Driving and DOT Topics

The Cost of Non-Compliance to the FMCSR

posted Apr 7, 2010, 6:14 AM by David Wright

Each year thousands of companies and their drivers pay penalties for violating the DOT’s FMCSR.  The penalties listed below are real, and the hit your company and employees where it counts – in their pockets!!  Take a look at 5 general violations:

Violation Maximum Penalty
A safety violation by a company such as failing to perform annual inspections or failing to insure that drivers are qualified. $11,000
A safety violation by a driver, such as violating the hours of service rules or driving while intoxicated. $2,750
Violating and out-of-service order. $3,750 – Driver
$16,000 - Company
Failing to prepare or maintain a required record such as a Daily Inspection Report, Driver’s Log, or a Driver Qualification File. $1,000 per day, up to $10,000
Knowingly falsifying, changing, or destroying required documents, such as a medical card, drivers log, or daily inspection. $10,000 per violation

Winter Driving Tips

posted Dec 10, 2009, 11:58 AM by David Wright   [ updated Dec 10, 2009, 12:04 PM ]

Winter driving can be hazardous and scary, especially in northern regions that get a lot of snow and ice. Additional preparations can help make a trip safer, or help motorists deal with an emergency. This sheet provides safety tips for your residents to help prevent motor vehicle injuries due to winter storms.

The Three P's of Safe Winter Driving:
❄PREPARE for the trip; 
❄PROTECT yourself; and 
❄PREVENT crashes on the road.

Maintain Your Car: Check battery, tire tread, and windshield wipers, keep your windows clear, put no-freeze fluid in the
washer reservoir, and check your antifreeze.

Have On Hand: flashlight, jumper cables, abrasive material (sand, kitty litter, even floor mats), shovel, snow brush and ice
scraper, warning devices (like flares) and blankets. For long trips, add food and water, medication and cell phone.
Stopped or Stalled? Stay with your car, don't over exert, put bright markers on antenna or windows and shine dome
light, and, if you run your car, clear exhaust pipe and run it just enough to stay warm.

Plan Your Route: Allow plenty of time (check the weather and leave early if necessary), be familiar with the maps/
directions, and let others know your route and arrival time.

Practice Cold Weather Driving!
* During daylight, rehearse maneuvers slowly on the ice or snow in an empty lot
* Steer into a skid 
* Know what your brakes will do: stomp on anti-lock brakes, pump non-antilock brakes
* Stopping distances are longer on water-covered ice and ice
* Don't idle for a long time with the windows up or in an enclosed space

* Buckle up and use child safety seats properly
* Never place a rear-facing infant seat in front of an air bag
* Children 12 and under are much safer in the back seat 

* Drugs and alcohol never mix with driving
* Slow down and increase distances between cars
* Keep your eyes open for pedestrians walking in the road
* Avoid fatigue – Get plenty of rest before the trip, stop at least every three hours, and rotate drivers if possible
* If you are planning to drink, designate a sober driver

Winter Driving Tips - Just for Starters

posted Dec 10, 2009, 8:31 AM by David Wright   [ updated Jan 14, 2010, 10:44 AM ]

Here are some thing that I have picked up over the years...You will probably know most of these, but hey you never know, you might learn something new!!!

 Just For Starters

  1. Before turning on the ignition, make sure the wipers are not frozen to the glass. (Always stop the wipers with the wiper switch and wait until they go into their "park" position before turning off ignition. This is necessary because your wipers will finish one cycle when you turn on the ignition, even though you turn the wipers before right before turning on the ignition the next morning.)
  2. Let your engine warm up while you clear off snow or ice from all window surfaces. Put heater fan on "high", heat on "hottest", and selector on "defrost". Be sure to clear off any snow accumulated on the hood and front fenders. This can make it hard to judge distance. Turn on electric rear window defroster if you have one. (In-glass defrosters improve rearward visibility under all moisture-producing conditions, including summer rain.)
  3. Check all lights, including headlights, parking lights, tail lights, backup lights, and lane-change signals. Make sure they are free of snow or road grime. Even if you don't wash your car all winter, keep your lights clean.
  4. If visibility is anything less than normal, turn headlights on low beam, even during daylight hours. Although this may not improve your ability to see, it will make it easier for the other guy to see you and to judge your speed and distance. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER use parking lights on the highway for any reason. As the name indicates, they are for PARKING. When used on the highway, they tend to distort the other drivers' perception of your speed and distance, especially if most other cars are using headlights.

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