I would like to wish everyone:
Merry CHRISTmas and a happy New Year to you and yours..Thanks VM
http://www.sharetheroadsafely.org/cardrivers/workZoneSafety_Tips.aspWhat is a No-Zone?
The "No-Zone" represents the danger areas around trucks and buses where crashes are more likely to occur. Some No-Zones are actual blind spots or areas around trucks and buses where your car "disappears" from the view of the drivers. These blind spots are the Side No-Zone, Rear No-Zone, and Front No-Zone areas. The
right-side blind spot is doubly dangerous because trucks and buses make wide
right turns! Knowing the No-Zones can save your life!For examples of
"No-Zone" situations to avoid, click below.
Safety Tips for Work Zones
Trucks have more accidents in highway work zones than other vehicles. Work zones can be very dangerous for all vehicles especially when traveling on the highway. It is important to be alert and prepared to slow down or stop in a work zone. Slowing down and allowing others to merge, will ensure a safe passage through work zones. Here are a few tips on work zone safety.
STAY ALERT- HIGHWAY WORK ZONES ARE UNSAFE
Work zones are busy places where construction vehicles and workers are always moving. Stay alert and stay on the safe path that is designated throughout the work
zone. Avoid work zones altogether by using alternate routes when possible. If you can't avoid work zones, allow for more time to travel, slow down, and consider sharing a ride with someone to reduce congestion.
TAKE YOUR CUES FROM TRUCKS
Work zones often pop up suddenly. If you are not paying attention to the signs, you could find yourself in a serious accident. Trucks can be great indicators of trouble or slow downs ahead. Trucks have a height advantage and can see ahead of traffic. Paying attention to a truck's brake lights is a good signal of a slow down or work zone ahead. Truck drivers know the stopping limitations of their trucks, and pay close attention to traffic. Take your cues from trucks and you'll be prepared.
Aggressive drivers can be extremely dangerous while driving in work zones. Work zones require time and courtesy. For a smooth passage through work zones, allow others to merge in front of you. Be especially considerate to trucks. They require more space to merge and are the least maneuverable vehicles on the road. Remember, trucks have large blind spots, making it difficult to see cars squeezing in close to the front and sides of their truck.
Safety Tips for Truck and Bus Drivers
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF!
The most important part of a moving truck or bus is the driver! Get plenty of rest before getting behind the wheel. Eat well and stay fit. Remember, hours of service violations are serious and can threaten your livelihood or even your life. Stay healthy and well rested, or don't drive!
ALWAYS MAINTAIN YOUR VEHICLE
Inspect your vehicle before each trip and check your brakes regularly. Learn how to inspect your brakes, identify safety defects, and get them repaired before risking your life and others on the highway.
BE AWARE OF YOUR "NO-ZONE"
Other drivers may not be aware of the size of your truck's blind spots. Be vigilant in watching out for vehicles in the No-Zone. The No-Zone represents the danger areas, or blind spots, around trucks and buses where crashes are more likely to occur. One-third of all crashes between large trucks and cars take place in the No-Zone.
SLOW DOWN IN WORK ZONES
Watch out for highway construction. Stay alert. Work zone crashes are more likely to happen during the day. Almost one-third of fatal crashes in work zones involved large trucks. Take your time going through work zones and give yourself plenty of room. Expect the unexpected!
ALWAYS KEEP YOUR DISTANCE
Always leave enough space between you and the vehicle in front of you. If you hit someone from behind, you are typically considered "at fault," regardless of the situation. Large trucks require more stopping distances than other vehicles. Take advantage of your driving height, and anticipate braking situations.
FASTEN YOUR SEAT BELT
Buckle up for safety and control. If you are in a crash, a seat belt can save your life and those around you. It will keep you in your seat and allow you to maintain control of your truck or bus. A major cause of truck and bus driver fatalities involves being ejected from the vehicle. Wearing seat belts, is still the single most effective thing all drivers can do to save lives and reduce injures on our roadways.
ALWAYS DRIVE DEFENSIVELY
Avoid aggressive drivers! It's estimated that each year two-thirds of all traffic fatalities are caused by aggressive driving behaviors. Keep your distance and maintain a safe speed. The only thing speed will increase is your chance for a crash.
WORK TO HELP YOURSELVES
Be the professional on the highway and at safety events! Help stranded motorists; notify traffic safety agencies of crashes, unsafe drivers, unsafe roadway conditions, and other situations that can lead to crashes. Join a "Highway Watch" program, if available in your state. Your participation in public safety events and your performance on the highway can change public perception!
