7 Steps To Handle DOT Violations Like A Pro

Summary

In this blog post, It is going to be all about DOT Violations, we shall touch upon every aspect of DOT compliance, probable violations, procured citations, and even the strategies that you can follow to turn things around after being penalized.

While we start with a small introduction and by stating how DOT compliance actually works, we move onto the more complex driver and vehicle-specific issues that might lead to violations. Moving on, we talk about basic manners and etiquette that go a long way if you want the DOT office to cut you some slack.

Subsequently, we also talk about the steps that truckers and managers can take proactively, to keep violations to a minimum. 

Lastly, once you have been penalized, we also discuss the steps and strategies to challenge the decision and get it dissolved eventually. Amid the pointers, we spare a thought for the innovative DataQs system and how it can help truckers review crash reports and challenge citations, accordingly.

Despite truckers being hailed as heroes during the pandemic, precisely for their ironclad will, they continue to face certain unavoidable issues, concerning vehicles in general.

As a trucker, getting pulled over for an inspection is never an easy pill to swallow. More so, if the person pulling you over is a DOT inspector!

How To Handle DOT Violations?

Then again, if you are starting off as a trucker and not completely aware of how the DOT inspection works and what are the aligned issues to deal with in case you get an unwanted citation— you must spare some time to skim through this discussion. 

How To Handle DOT Violations Like A Pro?

Step 1- Don’t Fret! Let’s Talk Compliance

Let’s not lose sleep over DOT Compliance, Violations, and Citations!

Instead, check out the following info to get a perspective.

For starters, the Department of Transportation has laid down several pre-defined standards, depending on the oversight regions and specifics. Therefore, as a trucker, you need to take a closer look at every internal, external, primary, secondary, and even tertiary aspect of the truck whilst ensuring perfection.

 Provided the vehicle doesn’t meet one or a handful of DOT compliance standards, you might end up getting penalized, as per the set standards. 

Concerned about the numbers! Let these exorbitant fines scare you to perfection!

As far as the DOT fines are concerned, out-of-service representation attracts $26,126 whereas record falsification citation is tagged at $12, 135. However, the priciest of all is the HMR violation, set at $78,376. Lastly, if you do not have a dot number, a fine worth $14,500 can be levied. In addition to these rates, there are other realms that attract lower, comparable, or even higher penalties. 

Step 2- Get the Reasons Straight!

6th Point will amaze you?

It is important for you, as a trucker, to know the aspects that DOT officers take into consideration. Once the conditions are projected out in the open, it becomes easier for you and even the fleet manager to bring in arrangements for staying ahead of the process. 

Moreover, a DOT officer assigns a DOT number to the vehicle, based on the condition of the truck, registration, availability of documents, and a host of other minuscule but essential factors. Considering the frequent DOT violations and penalties, we have put together a detailed list citing the most probable aspects considered by DOT officers for evaluation:

  • Driver Training

 Based on the regulations enlisted by DOT and accepted by the FMSCA, driver qualification and training are of paramount importance. Moreover, the trucker must have had hands-on training in addition to the theoretical and instructional qualifications. 

However, DOT compliance, relevant to driver training encompasses a wide-range of factors. Firstly, a background check is pertinent, so as to eliminate the possibility of existing convictions and violations. Secondly, driver licensing follows a medical examination, to eliminate disabilities and pre-existing health conditions.

Lastly, every trucker’s license isn’t the same and the person-in-charge of the truck must have the right one to avoid penalties. In general, there are three vehicle categories to take into account, including Class A, Class B, and Class C trucks. Apart from the vehicle size, the trucker in-charge must have additional validations in case the vehicle is meant for passengers or for transporting hazardous substances, as a part of the Hazmat clearance.

  • Drug Testing

As a trucker, you must be privy to the alcohol and drug testing standards. While a majority of these regulations are conveyed to the driver as a part of the induction process, it is necessary to take things seriously for steering clear of DOT citations. Most importantly, alcohol and drug-based violations also affect the supervisors and fleet managers as they are held accountable.

