The month of October is when the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) conducts its annual Operation Safe Driver Program. Operation Safe Driver lasts one week – last year it ran from Oct. 15-21.
During this time, there were 59,193 total citations and warnings issued. Of these citations and warnings, 38,878 went to commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers, and 20,315 went to motorists. Citations and warnings for speeding accounted for 7.4 percent of the CMV total, and 43.5 percent of the total for motorists.
Safe Driving Practices
Operation Safe Driver takes place throughout the United States and Canada with law enforcement agencies increasing roadway traffic safety checks and education to raise awareness of dangerous driving behaviors that can lead to car accidents.
Driver behavior is the critical factor in more than 88 percent of large truck crashes and 93 percent of passenger vehicle crashes, according a study by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Dangerous driving behaviors include speeding, aggressive driving, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, distracted driving, and drowsy driving.
Here are the top warnings/citations given to CMV drivers during Operation Safe Driver:
- State and local moving violations made up 84.2 percent
- Speeding violations made up 7.4 percent
- Seat beat violations made up 2.6 percent
- Failure to obey traffic control devices made up 2.5 percent
- Using a handheld phone made up 0.8 percent.
Here are the top warnings/citations given to drivers of passenger vehicles:
- Speeding violations made up 43.5 percent
- State and local moving violations made up 36.2 percent
- Seat belt violations made up 9.4 percent
- Failure to obey traffic control device made up 2.3 percent
- Improper lane change made up 1.5 percent
Dangers of Speeding
Speeding was the top violation for drivers of passenger vehicles and the second for CMV drivers during Operation Safe Driver. Studies by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) show that speeding increases crash risk in two ways – the likelihood of a crash increases as well as the severities of the resulting injuries to all parties involved in the crash.
Between 2005 and 2014 there were 112,580 speed-related passenger vehicle highway crash fatalities. This is nearly the same number of people who died during that period in alcohol-related crashes.
Since July, the NTSB has been pushing more aggressive enforcement of speed limits to help reduce speed-related fatalities. They are also encouraging the wider adoption of intelligent speed adaptation systems. These are systems that ensure that a vehicle does not exceed the legal speed limit.
The system monitors the speed of the vehicle and the legal speed limit on the road being traveled. When the vehicle exceeds the speed limit, the driver receives a warning. The system can also intervene and control the vehicle to reduce the speed. With Operation Safe Driver Week, the CVSA hopes to curb speeding and other dangerous driving behaviors.
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