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Data accumulated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and released last week by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) shows that of the 38,958 people who died in transportation-related accidents in 2017, 95% or 37,133 were the result of highway crashes.

The statistics show that 673 fewer people died in highway crashes in 2017, compared to 2016 when there were 37,806 fatalities. Crashes involving passenger cars, light trucks and vans, pedestrians, motorcycles, pedal cycles, and buses resulted in fewer fatalities in 2017, but deaths associated with crashes involving medium and heavy trucks increased to 841 in 2017 compared to 725 in 2016.

Data tables for transportation fatalities for all modes.

“Highway crashes are completely preventable,” said NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt. “Implementation of the 369 open NTSB highway safety recommendations, including the 22 recommendations related to speeding, has the potential to prevent crashes, save lives, and significantly reduce the carnage on our nation’s roads.” 

The approaching Thanksgiving holiday weekend is typically the busiest travel weekend of the year in the United States and marks the start of the holiday travel season. The NTSB reminds travelers that speed, distracted, impaired and drowsy driving are key factors in highway fatalities.

The NTSB is an independent federal agency charged by Congress with investigating every civil aviation accident in the U.S. and significant accidents in other modes of transportation, including railroad, highway, marine and pipeline. The agency, which has no rulemaking authority, determines the probable cause of the accidents and issues safety recommendations aimed at preventing future crashes.

Owner Operator Direct provides top notch trucking insurance to OO's, whether operating with authority or as leased drivers. Give us a ring at 800-499-1044 if you want a quote, or answer some questions online and we'll email you one.

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With the Labor Day holiday quickly approaching, it’s important to keep in mind that the three-day holiday is prime time for thieves to take advantage of unattended cargo. During Labor Day weekends between 2013–2017, the SensiGuard™ Supply Chain Intelligence Center (SCIC) recorded just under three thefts per day, a 28% higher rate than throughout the year.

There are, however, precautions motor carriers and drivers can take to help prevent what could be a devastating loss:

Pay attention to both vehicles and people in rest areas, parking lots or truck stops, and be cautious of strangers asking questions.

  • Remain cognizant of your surroundings at all times, whether parked or driving, and be particularly observant at night. Pay attention to both vehicles and people in rest areas, parking lots or truck stops, and be cautious of strangers asking questions. Never discuss what you’re hauling, your destination or trip details with anyone as you may lay the grounds for becoming a target. Stay alert for vehicles following you and report any suspicious activity to authorities immediately.
  • Do your best to have sufficient hours and fuel to drive an extended period after picking up a load. Thieves will frequently watch a truck being loaded, follow the vehicle for a short time to see if the driver will stop, and then strike when he or she does. Driving several hours is often not worth the time, money or effort for criminals to follow you, and they may turn their attention elsewhere.
  • Vary your route to avoid becoming predictable. Thieves are always watching and have been known to monitor the behavior of drivers with high-value loads on multiple runs to learn truck stop preferences, where the driver prefers to spend the night, and what portions of the trip are the most isolated in order to determine the most opportune time to strike.
  • When stopped in traffic, leave enough space in front of you so you can pull away quickly if trouble is spotted.

Remain cognizant of your surroundings at all times, whether parked or driving, and be particularly observant at night.

  • Remain aware of possible hijacking ploys to obtain your vehicle. Be particularly suspicious of individuals asking you to stop as a result of an alleged traffic accident. If you are unsure whether an accident occurred, proceed to a police station or well-lit busy area before stopping. 
  • Whenever possible, go directly to your delivery point without making any stops. Don’t take your load home or park in an unsecured area, and avoid having a loaded trailer sit over a long holiday weekend. Remember that cargo at rest for any length of time becomes a prime target. If you must park a loaded trailer, make sure you only park in a well-lit, heavily travelled lot, preferably with security cameras and/or guards. Also use the surroundings to your advantage by backing trailers up against buildings, fences or even other trailers to make it hard or impossible for thieves to open doors and get inside. 
  • Always remove the keys from the ignition and survey the outside of the truck before exiting.
  • Do not allow the tractor to idle unattended.
  • Lock your tractor doors and keep windows rolled up; always padlock trailer doors and use kingpin locks. Add layers of protection by using high-security theft deterrents (i.e., engine kill switches, air brake valve locks, steering mechanism locks, GPS tracking devices).
  • Know appropriate emergency contact numbers in the areas in which you travel.
  • Carry information on your person concerning the identification of the tractor and trailer(s) or chassis and containers you are pulling (license numbers, container numbers, descriptions). This information will be needed if the vehicle is stolen. 
  • Follow your gut instinct. If something doesn’t “feel” right, it probably isn’t. 
  • Report any theft to local law enforcement (dial 911) immediately and then contact your insurance company.

