Fleet Safety Newsletter: April 2013

Using Cruise control Safely

Cruise control can be beneficial when used under proper road, climate and traffic conditions. It enables you to maintain a safe speed without keeping your foot on the gas pedal thereby reducing driver fatigue during a long trip. While there are benefits it is important to know when it is appropriate to use the system.

In order to be a safer driver, only use cruise control when:
– The pavement is dry (no rain, sleet, ice or snow
– The road is straight and clear ahead (not under repair, no barricades or posted detours
– Traffic is light and all lanes are moving at reasonable speeds

It is not safe to use cruise control when:
– You cannot drive at a steady speed
– You are driving on winding roads or in heavy traffic
– The road is under repair or construction with obstacles or barricades on the roadway
– You do not have clear visibility of the road ahead
– There is heavy vehicle or pedestrian traffic or signal control lights at frequent intervals

FMCSA Shuts Down Atlanta-based Trucking Company

Recently, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) shut down an Atlanta-based trucking company using new authorities given to FMCSA under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21).

The company stopped cooperating with FMCSA safety investigators and failed to provide copies of company safety records.

Under provisions contained in MAP-21, signed into law by President Obama in July 2012, FMCSA may place a motor carrier out of service if it fails to release company safety records.

“Truck and bus companies that refuse to cooperate with safety investigators have no place on our nation’s roadways,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “We will continue to use our authority to shut down motor carriers that endanger the public.”

“MAP-21 strengthens the ability of FMCSA investigators to take necessary and appropriate actions to protect innocent lives,” said FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro. “We will not allow the safety of the traveling public to be compromised by an unsafe commercial truck or bus company.

FMCSA declared the trucking company operating out of the same location and with the same business model as the company originally cited, to be an imminent hazard to safety, shutting it down. FMCSA continues its investigation.

US Drivers Distracted

A new study released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked at two types of distracted driving behaviors, including cell phone use while driving and reading or sending text or email messages while driving. The study found that 69% of U.S. drivers ages 18-64 talked on their cell phone while driving within 30 days before being surveyed whereas in the U.K., only 21% of drivers did so. Regarding reading and texting, in the U.S., 31% of drivers reported doing this, and in Spain, only 15% of drivers reported they did so.

For an updated list of distracted driving laws, use the following link:
Distracted Driving Laws by State

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