CEI Urges Drivers to Take Distracted Driving Pledge

Take the Pledge

The CEI Group, Inc. (CEI) is urging fleets to recognize April as Distracted Driving Awareness month by asking fleet drivers to sign a nationwide pledge to avoid distracted driving.

"Despite all the attention, distracted driving accidents are becoming more frequent," said Brian Kinniry, CEI's senior director of strategic account services. "And while the focus is on teen drivers, studies show that every age group is using cell phones and texting when behind the wheel."

Studies have proven that hands-free cell phone use is just as dangerous as hand-held, because it's the conversation itself that interferes with recognizing road hazards, Kinniry said.

"The best policy for using a cell phone while on the road is to shut it off when you enter your vehicle, and use it only after you've pulled off the road and are stopped in safe place," he said.

The downloadable pledge appears on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's website here.

It reads:

The fight to end distracted driving starts with you. Make the commitment to drive phone-free today.

Distracted driving kills and injures thousands of people each year. I pledge to:
•Protect lives by never texting or talking on the phone while driving.
•Be a good passenger and speak out if the driver in my car is distracted.
•Encourage my friends and family to drive phone-free.

Encompass Telematics Is Now EnVue Telematics

Encompass Telematics has announced they are changing their name to EnVue Telematics in order to better reflect their vision for enhancing their client's abilities to manage risk exposure, reduce fleet operating expense, and improve the overall productivity of their transportation assets and the workforce assigned to use them.

EnVue Telematics is focused on turning comprehensive data into meaningful, easy to understand information that gets disseminated in a timely fashion to the appropriate people so that it is actionable. Timely information creates “visibility” and “Visibility Creates Profit”.

Parking and Backing Safety

Parking lots are often filled with obstacles and hazards. Pedestrians walking to and from their cars, backing vehicles, drivers ignoring pavement markings, drivers cutting across empty rows – these are all common occurrences. Fleet drivers must be extremely cautious, especially when turning corners or backing.

The most important advice for driving in parking lots is to slow down. Also, it’s best to avoid backing altogether, if possible, and to park away from other vehicles. That’s because conditions in parking lots change so quickly and are so unpredictable, and the space is so cramped. Many drivers simply drive too fast in parking lots, in light of the hazards.

Here’s a video offering parking and backing safety tips from Salt River Project, a major public power and water utility in Arizona. You may want to pass this along to fleet drivers as a friendly reminder.

To view the video, click on the photo or link above.


Rules of the Road for Passing

  Fleet Safety Video Tip: How to Pass Safely

Passing safely requires sound judgment and a solid grasp of the rules of the road. Here is some advice from the New York Department of Motor Vehicles that you may want to pass along to your fleet drivers as a friendly reminder.

•Generally, pass other vehicles on the left. Passing on the right, which is permitted only in limited circumstances, should be done only when necessary and safe to do so.
•When passing other vehicles or changing lanes to avoid hazards, do so with caution and only when necessary.
•You must not exceed the speed limit to pass another vehicle.
•When passing a motorcycle, remember to give the motorcycle the same full lane width as other vehicles are allowed.
•Never move into the same lane space as a motorcycle, even if the lane is wide and the motorcyclist is riding to one side.
•Always use directional or hand signals at least 100 feet before making a lane change.
•Never pass a vehicle stopped at a crosswalk to allow a pedestrian to cross.

Passing on the Left

The left lane is usually used for passing other vehicles. However, you may not pass a vehicle on the left if:
•Your lane has a solid yellow center line
•You cannot safely return to the right lane before reaching a solid yellow center line for the right lane
•You cannot safely return to the right lane before any approaching vehicle comes within 200 feet of you
•You are approaching a curve or the crest of a hill on a two-way road and cannot see around or over it
•You are within 100 feet of a railroad crossing on a two-way roadway
•You are within 100 feet of a bridge, tunnel or viaduct on a two-way road and your view is obstructed
•Passing will interfere with oncoming traffic.

If conditions are right for passing, check your mirrors and signal your lane change. Before pulling into the left lane, glance briefly over your left shoulder and at the rear side window to make sure no vehicle is passing you or close behind you in the left lane.

Never rely on your mirrors alone when preparing to change lanes. Even properly adjusted mirrors will leave "blind spots" behind you on both sides. If a vehicle is in the blind spot, you may not see it in your mirrors. Always glance over your shoulder before changing lanes or passing.

When passing, move completely into the left lane. Before returning to the right lane, signal and look at your interior rearview mirror and make sure you can see the front bumper of the vehicle you just passed. Glance quickly over your right shoulder to double-check that you can see at least several feet of pavement between your vehicle and the one you passed. Then return to the right lane.

Passing on the Right

You may pass a vehicle on the right only in the situations listed below -- and only if you can do so safely. You may not drive on or across the shoulder or edge line of the road unless a sign expressly permits it.

