if an employee becomes designated as high risk the employee and supervisor will be notified by email that the employee is no longer qualified to drive on state business.

Completion of the Steps

When all steps are complete, the employee will receive an email from EH&S with notification that the employee is “Qualified” to drive. The employee shall provide a copy of this email to his/her supervisor.

If you send your 2054 form to EH&S and do not receive your email notification within a month, contact Environmental Health and Safety.

Additional Qualification Step for Out-of-State Driver License Holders

As an out-of-state license holder, you are required to obtain a CERTIFIED copy of your Official Driving Record (ODR) from your home state and have it sent to LSUHSC EH&S.

Once your ODR is received and checked by EH&S, you will receive a Qualification email good for 12 months. Provide a copy of this email to your supervisor.

To maintain qualification, you must have your ODR sent to EH&S annually, 30 days prior to the expiration of your Qualification email. After your ODR is reviewed, you will receive a Qualification email good for another 12 months.

What Have You Learned?

You should now be more aware of safe driving concepts and hazardous situations while driving, including:

Additional Links

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Their mission is to save lives, prevent injuries and reduce economic costs due to road traffic crashes, through education, research, safety standards and enforcement activity.

Liberty Mutual is a good example of the many insurance websites that are available. Contact your own insurer for their internet resources.

Virtual Bar - By entering your sex, weight, number and type of drinks consumed, you can quickly learn how alcohol affects your individual BAC. The Virtual Bar program tells users the blood alcohol concentration.

Governors Highway Safety Association (GSHA) GHSA is the state's voice on highway safety.

Any Questions?

Environmental Health and Safety

450A South Claiborne Avenue - Room 216

New Orleans, LA 70112

Phone: (504) 568-4500

Fax: (504) 568-5185

Email: SafetyTraining@lsuhsc.edu