TELL US WHAT IS WRONG
If you know of unsafe situations, tell us about it. This includes unsafe companies, unsafe drivers, unsafe roadways, and unsafe vehicles. The following "hotlines" are maintained for your protection. Please call us to help make the roads safer and your job easier.
FMCSA Driver Hotline: 1-888-DOT-SAFT (368-7238)
NHTSA Vehicle Hotline: 1-888-327-4236
Check out these links to other web sites for additional Commercial Motor Vehicle Information:
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
Truck Crash Facts 2001
Safety Tips For Car Drivers
When driving on the highway you are at a serious disadvantage if involved in a crash with a larger vehicle. In crashes involving large trucks, the occupants of a car, usually the driver, sustain 78 percent of fatalities. In order to keep you and your family safe when driving around large trucks and buses, you should be extra cautious. Sharing the road with larger vehicles can be dangerous if you are not aware of their limitations. Here are a few tips to help you drive safer to prevent an accident and minimize injuries and fatalities if one does occur.
CUTTING IN FRONT CAN CUT YOUR LIFE SHORT
If you cut in front of another vehicle, you may create an emergency-braking situation for the vehicles around you, especially in heavy traffic. Trucks and buses take much
longer to stop in comparison to cars. If you force a larger vehicle to stop quickly this could cause a serious, even fatal accident. When passing, look for the front of the truck in your rear-view mirror before pulling in front and avoid braking situations!
BUCKLE YOUR BELTS
Always buckle your seat belt. Seat belts are your best protection in case of a crash,
especially if you get into an accident with a large vehicle such as a truck. Trucks require a greater stopping distance and can seriously hurt you if your car is struck from behind. However, your seat belt will keep you from striking the steering wheel or windshield, being thrown around, and from being ejected from the car. Wearing a seat belt is the single most important thing you can do to save your life, especially in a crash with a large truck.
WATCH YOUR BLIND SPOTS - THE "NO-ZONES"
Large trucks have blind spots, or No-Zones, around the front, back and sides of the
truck. Watch out! A truck could even turn into you, because these No-Zones make it difficult for the driver to see. So, don't hang out in the No-Zones, and remember, if you can't see the truck driver in the truck's mirror, the truck driver can't see you.
Inattentive drivers do not pay attention to driving or what is going on around them. They can be just as dangerous as aggressive drivers when they drive slowly in the passing lane, ignore trucks brake lights or signals, and create an emergency-braking situation. They also create dangerous situations when they attempt to do other things while driving, such as using cell phones. When you are driving, please focus only on the road. If you need to attend to another matter while driving, safely pull over in a parking lot or rest stop.
Aggressive drivers can be dangerous drivers. They put themselves and others at risk with their unsafe driving. Speeding, running red lights and stop signs, pulling in front of trucks too quickly when passing, and making frequent lane changes, especially in the blind spots of trucks, can create dangerous and potentially fatal situations on the road. These situations can lead to road rage not only for the aggressive driver, but also for others sharing the road.
AVOID SQUEEZE PLAY
Be careful of trucks making wide right turns. If you try to get in between the truck and the curb, you'll be caught in a "squeeze" and can suffer a serious accident. Truck drivers sometimes need to swing wide to the left in order to safely negotiate a right turn especially in urban areas. They can't see cars directly behind or beside them.
Cutting in between the truck and the curb increases the possibility of a crash. So pay attention to truck signals, and give them lots of room to maneuver.
NEVER DRINK AND DRIVE
Drinking and driving don't mix. Alcohol affects a person's ability to make crucial driving decisions, such as braking, steering, or changing lanes. Remember, you are not the only one in danger when you decide to drink and then drive. You are sharing the road with everyone including large vehicles and your chances of getting into an accident are greatly increased. If you get into an accident with a truck, you're out of
luck. The odds of surviving a serious accident with a large truck are too low. However, if you do live through it without serious injury, think of your higher insurance rates, your large legal fees, and other social and professional setbacks it will cause you. So think before you drink.
I recommend that truckers and 4-wheelers (car drivers) alike should check out the FMCSA's "Share The Road Safely" web site.I think I've taken up enough of your time for tonight. Be safe out there. -TTB
Heres what really happens in work zones..Trucks are traveling the speed limit when some idiot decides that saving 4 seconds on his trip is worth his life and decides to whip around you. I've seen it over and over again. They think somehow that they can just around you and merge and that is where they are DEAD wrong! I remember being on the I-35 in Austin when someone thought they could do that and they ate guard rail and I just kept on a trucking. I'm not stopping for nothing. Trucks have more accidents in these zones because of these idiots not because of the drivers..VM-out!
