Support grows for reintroduced legislation aimed at curbing distracted driving

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.

Don't drive distracted sign

Washington — The American Trucking Associations is backing recently reintroduced bipartisan legislation intended to help states reduce distracted driving.

In a letter dated March 26 and addressed to leaders of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee and the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, ATA Vice President of Safety Policy Dan Horvath calls the Safe to Drive Act (S. 195 and H.R. 762) “a tremendous opportunity to focus greater resources and attention to accidents that our professional drivers cannot easily anticipate: those caused by distracted passenger motorists.”

Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), along with Reps. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), Mike Gallagher (R-WI) and Steve Cohen (D-TN), in February reintroduced the legislation, which would mandate the Department of Transportation allocate up to 25% of available grant funding toward national priority safety program grants to states that pass legislation banning driver use of mobile devices. Funds would be used to enforce such laws and for distracted driving education programs.

Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that in 2019, 3,142 fatalities occurred as a result of traffic incidents involving distracted driving. In the letter, Horvath cites additional NHTSA data showing this figure marked a 9.9% increase from the previous year.

“In commercial trucking, we require drivers to keep their eyes on the road ahead at all times – and we should expect the same vigilance of every motorist on the road,” he writes. “Sadly, convenient access to social media and streaming services has only increased the number of potential road hazards, leading to increases in the quantity and severity of distracted driving incidents.”

In an ATA press release, commercial motor vehicle driver Steve Fields voiced his dismay over the various distracted driving behaviors he has witnessed.

“I have seen everything from texting to putting makeup on, to even reading a newspaper while driving,” he said. “Taking your eyes off of the road for just two seconds compromises highway safety. Anything we can do to reduce distraction is a good thing.”

In a separate release, Klobuchar said the legislation “will help ensure states have the resources to create safer roads for all and, ultimately, save lives.”


McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, DOT and ADOT and ensure your drivers and your vehicles operate safely and efficiently.

Call us Today at 888-758-4757 or email us at info@mccrarencompliance.com to schedule your free FMCSA Compliance Assessment.

National Work Zone Awareness Week 2021

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.

nwzaw2021poster_18x24.jpg
Photo: National Work Zone Awareness Week

Washington — National Work Zone Awareness Week is set for April 26-30, with a national kickoff event – hosted by the Michigan Department of Transportation – planned for 11 a.m. Eastern on April 27.

The theme for this year’s event is “Drive Safe. Work Safe. Save Lives.” It serves as a reminder that work zones “need everyone’s undivided attention,” safety begins with workers who are dedicated to safety, and all stakeholders can work together to “achieve zero deaths” on the roads and in work zones.

April 28 will be “Go Orange Day” to remember those who’ve lost their lives in work zones. To show support for their families and friends, organizers encourage everyone to wear orange. Michigan OSHA implores employers to use the week “as an opportunity to speak with their employees in all industry sectors about the hazards in the roadway.”

According to the Federal Highway Administration, 842 people were killed in work zones in 2019 – up from 757 the previous year. Worker fatalities in construction zones also increased to 135 in 2019 from 124 in 2018.

NWZAW is an annual event. Since 1999, FHWA has partnered with the American Traffic Safety Services Association and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials to promote work zone safety, adding other transportation partners through the years.


McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

NSC estimates 724 people will die in roadway crashes over Christmas, New Year’s holidays

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.

See the source imageItasca, IL — An estimated 340 people will be killed on the nation’s roads during the Christmas holiday weekend, and another 384 over New Year’s weekend. Many of those lives could be saved, however, if travelers buckled up, according to the National Safety Council.

All vehicle occupants should wear their seat belts – doing so could save as many as 287 lives over both holiday periods, the council estimates. Additionally, parents and guardians are advised to check child car seats to ensure they’re properly installed.

The Christmas holiday period begins at 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 24, and ends at 11:59 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 27. The New Year’s holiday period begins at 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 31, and ends at 11:59 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 3.

Driving sober also will also play a critical role in saving lives, as alcohol typically is involved in 37% and 39% of traffic fatalities over the Christmas and New Year’s holiday periods, respectively, NSC says.