  • Record Keeping

DOT standards expect truckers to pitch forth accurate logs when inspected. While this calls for the inclusion of Electronic Devices for Logging, which is more of a compulsion in 2021. Paper logs are subjected to incessant checks and DOT officers are pretty strict on the truckers while checking for anomalies and log-based irregularities. 

ELD or electronic devices allow the DOT officers to check for the HOS, as per the new standards. As a rule of thumb, anything beyond the 14-hour daily mark or the 60-hour weekly mark qualifies the trucker for citation and penalties. However, log accuracy is also checked for trip records, dispatches, manifest bills, fleet communications, payroll sheets, and settlement records.

  • Cargo Securing

Load security is yet another important DOT metric that truckers need to take into consideration. As per the DOT guidelines, the cargo securing standards depend on the type of vehicle and might vary for flatbeds, tractor-trailer combos, and more. The essence, however, takes the SMS score into account and addresses the methods that truckers have in place to avoid mishaps, accidental spillage, load shifting, overturning, and more.

  • Permits and Licenses

The concerning paperwork, comprising tax-based rules for both state and federal jurisdictions, must be perfected, to avoid DOT violations. Besides, the specifics must adhere to the vehicle type and even the weight restrictions in play. Some of the more important permits include IRP and IFTA followed by the availability of straight plates for inter-state drives. 

  • Vehicle Condition

You shouldn’t be surprised if you end up being issued a DOT citation for a misappropriated GPS module, lack of extinguisher latch, license plate illumination, lack of washer fluid for the windshield, and more. These considerations showcase the stance of the DOT officers towards the vehicle condition in general. Moreover, pre and even post-trip vehicle inspections are also mandated to certain supervisors. 

Prepared already! Don’t count your eggs as of yet….

In addition to these aspects, you might end up being penalized for a few other reasons, including:

  1. No duty status record for the past trips
  2. Operating when in suspension
  3. Pipe leakages
  4. Cluttered dashboard
  5. Traffic Violations
  6. Not using seatbelts
  7. Non-compliance with HMRs
  8. No regard for subpoenas
  9. Faulty lane change
  10. Using improper equipment

Step 3- Use Etiquettes and Good Behavior to your Advantage

A grumpy trucker can avoid penalties; said no DOT officer ever!

Have you ever considered the fact that DOT citations can be avoided if you are well-mannered to say the least?

If not, keep reading on….

Firstly, you are partially sorted if the vehicle adheres to each of the mentioned DOT guidelines. However, even if it’s not, you can expect the DOT officer to cut you some well-deserved slack if you are well-behaved and show signs of compassion. While we shall talk about the tough inspectors later in our discussion, here are some of the tried and tested to sway away from massive penalties, in case of a regular DOT inspection:

  • Wear a smile 
  • Listen to what the inspectors have to say
  • Do not be chatty
  • Only ask vehicle-related intelligent questions
  • Do not argue
  • Keep the documentations handy
  • Know the tricks of pulling up logbook details
  • Keep the IFTA and insurance details up to speed
  • Do not throw tantrums
  • Remove the headphones even before the officer inspects you to
  • Convey the genuine reason for violations

Step 4- Prepare for a Tough Inspection: Going Beyond Good Behavior

If the above strategies fail to work and you end up encountering a stringent DOT inspector, here is a detailed checklist to follow and get acquitted, or get minimally penalized:

1. Stay Inside the Truck

Inspectors checking the truck and the relevant documents do not want to be disturbed by your presence. Therefore, you are better off staying inside the truck, preferably with both hands on the steering wheel. Not just that, you should allow the inspector to look inside the truck for the distracting elements as the driving conditions also determine the SMS score of the individual. 

Keep the inside of the truck clean so that the inspector can easily initiate a sniff rest. This means if you aren’t a smoker and the truck appears to be clean; you have actually set forth a pretty decent first impression.

