This week, July 11-17, is Operation Safe Driver Week. This outreach initiative and safe driving awareness program is scheduled by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA). The goal is to improve driving behaviors and provide education to both commercial motor vehicle drivers and to passenger vehicle drivers. Let’s take a look at the importance of safe driving and what to expect this week…
During this week, law enforcement officers will be intently watching for risky driving behaviors. Those drivers that are deemed unsafe will be pulled over for a traffic stop and issued a warning or citation. Data from the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management shows that traffic stops and issued tickets significantly impact driving behaviors, as it reduces the number of accidents and non-fatal injuries following the stop. It’s law enforcement’s aim to improve roadway safety by monitoring and targeting high-risk driving behaviors this week.
While law enforcement will be on the lookout for any unsafe driving behaviors, speeding is the primary focus. The CVSA decided to emphasize speeding because there was an increase in traffic-related fatalities in the last year — likely due to speeding. The preliminary data released from the National Safety Council (NSC) shows that over 40,000 people died in motor vehicle accidents in 2020, which was an 8 percent increase compared to the year prior. The motor vehicle death rate is the highest it’s been since 1924 as calculated by the NSC.
Here is how speed has impacted roadway safety. Take a look at these speeding statistics from Driving Tests:
- For more than two decades, speeding has been involved in approximately one-third of all motor vehicle fatalities. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2018)
- Speeding continues to be the number one cited driver-related factor in fatal highway crashes. (Bureau of Transportation Statistics, 2017)
- Teens are more likely than older drivers to speed and allow shorter following distances. (Texas A&M Transportation Institute, 2019)
- 42% of the surveyed drivers said they don’t consider going 10-mph over the speed limit to be speeding. Another 10% said they don’t think a 20-mph increase is speeding. (Everquote, 2016)
- National data shows that even a 10-mph speed increase ups the risk of a crash by 9.1%. (Fortune, 2016)
- In 2017, there were 203 fatal crashes in work zones in which speeding had been a factor. (Federal Highway Administration, 2019)
Additional Unsafe Driving Behaviors
Law enforcement will also be tracking other unsafe driving behaviors, such as failing to obey traffic control devices, following too closely, cutting people off, not yielding, distracted driving, not wearing a seatbelt, and evidence of driving under the influence, amongst other things.
Here are some more unsafe driving statistics via Driving Tests:
- 66% of traffic fatalities are caused by aggressive driving. (SafeMotorist.com, 2019)
- Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2018)
- On average, three in five people will be involved in a crash due to impaired driving in their lifetime. (National Center for Statistics and Analysis, 2017)
- Every day in America, another 30 people die as a result of drunk driving crashes. That’s one person every 48 minutes. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2018)
- Drivers who decide to drive sleep-deprived are responsible for more than 6,400 US deaths annually. (National Sleep Foundation, 2018)
- If you are not wearing a seatbelt, you are 30 times more likely to be ejected from your vehicle during a crash. (Your chance of death is much higher if you are ejected from your vehicle.) (Driver Knowledge, 2019)
In addition to practicing safe driving behaviors, truck drivers should also pay close attention to their vehicle maintenance. Drivers should regularly check their brakes, lights, tires, load securement, etc. Good vehicle maintenance helps keep drivers on the road and out of harm’s way.
We hope you stay safe this week (and every other week). If you do get stopped during Operation Safe Driving Week, remember to keep calm, have patience, and be respectful.
For those looking for a safe and reliable liquid bulk carrier, call Liquid Trucking at 899-GO-TANKS!