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Old 20th February 2018, 13:52   #1
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Default Safe Driving Practices in Afghanistan

Hello Motorists, I am a newbie from Kerala and this is my first thread here. I neither read nor write very well, other than what my job requires (lack of patience, I know). So, please excuse any errors on my part. Trust me, I’m getting better since my ‘Team-BHP’ days for sure.

Hearty Congratulations & thanks to ‘GTO’ for the wonderful present on the 14th Birthday of ‘Team BHP’.

SAFETY IS EVERYONE’S RESPONSIBILITY” as we practice here in Afghanistan, when it comes to vehicle operations of all types and sizes, on a daily basis.

Although, I’m not sure whether these methods are feasible out in the real world conditions! Because, we address the life here is robotic and remote, and that’s 100% true to the core.

Due to being located in an active war zone (includes all other war torn countries); it’s common that the mental and physical stress level here, are far higher than anywhere else. Thus, ‘SAFETY’ plays a vital role here. As a QHSE (Quality, Health, Safety and Environment) employee, I witness at the least of 4-5 incidents every month (99% minor), and have to work on the investigation reports as well. The minimum and maximum speed limits here ranging from 8 km/h – 40 km/h, quite a surprise right?

Out here, no days pass by without discussing the ‘Daily Safety Tool Box Topic’, monthly ‘Safety Stand Down’ and occasional military/fire exercises. It’s mandatory for us to practice Combat Parking, use of a Ground Guide (if available) or apply GOAL (GET OUT AND LOOK) method for all vehicle backing operations. I will elaborate these practices here shortly. In addition, use of Hard Hats & Reflective Vests or belts, are mandatory when it comes to the ‘ATV’ operations. Employees shall neither exit nor enter the compound after dusk without having a reflective vest and or a belt on, LOL.

Most of us opt to walk whenever possible, because:-

• Every morning, the operator/driver is responsible to complete an initial walk around inspection of the vehicle, utilizing a checklist like ‘PDI’.
• Complete an AHA (Activity Hazard Analysis)
• Complete filling out the SPTP (Safety Pre Task Plan) checklist
• Document the daily vehicle utilization log; with regards to the start time, odometer reading and end time
• Apply methods that are aforementioned while backing it

I felt it odd in the very beginning and gradually became adopted to these methods and now, it’s programmed as my muscle memory and cause no inconvenience, and I drives here every day. During my vacations, everyone back home feels odd as my muscle memory actively performs without a lag!

Combat Parking: A military term referring to parking a vehicle in such a fashion to make a quick getaway in the event of a firefight. Usually consisting of backing into a parking spot upon arrival. This ensures you don't have to do a three point turn to leave when you are getting shot at. Often performed in multi-player games such as Halo.

Ground Guides: They are the extra set of eyes for the driver while backing up a vehicle in to a confined space or during less visibility conditions.

GOAL (GET OUT AND LOOK): If there is no ground guide available, apply GOAL method. It is simple as its name.

Listed below are some of the topics that we discuss it here for almost all the incidents.

Why Accidents Occur?
Every accident is caused by a breakdown in one of four areas: the operator, the tools used, the materials used, or the methods used. Often there is a breakdown in at least two areas; one being the operator and the other coming from one of the three other areas. The accident’s cause usually results from an unsafe act or an unsafe condition.

Accidents are Avoidable
Each time someone is injured, we need to ask ourselves “how did it happen?” Accidents just don’t happen, they are caused. Accidents are usually a result of someone not paying attention or not knowing how to recognize a job (or home or automobile) safety hazard. Jobs with effective safety attitudes have about a fifth as many injuries compared to those without the safety attitude.

Near Misses
Most accidents occur as a result of an unsafe condition or unsafe action coming together with a person. The end result is the person gets injured. Often unsafe acts or unsafe conditions have several misfires and the result is a near miss accident or incident. The only difference between a near miss and an accident is luck. Near misses are warnings that something or someone is not performing the job correctly. Always pay attention to near misses. Don’t let near misses repeat themselves or you may find yourself or someone else being treated for an injury that could have been avoided.

Afterthoughts and Regrets
How often have we said or done something and then later, reflecting on our action, thought to ourselves, "How could I have done that?"

• "That's how we've always done it before." (…before the accident occurred anyway.)

Pedestrian Responsibilities
Safety. It’s the responsibility of both pedestrians and drivers. Each of us is responsible for each other, whether we are on foot or on a vehicle.

Those of you who drive a car probably remember a time when you traveled some distance while your mind was elsewhere. It was an uncomfortable feeling to suddenly regain focus and realize what you’d done.