2. Talk Sense

 There are certain officers who would try to strike conversations to cross-check the legitimacy of the log entries. Therefore, you should prep yourself for the trick questions and must not say anything that doesn’t match up to how the logs look like.

3. Attend to the Tires

A tough inspector might not spare the minimal tire noise and end up categorizing them unfit for driving. There have been instances where the inspector pulled out the axle tire and checked for popping noises during the motion. Therefore, it is advisable to get the tires checked before starting a trip.

4. Be Mindful of the Reflective Tape

Some of the drivers we know faced similar issues in Iowa. Even though the reflective tape isn’t such a big issue, you would want to take chances. Certain tough inspectors aren’t accommodative towards you if the reflective tape is amiss or absent altogether. 

5. Be Honest with the Paint Job

DOT inspectors are often very hard on the paint as they consider most jobs to be a cover-up for weak metal, tire cracks, and rust. Therefore, before you end up painting the truck, let go of the faulty parts and account for the structural innovations. 

6. Lack of Spare Tire

Regardless of the vehicle condition, a missing spare tire automatically qualifies for the ‘Out of Service’ tag. Therefore, before you start the trip, it is necessary to have one in place, especially if you aren’t very lucky with the inspections.

7. Broken or Mismanaged Trailer Attachment

If you are carrying some load, it is necessary to keep the fifth-wheel trailer attachment in perfect shape. As unsecured sliders are causes for concern, you need to eliminate them as a part of the truck prepping process.

Step 5- Proactivity is the Key!

It is Never too late to be DOT Compliant!

If stats are to be believed, almost 37.2 percent of truckers were put out of service owing to mismanaged or misreported hours of service.

That’s not it, wrong class license contributed to almost 714 physical violations followed by false logs, which accounted for 14.7 percent or 467 violations to be precise. 

Till now, we talked about the smaller issues in the frame. However, as a fleet manager, you must opt for several preventative measures, so as to avoid DOT penalties, in any given capacity. 

Step 1- On-board a team that understands the CFR regulations

Step 2- Focus on the paperwork, including the ones hinting at purchase orders and contracts

Step 3- Conduct log auditing as a surprise check 

Step 4- Fleet managers should only employ CDL drivers with Class-relevant licenses in play

Note: Ensure that they record duty status accuracy after every 24-hours

Step 5- Adopt digitization, as much as possible

Note: Opt for vehicle tracking systems, timely alert management, automated systems, and FMCSA-compatible ELDs for being more transparent. 

Step 6- Challenging Citations!!!

 Are you Confident Enough?

Provided you have every aspect covered and a DOT inspector still pulls you over and issues a citation, you can always challenge it by following a pretty simple procedure. Appealing makes sense as certain DOT inspectors aren’t aware of the new arrangements made to the system. As FMCSA rules are subject to frequent changes, challenging a citation might not be that bad a decision.

For instance, one of our drivers was virtually acquitted as the reported and penalized crash didn’t result in any injury, death, or loss of property. 

Here are some of the citations that are open to appeals:

  • When the citation insights and FMCSA data do not match
  • Purported DOT violation doesn’t violate the FMCSR standards
  • Violations cited are more severe than what the actual infraction is all about
  • Citation towards an outsourced driver 

Steps to Challenging a Citation

  1. Submit the report and the challenge directly to the said agency 
  2. Try and get an out-of-court decision and see if the violation holds or can be waived off sans a formal challenge
  3. If not, take it up with the court and if the citation is deemed baseless, the DOT score gets removed

Step 7- DataQs- The Fastest and Most Reliable Way to Challenge and Dissolve Citations

Already penalized and looking for a godsend solution to become whole. Let DataQ help

We understand that you might be pressed for time and find it unfeasible to connect manually with agencies and courthouses to get the citation challenged. 

With the ELD mandate freshly introduced by FMCSA, even truckers have something to fall back upon for expediting challenges. Better termed as the DataQ System, you, as a trucker, can use this resource for accumulating and compiling every piece of valuable information that might help you challenge the citation.

