Distracted Driving Awareness Month

First published by National Safety Council

Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Photo: NSC

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month and new NSC estimates show that our roads are the most dangerous they’ve been in years; on a typical day, eight people are killed and hundreds more are injured in distraction-affected crashes. Your workers face distracted driving risks on every trip, from the driveway to the parking lot and back home again.

This April, team with NSC to spread the word that distracted driving, including hands-free phone use and infotainment systems, puts everyone at risk. Sign up for free, ready-to-use resources to create a distracted driving program that engages your workforce and reminds everyone to #JustDrive.

“Drivers using cellphones are four times more likely to crash, and hands-free phone use offers no safety benefit,” the council says.

Be a focused driver.

What’s that? NSC says a focused driver:

  • Adjusts vehicle controls such as mirrors, seat, radio and air temperature before driving.
  • Programs the GPS before leaving.
  • Plans ahead – determines routes, directions and checks traffic conditions before departing.
  • Doesn’t multitask behind the wheel.
  • Doesn’t talk on a cellphone – even hands-free – or interact with the vehicle’s infotainment system.
  • Doesn’t reach down or behind the seat, pick up items from the floor, or clean the inside of the window while driving.
  • Doesn’t eat or drink while behind the wheel.

Take the NSC Just Drive Pledge

Commit to driving distraction-free by taking the NSC Just Drive Pledge and help us make the roads safer for everyone with a donation to our lifesaving mission.


McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, USDOT 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.

Prevent dump truck tip-overs

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Prevent dump truck tip-overs Tips

Photo: Missouri Department of Transportation Flickr

Because of their high center of gravity, dump trucks can easily become unstable and tip over.

“Many factors contribute to dump truck tip-overs depending on the worksite and the type of truck used,” the Texas Department of Insurance Division of Workers’ Compensation explains. “However, the main hazard is related to the stability of the end-dump unit when the box is in the raised position. When the center of gravity of the box and load is not between the unit’s frame rails, there is a risk of tip-over.”

Some common factors that can cause tip-overs are operating on uneven or soft ground or a slope, materials being loaded unevenly, or the load doesn’t flow during dumping. “Sometimes material does not move out of the top portion of the box or does not flow out of one side of the top portion as expected,” TDI says. “The uneven distribution of the load can decrease the truck’s stability and result in a tip-over.”

Help prevent tip-overs with these tips from TDI:

  • Use the right type of dump truck for the job. “For example, use belly-dump semitrailers instead of end-dump semitrailers for spreading aggregate for road construction. Use straight trucks or pup trailers instead of semitrailers to haul to rough graded or fill areas where surfaces are uneven or loosely compacted.”
  • Stay within regulated weight limits.
  • Lighten the load when hauling poor-flowing materials.
  • Check to see that the vehicle is on even ground before dumping. Avoid soft, uneven surfaces.
  • Make sure the tailgate is unlocked and the vehicle is on a reasonably level surface before dumping.
  • Never dump near people or other vehicles.
  • Create a maintenance and inspection program. Preventive maintenance and regular inspections play an important role in eliminating vehicle tip-overs.
  • Establish and enforce safety procedures and policies.

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.

Don’t get struck

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

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Although most states enforce some type of “move over” law, which requires drivers to move over one lane or reduce speed when passing law enforcement on the side of the road, struck-by incidents are still happening.

More than 200 law enforcement officers were struck and killed between 2005 and 2019, according to NIOSH.

Officers can help lower their risk of being struck when responding to a road situation. Follow these tips from NIOSH:
Maintain situational awareness. “Keep your head on a swivel,” don’t turn your back to moving traffic and don’t walk in the gap between vehicles. Also, “always have an escape plan.”
Wear protective clothing. When exiting a patrol vehicle, put on an ANSI-approved high-visibility safety vest. This helps drivers see you.
Follow standard operating procedures. Your agency should have SOPs on temporary traffic control zones.
Understand the incident command structure. “Work collaboratively with other responders.”


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.

‘Multifaceted resolution’: NSC voices support for Road to Zero Resolution

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

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Itasca, IL — The National Safety Council has announced its support of the bicameral resolution on eliminating traffic fatalities by 2050, introduced July 27 in the Senate by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and in the House by Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL).