 

Owner Operator Direct provides Commercial Truck Insurance to owner operators.  Doesn't matter if you're leased or operating under your own authority, we'll give you a good deal if you're a good driver.  Give us a ring at 800-499-1044 from 9-5pm EDT or answer a few questions online and we'll get back to you. 

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International Roadcheck Slated for June 5-7

With the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate going into effect in December 2017 and being fully enforced since the beginning of April, it’s no surprise that the focus of this year’s International Roadcheck is hours-of-service compliance. The annual Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) 72-hour inspection blitz will take place June 5-7, 2018.

The International Roadcheck is the largest targeted enforcement program of commercial motor vehicles in the world, with nearly 17 trucks or buses inspected, on average, every minute in the United States, Canada, and Mexico over the three-day period.

During last year’s Roadcheck, thirty-two percent of drivers who were placed out of service were removed from the roadways as a result of violations related to hours-of-service regulations.

"Although the electronic logging device rule that went into effect on Dec. 18, 2017 does not change any of the underlying hours-of-service rules or exceptions, the ELD mandate placed a spotlight on hours-of-service compliance," said CVSA President Capt.

Christopher Turner of the Kansas Highway Patrol. “We thought this year would be the perfect opportunity to focus on the importance of the hours-of-service regulations.”

DOT inspectors throughout the US, Canada and Mexico will be inspecting nearly 17 trucks or buses, on average, every minute during this year's International Roadcheck.

The inspections are performed in conjunction with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and 10,000 CVSA-certified local, state, provincial, territorial and federal inspectors across North America.

Inspectors will primarily conduct the North American Standard Level I Inspections, a 37-step procedure that includes an examination of both driver operating requirements and vehicle mechanical fitness.

The vehicle inspection will include checking braking systems; cargo securement; coupling devices; driveline/driveshaft components; exhaust systems; frames; fuel systems; lighting devices; steering mechanisms; suspensions; tires; van and open-top trailer bodies; wheels; rims and hubs; and windshield wipers.

Buses will also be inspected for emergency exits, electrical cables and systems in the engine and battery compartments, and seating.

Commercial vehicle drivers will need to provide all operating credentials such as their driver’s license and endorsements, medical examiner’s certificate, hours-of-service documentation and record of duty status (RODS) per Part 395, 49 CFR 395.8(a) – [ELD, automatic onboard recording device (AOBRD), paper logbook or electronic logbook].

Additionally, drivers will be checked for seat belt usage, and enforcement officers will be looking for any signs of alcohol and/or drug impairment. 

If an inspector finds no critical inspection item violations during an inspection, a CVSA decal will be applied to the vehicle, indicating that the vehicle successfully passed a decal-eligible inspection.

If critical inspection items violations are found, an inspector may render the driver or vehicle out of service if the condition meets the North American Out-of-Service Criteria. This means that the driver cannot operator the vehicle until the violation(s) are corrected.

For more information on hours-of service regulations, visit the FMCSA website.

 

Owner Operator Direct provides top notch commercial truck insurance, whether operating with authority or as leased drivers. Give us a ring at 800-499-1044 during weekday business hours if you want a quote, or answer some questions online and we'll email you one.

 

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International Roadcheck Slated for June 5-7

With the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate going into effect in December 2017 and being fully enforced since the beginning of April, it’s no surprise that the focus of this year’s International Roadcheck is hours-of-service compliance. The annual Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) 72-hour inspection blitz will take place June 5-7, 2018.

The International Roadcheck is the largest targeted enforcement program of commercial motor vehicles in the world, with nearly 17 trucks or buses inspected, on average, every minute in the United States, Canada, and Mexico over the three-day period.