Other recommendations:

“A safe travel season could help instill much-needed hope as we start a new year and close an unrelenting one,” NSC President and CEO Lorraine M. Martin said in a press release. “We can all do our part by buckling up, driving sober, slowing down, avoiding distractions and looking out for one another.”


McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

A safe drive

Scott-driving-2.jpg

Photo: Jennifer Yario

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of workplace death. Preliminary estimates released in May by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show a 1.2% decrease in motor vehicle-related deaths in 2019 from the previous year.

“While we are heading in the right direction, more work needs to be done to ensure safety on our roadways,” NSC says. Keep it safe every time you get behind the wheel by following these best practices from NSC:

  • Adjust your mirrors to limit your blind spots.
  • Program your GPS before you leave.
  • Set your cellphone to “Do Not Disturb” and put it and any other distracting devices or items away.
  • Adjust your seat so you can reach any knobs and switches.
  • Have an emergency kit stocked and stored in your vehicle. Inspect it before setting off.
  • Make sure you’re in the right head space to drive – free of impairment, distraction and frustration.
  • Obey all traffic signs and posted speed limits.
  • Use your signals and lights when driving.
  • Give pedestrians the right of way.
  • Don’t drive if you’re tired. Try to take a nap before getting behind the wheel.
  • Drive slowly and cautiously in parking lots and garages.
  • Check the potential side effects of your medications before getting behind the wheel.
  • Stop for breaks on long driving trips.
  • Buckle up.
  • Leave yourself enough time to safely reach your destination.

“Any drop in motor vehicle deaths should be well received, but the ultimate goal we need to reach is zero,” NSC says.

Operation Safe Driver Week slated for July 12-18

osd.jpg
Photo: Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance

Greenbelt, MD — Law enforcement officers are expected to keep an extra sharp watch for commercial and passenger vehicle drivers engaging in unsafe behaviors July 12-18 during the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s annual Operation Safe Driver Week.

Officers will be looking for drivers who are texting, following too closely, not wearing seat belts or maneuvering in otherwise unsafe manners, while placing added emphasis on speeding.

A May 12 CVSA press release cites recent findings from the Governors Highway Safety Association showing that state highway officials nationwide “are seeing a severe spike in speeding” as traffic volume has decreased as a result of quarantines and stay-at-home orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Preliminary estimates from the National Safety Council show that, in March, the rate of motor vehicle deaths in the United States was 14% higher than in March 2019 despite fewer drivers being on the road.

CMV and passenger vehicle drivers in North America received nearly 47,000 citations and around 88,000 warnings during last year’s Operation Safe Driver Week, per data collected from law enforcement personnel. Citations and warnings related to speeding were most common, with CMV drivers receiving 1,454 citations and 2,126 warnings, and passenger vehicle drivers receiving 16,102 citations and 21,001 warnings.

“It’s essential that this enforcement initiative, which focuses on identifying and deterring unsafe driving behaviors such as speeding, go on as scheduled,” CVSA President John Samis said in the release. “As passenger vehicle drivers are limiting their travel to necessary trips and many [CMV] drivers are busy transporting vital goods to stores, it’s more important than ever to monitor our roadways for safe transport.”

House lawmakers call for automatic emergency braking on new commercial trucks, buses

Photo: Chesky_W/iStockphoto

Washington — Automatic emergency braking would be a standard feature on all new commercial motor vehicles, including large trucks, under legislation introduced in July by Reps. Jesús “Chuy” García (D-IL) and Hank Johnson (D-GA). Read more

Sharing the road safely: New report details trucker concerns amid new marijuana laws

Arlington, VA — Concerned about truck drivers sharing the roads with passenger vehicle drivers who are under the influence of marijuana in states where recreational and medicinal use is legal, the American Transportation Research Institute has released a report detailing methods to identify and deter impaired driving.

Published March 13, Marijuana Legalization and Impaired Driving: Solutions for Protecting Our Roadways also addresses safety issues related to marijuana-impaired driving, a top study priority of ATRI’s Research Advisory Committee.

Photo: Aneese/iStockphoto

Continue Reading»