Comment By:VM on Sat, Dec 15 2007 @ 7:05 AM [EST]
Good blog, TT. I am glad someone cares.
Comment By:lenutt on Sun, Dec 16 2007 @ 7:45 PM [EST]
I agree with you comment VM. Not being an expert on the subject of big rig accidents in work zones, my thoughts on why there appears to be more accidents involving trucks is two fold: 1) Big Rigs are HUGE and the space in construction zones are smaller and the road surface is uneven 2) Most drivers of 4-wheelers (and some truck drivers) are idiots and think that those extra few MPHs or that extra time gained (a few seconds) by not slowing down are going to get them where they need to go faster. Most people do not realize how marginal the gains are by speeding, not to mention what happens if you get pulled over or have an accident. I use to be one of those people. I was the guy that drove at 85+ MPH every where he went and took stupid risk. Then I turned 18 y/o and I realized it wasn't worth it. I still would speed some but as the years went on, I even stopped that. Now I pretty much obey the law. I become more and more embarrassed each day at being a 4-wheeler. -TTB
Comment By:Truckin Tedybehr on Tue, Dec 18 2007 @ 1:32 PM [EST]
Its not so much your speed that matters its the space in front of you that does. Can you stop if the car in front of you slams on the brakes?..Speeding is OK as long as you got the cushion to stop. I pass trucks all the time going 59mph when I am going 61mph...Why?..Because I don't want to break RPM's a secret my mentor taught me who has 30+ years in. I catch them when I am empty on the hills which usually is not the best place to pass but I do. It's actually easier for me to drive a big rig in heavy traffic than a 4-wheeler because of my mirrors and I am used to it. Don't break your RPM's when behind another slow moving vehicle hang back and bring up your RPM's when safe to pass and they'll think you've got a Frankenstein of an engine. VM-out!
Comment By:VM on Sun, Dec 23 2007 @ 2:42 AM [EST]
(Yes, it is amazing that he is still alive after all of this.)
Now, before you say, "No wonder he wants someone to take care of him." let me say, he was strong enough emotionally and stubborn enough, he recovered from all of those injuries and was able to return to a very normal life. He actually returned back to work after all of them except after the mobile home crushing him. This put him on disability but he still lead a very full life. Even the death of my mom didn't keep him down for too long. It was rough on him but he still pulled through it. He made it through the leukemia and kidney problems last year and spent almost a year with the leukemia being in remission and his kidney function getting back to over 80% of normal. But since his relapse a few months ago, it is like he doesn't want to try. He hasn't given up but he definitely isn't fighting very hard. (Sorry, I started kicking into the rant again.)
I'm sorry this ended up being so long and if you are reading this, I can only think of a few reasons:
That is enough for now. Feel free to comment or drop me a line at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Your Dad is going to do whatever he wants to do and there is nothing going to change that, its up to him. I hope he does the right thing for your sake. He will probably play the martyr role for a while until he realizes that you are serious. You owe him love but that can't stop you in what YOUR family needs. Put YOUR family first..He's a grown MAN he's gonna do what he wants..He's probably deep down scared about his mortality and he doesn't know how to express it but to have you waiting on him hand and foot. He seems like a truck driver thats for sure STUBBORN..So use Trucker Psychology 101 with Professor VM..Let him rant and rave but push on with what you need to make your family happy..VM-out! By the way I drove a truck for a total of 60 miles today when I dropped the pencil...VM-out!
Comment By: VM on Sat, Dec 08 2007 @ 6:01 AM [EST]
Have you read them? If so, what did you think of them?So, what are you reading?
This report makes us look like a bunch of junkies. There are truck drivers that use drugs a very, very, small percentage I would say. I would dare to say that we are the most sober in contrast to other professions. Yes, you could use "Crank" to stay up for a week but you'd crash hard for two days not doing a damn thing so where would that get you?..I could walk into work tomorrow and they'd say "VM go get a drug test" I never know when it's coming it's a lottery type thing. My CDL isn't worth getting high it's my bread and butter. What am I going to do if that's pulled?..Dispatch Full-time? Man that would suck..I do it part
time now and that's a headache.
According to FMCSA data, more than 70 percent of compliance reviews conducted
since 2001 and more than 40 percent of safety audits conducted since 2003 found
violations of drug testing regulations, including finding that the carrier had
no drug testing program at all1.
1 FMCSA data used in this statement include
information from compliance reviews and new entrant safety audits conducted
through September 21, 2007.