You may pass on the right:
•When a vehicle ahead is making a left turn
•When you’re driving on a one-way road that is marked for two or more lanes or is wide enough for two or more lanes, and passing is not restricted by signs.

If you’re going to pass on the right at an intersection, check traffic ahead carefully. Make sure an oncoming vehicle is not turning left into your path. On the right side, watch out for pedestrians and bicyclists.

Before you pass on the right on multilane roads, make sure you check your mirrors, use the proper signals for a lane change, and look over your right shoulder for other vehicles. After passing, be sure to check over your left shoulder and signal before returning to the left lane.

To view a California DMV video on passing, click on the photo or link at the top.


Tags: California DMV, Driver Safety Tips, Driving Safety, How-to Guide, Fleet Safety Tip of the Week, New York DMV


Goodbye XP - Now What?


Fleet Safety Video Tip: Changing Lanes

Changing Lanes Safely

Dangerous lane changes can easily lead to crashes and near misses. State Farm offers the following advice on changing lanes safely.

Changing lanes in traffic moving in the same direction as your vehicle:
•Before changing lanes, look in your rearview and side mirrors and then glance over your shoulder in the direction you intend to change lanes.
•Make sure no objects obstruct your path and no vehicles are rapidly approaching from the rear in the lane you intend to move into. If it's clear, use your vehicle's turn signal to indicate your intention to change lanes.
•The front of any vehicle to your side should be clearly visible in your rearview mirror before you move into the lane ahead of them so you don’t cut them off.
•The presence of a solid white line lane divider indicates that lane changes are prohibited.

Changing lanes in opposing traffic in order to pass a vehicle:
•Before changing lanes into approaching traffic, you should be certain that you have ample visibility, time and clearance to pass the vehicle in front of you.
•You should also verify that you have unobstructed travel into the opposing lane from vehicles attempting to pass your vehicle from the rear.
•You should be cautious of vehicles you are attempting to pass that may be slowing to make a left-hand turn that may turn into your path.
•Exercise caution when passing a vehicle slowing to make a right-hand turn since cross traffic may attempt to enter the intersection and into your path -- especially in situations when your vehicle may be blocked from view by the turning vehicle you are attempting to pass.
•You should become familiar with laws in your state regarding lane change prohibitions in advance of intersections, on bridges, and in no-passing zones. Solid yellow lines dividing lanes indicate no-passing zones.

To view a video from the California DMV, click on the photo or link above. You may notice the video's advice varies a little from State Farm's. The California DMV recommends activating the turn signal before checking mirrors and looking over your shoulder. If you want to offer your own opinion on the matter, or you have more tips on changing lanes, please leave a comment.



Windy Weather Driving Tips

  Fleet Safety Video Tip: Driving in High Winds


March is typically a windy month, posing a variety of challenges for drivers. In windy conditions, it’s important to maintain safe distances from other vehicles, particularly big commercial trucks, buses, RVs and trailers being towed. With a sudden gust of wind, these vehicles can quickly swing out and collide with your vehicle. What’s more, they are more prone to tipping over in high winds.

Of course, bicyclists and motorcycle riders can easily lose control as well.

Keep in mind that your own vehicle is more susceptible to high winds throwing it off-course on open stretches of road, when passing bridges or gaps in high shrubbery, or when passing a big truck, according to the Automobile Association. Steer with both hands on the wheel and adjust your speed.

White House clears electronic log proposal


The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is expected to publish soon a proposed rule to mandate electronic logging devices (ELDs) for hours-of-service compliance and establish minimum performance standards for those devices. The White House Office of Management and Budget cleared FMCSA’s supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNPRM) on March 11, clearing FMCSA to publish the rule in the Federal Register for public comment.

FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro announced the latest development at a House Transportation & Infrastructure subcommittee hearing on the U.S. Dept. of Transportation’s implementation of the highway program legislation known as MAP-21. That legislation required FMCSA to issue a rule in 2013 mandating ELDs within two years of the final rule. In addition to mandating ELDs and setting performance standards, the SNPRM would revise FMCSA’s requirements for HOS supporting documents and address concerns about driver harassment resulting from the mandatory use of ELDs.

Driver harassment was the key issue that scuttled FMCSA’s earlier final rule on electronic logs. The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Assn. successfully challenged the rule in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit on the grounds that it did not include measures to protect against harassment as required by a little-noticed provision in the law. A few months later in May 2012, FMCSA formally rescinded its April 2010 rule that had established a phased-in mandate and set performance standards for devices.

The supporting documents portion of the SNPRM also will address an issue that sprang from litigation. The American Trucking Assns. asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to force FMCSA to issue a long-overdue rule on supporting documents. One of the key events that sparked ATA’s action was the agency’s decision in late 2008 to begin using satellite positioning data routinely as supporting documents in auditing logs – an action that reversed a policy that had been in place for about a dozen years.

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