One thing pedestrians must realize is there is always a possibility of a driver momentarily losing focus. Even a driver who always sounds his horn at intersections may have his mind elsewhere one time. This is why pedestrians must look both ways before stepping into an intersection. Never cross in front of or behind a manned vehicle, whether it’s moving or stopped, without making eye contact and getting permission from the driver.

Driving is a privilege and walking is a right. But when there’s a collision, the pedestrian always ends up the loser.

Please avoid Anger as it merely one letter short of ‘DANGER

Seat Belts
You can help eliminate vehicle accidents by driving defensively. But most of all we can limit our injuries by remembering to buckle up each time we get behind the wheel. Encourage each of your passengers to wear their seat belts as well. The split second decision to buckle up could mean the difference between life and death should you be involved in an accident. Here is a statistic that may convince you to buckle up -- the forward force of an individual weighing 200 pounds involved in an accident at a speed of 45 m/h. is 8550 pounds!

Remember
Remember to ask yourself if you are following the basic common sense rules? If you aren’t following them, then take the chance and you will have or cause an accident. Keep asking yourself “how can I make my driving safer?” Doing so and you’ll probably not have a serious accident, and help prevent a serious accident for a fellow human being. Always give the right-of-way. Don’t worry about who should go first, rather who is the safest.

Last edited by cjnigesh : 20th February 2018 at 14:00. Reason: Spacing
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Old 20th February 2018, 22:44   #2
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Default Re: Safe Driving Practices in Afghanistan

Quote:
Originally Posted by cjnigesh View Post
Hello...
Glad to see such an informative post in your very first thread. Living in a combat zone must have made you extra mindful of safety - yours and others' too. Three takeaways for me:
Quote:
GOAL(Get out and Look)
Quote:
Driving is a privilege and walking is a right.
Quote:
Don’t worry about who should go first, rather who is the safest.
Welcome onboard team-bhp. Posting here too needs slightly tuned down versions of AHA and SPTP. Our very own Ground Guides will certainly help you stay safe and active, but as you rightly pointed out:

Quote:
SAFETY IS EVERYONE’S RESPONSIBILITY
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Old 21st February 2018, 00:24   #3
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Default Re: Safe Driving Practices in Afghanistan

Hey cjnigesh, those are some invaluable tips you've given there. Its true that we tempt fate when we ignore the ground rules and we're lucky that in a chaotic country like India, we dont have more accidents than we currently do. Guess our gods are looking out for us after all.

Will be very interested in hearing more about your experiences in Afghanistan. Whats the inside gossip? Is the west really keeping the war going on to get the mineral wealth? Also, are the Chinese getting very friendly with the Taliban of late? Do keep us posted on the ground reality if possible.
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Old 21st February 2018, 11:16   #4
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Default Re: Safe Driving Practices in Afghanistan

@cjnigesh, You are in a very unusual location and situation. The points you have covered in your post are relevant even in a day to day situation. Driving in India requires you to be extra alert and one would do well to apply the precautions you have listed out. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 2nd March 2018, 12:30   #5
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Default Re: Safe Driving Practices in Afghanistan

Quote:
Originally Posted by dailydriver View Post
Living in a combat zone must have made you extra mindful of safety - yours and others' too.

Welcome onboard team-bhp. Posting here too needs slightly tuned down versions of AHA and SPTP. Our very own Ground Guides will certainly help you stay safe and active, but as you rightly pointed out:

Indeed, but the same (extra mindfulness) has often reminded me of ‘Jim Carrey’ and his facial expressions.
Thank you much and yes, I will pay more attention while posting here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lalvaz View Post
Hey cjnigesh, those are some invaluable tips you've given there. Its true that we tempt fate when we ignore the ground rules and we're lucky that in a chaotic country like India, we dont have more accidents than we currently do. Guess our gods are looking out for us after all.


Will be very interested in hearing more about your experiences in Afghanistan. Whats the inside gossip? Is the west really keeping the war going on to get the mineral wealth? Also, are the Chinese getting very friendly with the Taliban of late? Do keep us posted on the ground reality if possible.

Chaotic: This word has humongous significance to INDIA’s current state in all aspects. Sure, zillions of GODs are there for a reason I think (good for us).

Seems like, you’re quite a reader. You may find an outline of the ground reality, within my introduction thread, because discussing the same here would be off the topic.

Stated ‘outline’ as I don’t have a clue either. It’s more of the same like the movie ‘Groundhog Day (1993)’, but in Afghanistan.

Thank you

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roy.S View Post
@cjnigesh, You are in a very unusual location and situation. The points you have covered in your post are relevant even in a day to day situation. Driving in India requires you to be extra alert and one would do well to apply the precautions you have listed out. Thanks for sharing!
Due to the unusual location and situation, I restrain myself from driving for the first few days of vacation, in order to digest and restore the reality.

Thank you
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