The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) Operation Safe Driver week will begin this Sunday on October 16 and run through Saturday, October 22. Law enforcement agencies throughout North America will engage in heightened traffic safety enforcement and education aimed at combating unsafe driving behaviors by commercial and passenger vehicles.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s “Large Truck Crash Causation Study” cites driver behavior as the critical reason for more than 88% of large truck crashes and 93% of passenger vehicle crashes. CVSA’s operation Safe Driver program was created to help to reduce the number of crashes, deaths and injuries involving large truck, busses, and cars caused by such behaviors.
Law enforcement will be on the lookout for speeding, failure to use a seat belt while operating a commercial vehicle, distracted driving, failure to obey traffic control devices, traveling too closely, improper lane change, and other unsafe driving conduct. Last year’s Operation Safe Driver Week pulled over 21,000 commercial and passenger vehicles and conducted 19,480 roadside inspections. The good news: Last year’s effort resulted in passenger vehicle drivers being cited at a 3 to 1 rate compared to commercial vehicles. Ultimately, 3,929 warnings were given out to commercial drivers along with 4,062 citations. The top five warnings and citations issued to commercial drivers in 2015 were:
- Size and weight
- Failure to use a seat belt while operating vehicle
- Failure to obey traffic control device
- Using a hand-held phone
Now is the time to make sure that you’re ready for Operation Safe Driver Week. A lot of the top warnings and citations are easy things that you can fix yourself. Here are some tips to make sure you’re prepared:
- Be Ready For a Level 1 Inspection. Ensure that all your paperwork is valid and accessible. One of the most effective ways to stay compliant and to protect yourself from violations is to do a pre-trip inspection.
- Practice Safe Driving Habits. Always use your seatbelt when operating your vehicle, follow posted speed limits, and drive for the conditions.
- Avoid Distracted Driving. Answering your phone, sending a quick text message, playing with the radio, eating while driving, etc. are all examples of distracted driving and things you should avoid. Pull over, do what you need to do, and then get back on the road. It might add a couple more minutes to your trip but it could save a life.
- Obey Hours-of-Service Regulations. HOS violations accounted for nearly half of all driver related violations in 2015. Always ensure that you’re running in compliance with the rules and regulations required for the industry.
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