Commercial motor carriers2 account for less than 5 percent of all highway
crashes, but these crashes result in about 13 percent of all highway deaths, or
about 5,500 of the approximately 43,000 highway fatalities that occur nationwide
annually. A DOT study on the factors associated with large truck crashes finds
that vehicle factors, such as brake problems, and behavioral factors, such as
speeding and driver fatigue, are some of the most frequently cited factors
involved in large truck crashes.3 While illegal drug use is not among the most
frequently cited factors in the DOT study-appearing as an associated factor in
only 2 percent of the crashes included in the study-it is clear that the use of
illegal drugs, such as marijuana, heroin, or cocaine, can severely impair the
ability of individuals to drive.
2 There are approximately 711,000 commercial motor carriers registered in Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS). This includes an unidentified number of carriers that are registered but are no longer in business. MCMIS contains information on the safety fitness of commercial motor carrier and hazardous materials shippers subject to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations and the Hazardous Materials Regulations.
3 DOT, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Analysis Division, Large Truck Crash Causation Study, Publication No: FMCSA-RRA-07-017 (July 2007).
Fact. The research and other indicators show that only about 12% of the drivers are making it difficult for the others. So why does it seem that the industry is being over-run by drivers who don't care? There are several factors that contribute to this perception.
1. In a population of 3.6 million drivers, 12% will be highly visible. You will see part of that 12% every day.
2. As humans, we pay more attention to the negative events in life - things that might hurt or destroy us.
3. We are also programmed to remember the negative events more than the positive.
4. Constantly repeating the belief that good drivers are in short supply only reinforces the fallacy. If something is stated often enough, it becomes a reality in people's minds.
5. People use the confirmation bias. Once they believe something, they look for evidence that supports their belief and disregard events and information that don't support it.
6. We get what we expect. Quantum physics and psychological research have clearly demonstrated that expectations actually cause events and behavior to occur. We have amazing power; people will conform to our expectations of them.
7. Good drivers aren't talking to and supporting each other enough. I wish I had a dime for every time drivers told me that they don't listen to the CB anymore because of all the nonsense they hear. Knights of the Road have relinquished the airwaves to the vocal minority. If the drivers who are doing "good work" don't speak up, it gives the appearance that they don't exist.
What can you do?
1. It is important to actively seek out other Knights of the Road, such as yourself and
support each other. There are more of you than there are of them.
2. Take back your Road; Take back your CB.
3. Train yourself to look for the positive in events.
4. Expect the best in other drivers. Most of the time you will get it.
5. Mentor the new drivers. There are a lot of good ones out there who need your help and encouragement and want to be part of the comraderie.
Originally Posted on Tue, Nov 06 2007 @ 11:54 PM [EST]
Did you vote Today? I hope so.
(Yes I did, thank you very much ... lol)
Voting gives me mixed feelings.
1) I feel very proud that I voted and helped do my part to keep democracy alive in this country. My vote may be just one of many, but one vote CAN make a difference.
2) I feel sad knowing that so few Americans actually vote. To make it worse, not even all the Americans that are registered to vote actually do. I know that this was a small election year. Ohio had no issues on the ballot (one issue was printed but they ended up not getting enough signatures to actually get it voted upon). There were no state positions up for election this year either in Ohio. This just leaves local items. In my areas, we only had 7 elected positions like mayor, school board, City Director of Law (whatever that is), etc. We had three levy renewals/increases: School Levy, Senior Services and MR/DD. Other areas of Ohio had a lot more and I know that other states had Governor races, etc going on.
3) A little depressed because I see so many candidates running unopposed. We had 7 positions on the ballot this year. 4 of those 7 were unopposed. Now before you start saying that I should run, let me say that I know nothing of about those jobs. Besides, I'm WAY too honest to be a politician.
TT, the infamous lenutt has been just north of you for the evening. Thought you might feel the heat from all the negative comments coming my way lately. Just passing through going to Chicagoland.
Comment By:lenutt on Wed, Nov 07 2007 @ 7:08 AM [EST]
Watch out for them tolls Lennut!!! VM-out!
Comment By:VM on Wed, Nov 07 2007 @ 7:45 AM [EST]
I wish I had known you were in the area. I would have loved meeting you for some coffee. I did notice that there was a change in the temp around here. lol -TTB
Comment By:Truckin Tedybehr on Wed, Nov 07 2007 @ 9:56 AM [EST]
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GAO: Easy to cheat on trucker drug testsComments
Three-quarters of testing sites don't provide secure conditions, report
By Lisa Myers and Richard Gardella
NBC News Investigative Unit
WASHINGTON - Undercover federal investigators discovered that it was surprisingly easy to cheat on random drug tests designed to catch truck drivers who use drugs, NBC News has learned.