As an interactive platform, the DataQ system allows speedier RDR or data review requests, provided you get investigated as per the existing SMS profile. The 6-step process associated with the DataQ system allows you to process the penalties, ascertain the nature of the report, and even review the crash or violation information, as and how it actually happened.

Despite FMCSA not suggesting a timeline for this review, we would suggest you be within the 2-year timeframe, as the SMS profile gets refreshed after this point. 

Conclusion 

DOT compliance and relevant violations are open to debate. Moreover, there is still a sense of transparency into the mix as FMCSA allows for appeals and challenges. Regardless, it is still advisable to skim through the blog post in detail and avoid violating any DOT standard. 

Moreover, the Step-pronged approach laid down by us makes things easier for fellow truckers. While Step 1 and Step 2 help decipher the basics of DOT compliance and essential factors, Step 3 talks about the more abstract and truck-based strategies to handle a sudden check. Step 4, however, doesn’t take empathy into play and prepares you for the toughest possible inspector.

Step 5 brings forth the innovative and preemptive strategies that truckers and managers can follow to strong-arm the problems into submission, once and for all. Last but not least, even if these solutions fail to work, you can always rely on Step 6 for challenging the citations. 

In case you are at sea with the quick challenges, follow Step 7 and opt for the DataQ approach to get issues resolved in a heartbeat. 

Then again, if you still get inspected and penalized, try and learn from each citation and proceed accordingly.

We hope our guide on handling DOT Violations was helpful for you.

Did you ever get penalized for something absurd? If yes, let us know and help the truckers stay ahead of the DOT inspectors, by commenting on this blog


Revisiting FMCSA’s Safety And Security Priorities Amid Global Crisis

Key Takeaways:

  • Requirement of FMCSA Guidelines
  • Why to Revisit the FMCSA Achievements?
  • Safety Protocols
  • Role of Technology
  • GPS Tracking and Smart Video Solutions
  • Interactive Road Safety Module for the Truckers to Implement

The existing global crisis isn’t going anywhere but individuals and businesses must learn to live with the same, in order to sustain themselves, in the short and long run. With the US government on the verge of reopening several businesses to keep the economic activities intact, the movement of commercial vehicles is expected to resume, sooner than expected.

However, the post-covid19 era isn’t going to be the same. With the trucking industry taking a massive hit due to this catastrophic setback, it is time to consider certain pre-existing aspects before resuming operations.

Why the Commercial Vehicle Industry required Safety Guidelines in the First Place?

Commercial vehicle industry includes trucks, trailers, vans, and other entities that carry products from one point to the other. However, based on extensive surveys, almost 81 percent individuals are of the mind that commercial vehicle drivers show dangerous driving habits. While these trends were mostly synonymous to 2019, we expect the scenarios to persist even when the truckers and other commercial vehicles start plying post covid19 lockdown.

Commercial vehicle drivers are trying to fit in extensive working hours as most truckers pay them by the hour. The willingness to drive fast often leads to accidents, and this is why the FMCSA brought in the guidelines in the first place.

Moreover, with almost 69 percent of highly strollers known to witness speeding commercial trucks, it was a matter of time that certain guidelines came into existence.

Why Recapping of Safety Priorities is Necessary?

As mentioned, things will change once the US government lifts the extensive lockdown. However, after almost a two-month hiatus for certain fleets, it is quite difficult to get back onto the road, from a mental perspective.

Truckers are having hard time to sustain their workforce. Moreover, drivers are not getting paid adequately and tapping into their savings. Therefore, once they start working, concentrating will not be easy. The erratic mental state of the drivers might result in accidents as drivers will look to compete with others, in order to deliver additional freight.

Government’s Initiative to Concentrate on Safety

According to FMCSA or ‘Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’, it is necessary to improve road safety standards, in order to minimize collisions and other unfortunate activities. Therefore, the guidelines made sure that truckers adhere to the safety norms. While the achievements came to existence in 2019, they are more relevant now.

