Safety is a trucking company’s and its driver’s highest priority. The goal is delivering goods on schedule with zero harm to truckers or the general public. Federal, state, and local laws combined with carrier safety guidelines are producing safer roadways. Truckers are proud of their safety records and want to keep them that way. Each year, there is a push to keep safe driving top of mind for all drivers in July. Here’s what Safe Driver Week 2021 during July 11-17 means for truckers
Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA)
The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) mission is to improve commercial motor vehicle safety and uniformity in Canada, Mexico, and the United States by providing guidance and education to enforcement, industry professionals, and policymakers. (Source: cvsa.org)
Operation Safe Driver
Operation Safe Driver is a CVSA program to reduce deaths and injuries involving large trucks, buses, and cars due to unsafe driver behaviors. CVSA comprises local, state, provincial, territorial, and federal commercial motor vehicle safety officials and industry representatives.
The Operation Safe Driver campaign, launched in 2007, is the annual one-week enforcement and educational blitz to reduce the number of deaths and injuries resulting from crashes involving large trucks, buses, and cars. The goal remains to educate all drivers about ways to share the roads safely.
Operation Safe Driver activities include:
- Increasing commercial vehicle and non-commercial vehicle traffic enforcement
- Safety belt enforcement and driver roadside inspections
- Improving driver regulatory compliance
- Implementing commercial driver educational and awareness programs to trucking industry carriers
- Educating youth about safely sharing the roads with large trucks and buses
- Increasing awareness to the general motoring public about safe operations around commercial motor vehicles
Operation Safe Driver Week 2021
During Operation Safe Driver Week, law enforcement agencies across North America engage in heightened traffic safety enforcement and education aimed at combating unsafe driving behaviors by both commercial motor vehicle and passenger-vehicle drivers. Activities are held across the United States, Canada, and Mexico to increase commercial vehicle and non-commercial vehicle traffic enforcement, safety belt enforcement, driver roadside inspections, and driver regulatory compliance. (cvsa.org)
The focus area for Operation Safe Driver Week 2021 is speeding because:
- Speeding was a factor in 26% of all traffic fatalities in 2018, killing 9,378 people or an average of more than 25 people per day.
- Data shows that even a 10 mph (16 km/h) increase in speed ups the risk of a crash by 9.1%.
- Speeding continues to be the number one cited driver-related factor in fatal highway crashes.
Operation Safe Driver Week 2020 Results
Law enforcement personnel observed 66,421 drivers engaging in unsafe driver behaviors on roadways and issued 71,343 warnings and citations. Despite the challenges associated with the pandemic, 3,681 enforcement officers from 55 Canadian and U.S. jurisdictions interacted with 29,921 commercial motor vehicle drivers and 36,500 passenger vehicle drivers.
A total of 4,119 people died in large truck crashes in 2019. 16% of these deaths were truck occupants; 67% were occupants and other passenger vehicles. (iihs.org)
How Safe Driver Week 2021 Benefits Truckers
A commercial motor vehicle driver with a reckless driving violation has a 114% greater likelihood of being involved in a crash. The CVSA and Knight Transportation urge you not to be one of those statistics.
Drivers should be aware that law enforcement personnel will be on the lookout for commercial motor vehicle drivers and passenger vehicle drivers engaging in dangerous driver behaviors. Drivers engaging in speeding, aggressive driving, distracted driving, failure to use a seatbelt, following too closely, failure to obey traffic control devices, drunk or drugged driving should expect law enforcement to pull them over.
How to Participate in Safe Driver Week 2021
Truck drivers can help make our roadways safe by following these tips to avoid the dangers of aggressive driving every time:
- Allow ample time to get to your destination safely.
- Obey all posted speed limits and slow down if conditions warrant a slower speed.
- Avoid tailgating. Following too closely reduces a driver’s visibility and reaction time.
- Avoid passing a vehicle unless there is plenty of time and space to do so safely.
- Refrain from making obscene gestures or use your horn out of anger.
- Avoid provoking other drivers. If another driver is acting aggressively, don’t take the bait.
- Remember the three Bs: Be courteous, Be patient, Be forgiving.
- Buckle up. Seat belts save lives.
Final Thoughts on Safe Driver Week 2021
“Law enforcement is looking at all vehicle operations in and around a commercial motor vehicle. Several reports have shown that a passenger car was responsible for most fatal crashes with large trucks and buses. Operation Safe Driver emphasizes the importance to passenger car operators driving safely around commercial motor vehicles because of the inherent longer stopping distances and truck driver blind spots,” explains Jake Elovirta, CVSA Director of Enforcement Programs.
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