Undercover investigators with the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the investigative arm of Congress, used bogus truck driver's licenses to gain access to 24 drug-testing sites. They found that 75 percent "failed to restrict access to items that could be used to adulterate or dilute the [urine] specimen, meaning that running water, soap, or air freshener was available in the bathroom during the test."
The GAO team also bought drug-masking products over the Web
and was able to mix them with real specimens at the drug-testing sites "without being caught by site collectors," the agency said in a report scheduled to be made public Thursday.
Drug-screening labs never realized that there was a problem. "Every drug masking product went undetected by the drug screening labs," said the report, a copy of which was obtained by NBC News.
DOT cites drop in road deaths
A spokeswoman for the Transportation Department, which requires motor carriers to test their employees and sets the regulations for collections, said driver errors, not drug use, caused most accidents.
"Our efforts on this front have been critical in helping us reduce the
number of large truck fatalities by nearly 5 percent last year — the largest
decline in four years," said the spokeswoman, who spoke on condition of
But Rep. Jim Oberstar, D-Minn., chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, who asked GAO to investigate, said the report was "frankly astonishing and shocking and dismaying. You can manipulate the tests, you can mask substance abuse and go undetected on the roadways."
Oberstar, who planned to hold a hearing Thursday, said the drug-testing system was broken and was placing other drivers in danger.
"It fails, it is not sufficient, it is not protecting the public interest," he said.
How many are cheating?
The Transportation Department estimates that fewer than 2 percent of truck drivers test positive each year for controlled substances in random federal tests. But when Oregon law enforcement officials conducted their own random tests this year, 9 percent of truck drivers tested positive.
Dozens of products widely available on the Web are marketed to truckers as fail-safe ways to defeat the mandatory drug tests.
"My first reaction was total disbelief. I just felt sick," said Kathleen Ellsbury, whose husband, Tony Qamar, was killed two years ago when a truck driver in Washington state lost his load of logs on a curve, crushing Qamar's car. Also killed was Daniel Johnson, a fellow seismologist at the University of Washington.
Ellsbury learned later that the truck driver, who was sentenced to 4 1/2 years in prison for vehicular homicide, had previously been convicted of possessing methamphetamines and that he had meth in his blood at the time of the crash.
"The system has big holes, let's say that," said Ellsbury, who said she had a message for truck drivers who might be tempted to cheat: "I'd like to be standing right outside the bathroom and hold up a picture of my husband — remind them there's consequences."
Truckers promise to do better Spokesmen for the trucking industry said truck drivers were among the safest drivers on the road, with much lower rates of drug use than the general population. Still, they said, having roughly 30,000 drivers
test positive each year was unacceptable.
The Transportation Department spokeswoman, while blaming "commercial and passenger driver errors" for most highway deaths, said the department was continuing to "work with our state law enforcement partners to aggressively ensure trucking companies comply with our regulations, including drug and alcohol enforcement."
"In 2006 alone, this combined federal and state effort led to more than 5,000 enforcement cases that resulted in more than $19 million in fines and 1,035 companies being taken out of service," she said.
Lisa Myers is chief investigative correspondent and Richard Gardella is an investigative producer for NBC News.
Tri-State Semi Driver Training, Inc.
Start Time: 10:00 AM
Ending Time: 3:00 PM
Description: 2nd Annual Transportation Job Fair and Truck Show
Grand Event! 6690 Germantown Rd. (Rt. 4N), Middletown, OH 45042. TRUCKS,
CRUISE-IN, MUSIC, FOOD AND DOOR PRIZES! LIVE Remote with "Wild Walley" and the
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Lowes Motor Speedway in Charlotte, NC, on October 13th with hotel
accommodations. (Must be present at 1pm to win) BRING your hot rods old and new!
Dash magnets for the first 25 cars to arrive. Butler County Sheriff's Dept. K-9
Demonstrations. BLOOD Drive with the Community Blood Center 10am-1pm; please
call Tri-State to pre-register. ON-SITE hiring for experienced and
non-experienced Class "A" CDL Drivers by these major carriers: Averitt, Falcon,
NTB, PI&I, Prime, Roehl, Schneider, TMC, US Xpress, Waste Management and
Werner. Call 1-800-860-7364 for more details.
So what are you reading?
Dean Koontz, good author....VM-out!
Comment By:VM on Sat, Sep 08 2007 @ 6:35 AM [EST]
I agree. I've only read a few of his so far. I've been reading a lot of the classics the past couple years by Mark Twain, HG Wells, etc.
Comment By:Truckin Tedybehr on Sun, Sep 09 2007 @ 12:01 AM [EST]