Based on the recent turn of events, the existing FMCSA guidelines aim at promoting safety, offering safety funding, keeping the trucking job opportunities alive, and even lowering the regulations which create burden on the trucking industry!  

Each one of these initiatives focuses on the post-covid19 scenario.

Here are some of the regulatory achievements of the FMCSA, keeping the safety standards in mind:

  • Funding of Critical Grants

This FMCSA achievement aims at offering grants to specific educational institutions and states. Here is one aspect that targets CMV safety with authorities allotting $77.3 million, for the same. Critical grants include HP grants amounting to $43.3 million and CDLPI grants of up to $32 million. These grants will surely come in handy once the lockdown ends and fleets are free to carry freight, across the states.

  • Newer Technologies

Commercial vehicles require technological infusion to stay relevant to the existing landscape. FMCSA aims at adding newer technologies into the mix for reducing the chances of collisions and mishaps during fleet movements.  While the inclusion of Automated Driving Systems is a decent idea, keeping the current scenario in mind, certain truckers can also include video monitoring, in the mix. A good way to keep up with the industry changes is by including GPS tracking into the mix.

  • Increasing Awareness

At the end, it all comes down to the bus safety and truck-centric awareness. FMCSA has already partnered with numerous organizations to perpetuate a sense of road-based awareness. This includes teaching drivers about the industry standards, safety regulations, and other aspects of harmonious sustenance. Apart from that, the ‘Voice of Safety’ movement was introduced way back in 2019, in order to offer educational videos and campaign related awareness programs to the industry leaders, drivers, and other commercial participants.

  • Helping Individuals with Jobs

Here is more of a sustenance policy which aims at job security for the commercial drivers. Apart from the driving workforce, anybody who is even remotely associated with the trucking sector can benefit from this FMCSA regulation. One aspect involves an effort to upgrade the commercial licenses from Class B to the more productive Class A. Allotted funds for the same amount to $18 million, each year.

  • Targeting the HOS log

FMCSA realized that most accidents occur when drivers aren’t at ease and thinking about the ‘Hours of Service’ or HOS. With truckers paying drivers on the basis of HOS log, it is bound to create a sense of competition among the drivers. This factor isn’t good according to the road safety standards. FMCSA authorities make sure that there are multiple HOS regulations in play with almost $274 million backing up the same.

  • Backing Military Members

FMCSA aims at recognizing the efforts of the US military services allowing individuals to operate trucks provided they have the licenses equivalent to the CDL. This approach makes sure that members from the military get ample professional opportunities. While this approach doesn’t cater to the safety standards directly, it aims at offering job support to a select group.

  • Improving Underlining Regulatory Efficiency

FMCSA reforms aren’t new. They have been around for long and account for almost $366 million. The newest set of guidelines and standards, introduced in 2019, aim at improving the regulatory efficiency, by taking all the aspects into account. These include the introduction of the training regulations for the Entry-Level commercial drivers, HOS proposals, and more.

The Role of Technology in Commercial Vehicle Industry

Commercial vehicles need to be regulated. Furthermore, the pandemic and associated lockdowns have driven the US economy to the nadir with non-essential truckers feeling most of the heat. Therefore, if FMCSA is seriously reconsidering all the mentioned regulations and safety standards, relevant to the FMCSA safety score, it must first include ample technological innovations into the mix.

  • GPS Tracking

The time is right to include EDL or even GPS tracking into the mix. A good thing about GPS fleet tracking is that truckers can use the same to ascertain the location of the drivers and the freight in general. When it comes to streamlining the commercial vehicle industry, it is necessary to bring in some additional eyes into the mix. This factor takes the GPS tracking into account.

A good thing about GPS tracking on commercial vehicles is that they can easily allow truckers to follow the location of the vehicle while braving inclement weather situations. The best case scenario here is to use a tracking system and safeguard trailers and commercial vehicles from accidents and mishaps.

