Top 5 CVSA citations and how to prevent them.

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One lapse in judgement can cost you—or be avoided.

An estimated 94% of crashes involve driver-related behavior. Each year, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) launches its Operation Safe Driver Week to curb dangerous driving habits and save lives through enhanced enforcement and education. Despite COVID-19, this year was no exception.

From July 12 to July 18, more than 3,600 U.S. and Canadian enforcement officers stopped nearly 30,000 commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers. And issued a total of 10,736 citations and warnings.

Top 5 categories for CMV drivers

  1. Speeding, violation of basic speed law, or driving too fast for the conditions: 2,339
  2. Failure to use seat belt while operating the CMV: 1,003
  3. Failure to obey traffic control device: 617
  4. Using a hand-held phone or texting: 269
  5. Improper lane change: 122

Let’s look at each—and how modern fleet technology can prevent it.

Violation 1: Speeding, violating basic speed laws, or driving too fast for conditions

Lead-footers earned the most citations and warnings this year. Overall traffic has been lighter in recent months due to the pandemic. Many drivers have been using the extra room to speed; in some cases, excessively.

Law enforcement officers issued CMV drivers:
2,339 citations 50.20% of all citations issued to CMV drivers
3,423 warnings 56.33% of all warnings issued to CMV drivers

How to prevent

Install proactive, in-cab driver coaching technology. Look for a solution featuring a forward-facing dashcam that scans the road ahead, reads speed limit signs and audibly alerts drivers when they exceed the posted limit.

Violation 2: Not wearing a seat belt

Wearing a seat belt is one of the easiest, cheapest ways drivers protect themselves—and avoid getting a ticket. While an increasing number of CMV drivers wear their seatbelts than they have in previous years, not wearing one still ranks second during this year’s Operation Safe Driving Week.

Law enforcement officers issued CMV drivers:
1,003 citations 21.53% of all citations issued to CMV drivers
760 warnings 12.51% of all warnings issued to CMV drivers

How to prevent

Build a culture of safety through fleet gamification. Use modern smart fleet management technology to identify unsafe driver behaviors, set specific goals and objectively measure improvement with vehicle data. Remember to reward top drivers.

Read our online article, Get to know fleet gamification for more on:

  • what fleet gamification is and why it works
  • how it improves your entire fleet’s culture of safety
  • using fleet technology to implement a fleet gamification program

Violation 3: Failure to obey traffic control device

In 2018, more than 10,000 people were killed in traffic accidents involving intersections. Nearly 900 people were killed when a driver ran a red light at an intersection with a signal. And approximately 72 percent of fatal crashes occurred at intersections without a signal, usually because one driver didn’t yield.

Law enforcement officers issued CMV drivers 617 citations during this year’s Operation Safe Driver Week.

How to prevent

The same proactive, in-cab driver coaching technology that alerts drivers when they speed should also alert them when they run traffic signs or control devices. Use the solution’s objective data to create awareness, hold drivers accountable and move them toward safer habits.

Coach drivers, prevent accidents, save lives.

Violation 4: Using a hand-held phone or texting while driving

Per research commissioned by the FMCSA, commercial drivers who dial a mobile phone while driving are six times more likely to be involved in a safety-related event. And yet, using a hand-device while driving ranks fourth for commercial drivers this year.

Law enforcement officers issued CMV drivers 269 citations during this year’s Operation Safe Driver Week.

Lives aren’t the only possible price. Commercial drivers can pay up to $2,750 per citation. And employers who allow or require drivers to use a hand-held communication device while driving can pay up to $11,000.

How to prevent

Put tools in drivers’ hands that empower them. Protect each driver with an enterprise-grade mobile tablet that locks down when detecting vehicle motion, preventing distraction while driving. Each tablet is loaded with a library of key mobile apps for:

  • digital forms and messaging
  • advanced navigation
  • dispatching communication
  • over-the-air-engine updates
  • trip and time management
  • passenger and student ridership
  • touchless driver health screening on EVIR®
  • ELD compliance

Violation 5: Improper lane change

Maybe a driver isn’t be paying attention thanks to multitasking (see Violation 4). Maybe the driver is tired or losing the fight against highway hypnosis. Whatever the reason, improper lane changes are dangerous, especially when made by large commercial vehicles that can’t recover as nimbly as smaller, lighter passenger vehicles.

Law enforcement officers issued CMV drivers 122 citations during this year’s Operation Safe Driver Week.

How to prevent

No single solution will address every possible reason for improper lane changes. But using today’s fleet technology to actively prioritize safe driving will mitigate some causes.

  • Implement an in-cab coaching solution that audibly alerts drivers when they drift outside their lane. Curb their inclination to wander, prevent them from turning it into a citable lane change.
  • Support drivers who need a break. Provide them with a driver’s app to locate a nearby rest stop or other safe place to park. And make sure they’re taking their breaks instead of pushing themselves too hard.

Turn information into action.

Even with the pandemic, law enforcement made only 700 fewer contacts with CMV drivers than last year—and still issued more than 10,700 preventable citations and warnings. Each of this year’s top five categories costs money, resources, reputation and lives. And several such as speeding contribute to poor CSA scores.

But each one is also preventable.

Start with facts

Facts are hard to argue. Smart fleet technology and in-cab coaching deliver objective data that show driver behavior, safe and otherwise. Use that insight to target fleet safety efforts and open the right conversations with drivers. Involve them. Even your safest drivers can improve.

Connect with our dedicated team of compliance and safety experts about enhancing—or building—your safety program. They know the technologies, the regulations and what it takes to create an effective culture of safety that prevents citations and saves lives.

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