At PDQ America in White Oak, TX, not only do we provide world-class freight solutions, we promote a culture of putting safety first. In fact, as one of our company values, health and safety are our top priorities. We promote safe driving by screening carriers, teaching drivers safe practices, and staying up to date on the latest rules and regulations. Carrying out a commitment to our mission as a company, we implement transportation solutions that are both safe and efficient.
This week, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s Operation Safe Driver Week is underway (July 15-21), and law enforcement officers have their eyes peeled for unsafe driving behavior by commercial motor vehicle drivers and passenger vehicle drivers alike, according to a CVSA press release.
During Operation Safe Driver Week, law enforcement officers will be on the lookout for speeding, tailgating, distracted behaviors like texting, and other potentially dangerous driving situations.
CVSA hopes to shine a light on driver behavior, which plays a key role in a majority of crashes, combating negative behaviors through increased enforcement and education.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recently released statistics on crashes which involved large trucks and buses in 2016. These findings revealed that driver behavior played a role in 32 percent of CMV fatal crashes, and in 55 percent of passenger vehicle fatal crashes.
Speeding was the most frequently occurring driver-related factor for both of these categories. The next most common driver-related factor was distracted driving for CMV drivers, and impairment (as in exhaustion, intoxicated driving, sickness, etc.) for passenger vehicle drivers.
At PDQ America, we want you to be more than a statistic when it comes to driver behavior. To help you stay safe, consider the following safety tips for CMV drivers:
There’s no excuse. Drivers of both CMVs and passenger vehicles need to buckle up every time. Safety belts save lives, minimize injury, and keep drivers inside and in control of their vehicles if they crash. Although this is one of the simplest safety strategies, 30 percent of truck drivers involved in fatal crashes were partially or completely thrown from their vehicles.
Practice defensive driving
Truckers must be constantly on the lookout for abruptly changing road conditions, distracted driving, and motorists who don’t fully understand the operation of big trucks. Double check your mirrors frequently to ensure vehicles aren’t in your blind spots. Also, look ahead about 15 seconds to be aware of changing road conditions like upcoming traffic and work zones. Speaking of work zones…
Be especially vigilant in work zones
These areas can be exceptionally tricky, rife with potentially hazardous situations like lane changes, abrupt stops, uneven road surfaces, active workers and equipment, and confused passenger vehicle drivers. To be safe, slow down, follow all work zone signs and signals, keep your eyes peeled for the construction workers and flag crews. You should also remain aware of vehicles in your blind spots and maintain more following space than normal.
Stay safe with signals
By signaling and braking, you allow other drivers ample time to notice what you’re going to do so they can (hopefully) respond appropriately. If you need to pull off the road, be sure to use your flashers, reflective gear, and road flares to alert those driving around you.
Ditch distracted driving
If you text and drive a truck, you are 23.2 times more likely to be involved in a crash, near-crash, or unintentional lane change, so just don’t do it. This is a serious offense, as it is illegal for commercial truck drivers to text while driving. There are limitations on cell phone use: the device must be hands-free and dialed with no more than one button. However, it’s not just texting that can be a hazardous distraction. Anything that takes your eyes off the road, like eating, drinking, adjusting your GPS, or interacting with a pet can also be a potentially deadly distraction.