Operation Safe Driver
JULY 14-20, 2019
The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) is holding its Annual Operation Safe Driver Week during the week of July 14 – 20, 2019. First launched in 2007, the event aims to reduce crashes caused by unsafe behaviors of automobile and commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers. This year law enforcement officers will be focused on speeding, but they will also be on the lookout for aggressive driving, failure to use a safety belt, distracted driving, failure to obey traffic control devices, following too closely and improper lane changes. Research shows that automobile drivers, especially young people ages 17 to 24 years old, unnecessarily endanger themselves by failing to recognize that trucks and cars differ in their handling characteristics. As a result, roughly 70 percent of collisions involving large trucks and cars are the fault of the automobile driver. Operation Safe Driver has two main campaigns to educate drivers:
Teens and Trucks – to educate youth drivers about how to drive safely around large truck and buses.
Defeat Distracted Driving – to educate CMV drivers about the dangers of distracted driving and how to avoid becoming distracted while on our roadways.
TIPS FOR CMV DRIVERS
- Get enough sleep – sleep deprivation and fatigue can cause lapses in attention, slowed awareness and impaired judgment.
- Before departure – inspect your vehicle and load securement. Mirrors should be clean and adjusted properly.
- Maintain a safe following distance; use the 3 – 5 second rule.
- Stay in your lane as long as possible to reduce crash risk, and make lane changes only when necessary and safe.
- Focus on your driving! Avoid cell phone use, eating, or other activities that can remove your attention from the road.
TIPS FOR AUTO DRIVERS
- It can take nearly 1/10 of a mile for a loaded truck to stop, so never cut in front of a truck. You or someone in the next lane could be killed as a result of your driving.
- Keep a safety cushion around trucks. Try to leave a 10-car length gap when in front of a truck and 20 – 25 car lengths when behind a truck. An average automobile traveling at 55 MPH takes about 140’ to stop.
- Pass trucks quickly to increase visibility and reduce dangers associated with lingering beside a truck.
- Only change lanes when you can see both of the truck’s headlights in your rearview mirror.
- Check a truck’s mirrors – if you are following a truck and you cannot see the driver’s face in the truck’s side mirrors, the truck driver cannot see you.
VP, Transportation & Logistics Risk Control – Duluth, GA
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