During last year’s Roadcheck, thirty-two percent of drivers who were placed out of service were removed from the roadways as a result of violations related to hours-of-service regulations. "Although the electronic logging device rule that went into effect on Dec. 18, 2017 does not change any of the underlying hours-of-service rules or exceptions, the ELD mandate placed a spotlight on hours-of-service compliance," said CVSA President Capt. Christopher Turner of the Kansas Highway Patrol. “We thought this year would be the perfect opportunity to focus on the importance of the hours-of-service regulations.”

DOT inspectors throughout the US, Canada and Mexico will be inspecting nearly 17 trucks or buses, on average, every minute during this year's International Roadcheck.

The inspections are performed in conjunction with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and 10,000 CVSA-certified local, state, provincial, territorial and federal inspectors across North America. Inspectors will primarily conduct the North American Standard Level I Inspections, a 37-step procedure that includes an examination of both driver operating requirements and vehicle mechanical fitness. The vehicle inspection will include checking braking systems; cargo securement; coupling devices; driveline/driveshaft components; exhaust systems; frames; fuel systems; lighting devices; steering mechanisms; suspensions; tires; van and open-top trailer bodies; wheels; rims and hubs; and windshield wipers. Buses will also be inspected for emergency exits, electrical cables and systems in the engine and battery compartments, and seating. Commercial vehicle drivers will need to provide all operating credentials such as their driver’s license and endorsements, medical examiner’s certificate, hours-of-service documentation and record of duty status (RODS) per Part 395, 49 CFR 395.8(a) – [ELD, automatic onboard recording device (AOBRD), paper logbook or electronic logbook]. Additionally, drivers will be checked for seat belt usage, and enforcement officers will be looking for any signs of alcohol and/or drug impairment. 

If an inspector finds no critical inspection item violations during an inspection, a CVSA decal will be applied to the vehicle, indicating that the vehicle successfully passed a decal-eligible inspection. If critical inspection items violations are found, an inspector may render the driver or vehicle out of service if the condition meets the North American Out-of-Service Criteria. This means that the driver cannot operator the vehicle until the violation(s) are corrected.

For more information on hours-of service regulations, visit the FMCSA website.

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FMCSA Announces Delay of MEC Integration Final Rule

A new federal rule due for implementation on June 22, 2018 that would eliminate the need for commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers to carry their medical cards has been delayed for three years by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). In the April 27th Federal Register, the Agency issued a notice announcing that the Medical Examiner’s Certification Integration final rule will not require compliance until June 22, 2021.

FMCSA is pushing back the compliance date for a federal rule that would move to electronically-transmitted medical cards.

The rule requires FMCSA to electronically transmit the driver identification information, medical examination results, and restriction information from examinations performed for holders of commercial learner permits and interstate/intrastate commercial driver licenses from the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners to the State Driver’s Licensing Agencies (SDLAs). However, with the final rule compliance date rapidly approaching, FMCSA concluded that it would not be able to electronically transmit information nor would the SDLAs be able to electronically receive the Medical Examiner's Certificate (MEC) information for posting to the driver record as intended by the rule. The National Registry website has been offline since it suffered a security breach on December 1. The Agency has not yet identified the nature of the hack or provided any details as to when the registry might return to functionality. In the notice, FMCSA said postponing the implementation date would give the state driver’s licensing agencies sufficient time to make the necessary information technology program changes.

However, beginning on June 2, certified medical examiners will still be required to report results of all complete commercial motor vehicle drivers’ medical examinations (including the results where the driver was found not to be qualified) to FMCSA by midnight (local time) the day following an examination, and must continue issuing the original paper medical examiner certificate to qualified drivers. All CMV drivers will continue to provide the SDLA with their MEC as proof of medical certification.

FMCSA is accepting public comments on the notice through June 26, 2018.

 

Owner Operator Direct provides top notch trucking insurance to OO's, whether operating with authority or as leased drivers. Give us a ring at 800-499-1044 during weekday business hours if you want a quote, or answer some questions online and we'll email you one.

 

Get A Trucking Insurance Quote
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