Roadway fatalities have been a leading killer in the United States for decades. NSC estimates 42,060 people lost their lives in motor vehicle incidents in 2020 – the highest number in more than a decade.

As outlined in the resolution, NSC calls on federal policymakers to take several actions to reach the goal of zero deaths on the roads by 2050, including:

  • Committing to the advancement of policies that will end roadway fatalities – such as prioritizing the safety of all roadway users in infrastructure design by clearly marking lanes for pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles; installing rumble strips; using traffic circles; and advancing safety technology.
  • Setting a goal of zero traffic fatalities at the Department of Transportation to govern decision-making.
  • Recognizing the need for a safe systems approach in U.S. transportation, including improving access, safety and mobility for all roadway users.
  • Changing how we talk about traffic incidents by calling them “crashes,” not “accidents.”

NSC implores Congress to consider how this multifaceted resolution will serve all Americans, how its prioritization is needed to saves lives on our roadways and how it will allow great strides to be taken on the path to zero traffic fatalities by 2050.


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 to drivers: Be safe over July Fourth weekend

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.

Be safe over 4th of July Weekend

Itasca, IL — The National Safety Council is urging roadway users to be extra cautious during the July Fourth weekend – one of the most dangerous driving periods of the year.

“According to our estimates, 400-580 people may die on U.S. roads during the holiday weekend,” Mark Chung, NSC vice president, roadway practice, said. “The National Safety Council calls on everyone planning to travel for the holiday to follow our safe driving tips to ensure you get to where you want to go as safely as possible. Your life and those you love may depend on it.”

NSC offers six tips for safer driving:
Drive distraction-free. Thousands of people have died in motor vehicle-related crashes involving cellphone use. Put your phones away and #JustDrive.
Slow down. Speeding is a factor in more than a quarter of all traffic fatalities. Don’t drive faster than the posted speed limit, and pay attention to people walking and biking.
Designate a sober driver. Alcohol is only one cause of impaired driving. Drugs, including opioids, cannabis and some over-the-counter medicines, can impair drivers by causing drowsiness, altering visual functions, and affecting mental judgement and motor skills. Arrange alternative transportation if you plan to drink or do drugs.
Buckle up. Seat belts save lives. If kids will be in the car, make sure you have the appropriate car seats installed correctly.
Look before you lock. Last year, 25 children died in hot cars. With temperatures rising across the country, make it a priority to ensure you don’t leave the car without your child passengers.
Take an alternate path. For shorter trips, consider leaving the car at home and finding a safe biking or walking route to get where you’re headed.

For more tips, visit nsc.org/saferoads.


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.

Drive safely in the rain

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Rain can reduce or impair your view of the road, the Nevada Department of Transportation points out. Combined with reduced tire traction on wet roadways, “It’s easy to see that driving in the rain needs to be treated with extra caution.”

Only drive in heavy rain when necessary, Nevada DOT advises, and always leave extra time to safely reach your destination. In addition, be sure to dry the soles of your shoes after getting into your vehicle when it’s raining, because they can slide from the pedals while you’re driving.

Other recommendations include:

  • Turn on your headlights to see and be seen.
  • Be aware of and avoid flooded areas – never attempt to cross running or flooded water.
  • Reduce your speed. Speed limits are based on normal road and weather conditions, not rainy conditions.
  • Defrost windows before and while driving, if necessary.
  • Use your wipers. Many states require their use in rain or snow.
  • Keep a safe distance from other vehicles, leaving more space on wet roads.
  • Turn off your cruise control to reduce the risk of hydroplaning.
  • Brake earlier and with less force than you would in normal driving conditions. Also, slow down when turning.

Finally, if you have difficulty seeing the roadway and/or other vehicles when it’s raining, pull off the road to a safe location until conditions improve.


McCraren Compliance assists employers in protecting their workers, starting with a comprehensive Work-site Analysis, Hazard Prevention, Controls, and Safety & Health Training.

Please contact us today at 888-758-4757 to learn how we can provide mine safety training and consulting for your business.

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.

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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

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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.