  • Smart and Effective Video Solutions

Another intuitive technology is the inclusion of smart, efficient, and productive video solutions. Based on real-time surveys, almost 42 percent of respondents believe that having something like a dash cam can easily prevent road accidents. To simplify things further, video solutions are preferred by most truckers as they test the drivers on a regular basis while even screening them before hiring.

These video solutions also help firms lay down rules and regulations based on the existing and probabilistic driving practices.

The Complete Safety Module for the Post-Covid19 Scenario

Apart from the standardized FMCSA regulations, individual truckers must concentrate and bring in safety modules for controlling the number of accidents. Road safety will become a major concern for the government in the coming years as the commercial vehicle drivers will try to outwit each other for increase HOS.

The complete safety module must include the following aspects:

  • Driver Distraction Quotient

This aspect takes the psychological factors into account and considers hiring the drivers on the basis of certain personality tests.

  • Driver Health

Medical checkups need to be conducted on a daily basis to eliminate health based threats.

  • Hours of Service

The payment scenario must change in order to cut down on the competitive streak and even road rage.

  • Driver Fatigue Levels

This aspect is directly proportional to the HOS. Companies must make sure that drivers do not end up working relentlessly. The priority should be to minimize fatigue and measure the levels of drowsiness before starting a journey.

  • Road Sharing Guide

The interactive module should aim at teaching the drivers more about road sharing with the fellow professionals.

  • Safety Systems

Proper knowledge regarding the video monitoring solutions and GPS tracking essentials is also necessary when it comes to ascertaining a detailed educational module about road safety.

With the US economy slowly coming out of the worst-ever crisis, it is time to channelize the strength of the commercial vehicles for kickstarting manufacturing, retail, and other businesses. However, during this period of extreme professionalism and competition, it is necessary to keep the road safety standards into account, while following the FMCSA guidelines in every possible manner. The entire commercial vehicle industry must concentrate on following the FMCSA standards and protocols while teaching drivers regarding the existing guidelines. Including driver safety incentive programs could reap incredible benefits too.

That said, truckers can always opt for credible security standards and solutions in Matrack; a company that aims at streamlining and securing fleet, drivers, and the freight in general. Based on the guidelines laid down by FMCSA, technology needs to play a pivotal role in guaranteeing safety for the vehicles and the drivers behind the wheel. Matrack takes care of all the requirements with robust, scalable, and weatherproof GPS solutions for every trucker who wants to make it big in the post-covid19 era.

How To Make The Best Of Advanced Safety Technology

Upgraded technology serving as a vice instead of a virtue? A fleet manager would relate!

Have you ever taken a sneak peek into your fleet vehicle to find the lane departure warning or blind spot monitoring disabled? Are you perplexed with the annoyance reported by the drivers in your fleet when all this piece of technology was supposed to serve was more convenience and safety? Perhaps you’d be glad to find more than a bunch in your situation.

ADAS – advanced driver assistance systems, was built with a potential to curtail crashes. Various surveys however suggest that this technology has more or less failed to serve its purpose due to a misperception.

A study by an Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) stated that drivers often fail to understand important information communicated by system displays. The J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Tech Experience Index Study pointed out that drivers often disable the ADAS due to its annoying nature.

Nevertheless, every technology comes in with its own set of pros and cons. While fleet managers find themselves in a web as they lay their focus on the cons of ADAS, this piece of technology, if understood with keen interest, is more pro safety. Let us first understand this technology and how it works towards preventing crashes in detail.

Crash Prevention Techniques

The IIHS has explained Crash Prevention techniques in an elaborate manner.

Front Crash Protection

Cameras, radar, or light detection and ranging (LIDAR), are used as sensors to detect and maintain a safe distance from vehicles in the front. A warning statement or beep is made to alarm the driver if he crosses the “safe distance” parameter. The brakes of the vehicle are automatically pre-charged to maximize the braking effect by the driver. In case the driver fails to respond to the warning in due time, the system will bring the vehicle to rest on its own.

Lane Switch/Prevention

A camera constantly monitors the vehicle’s position within a lane alarming the driver in case he’s slanting out without indication. These alarms are either audible or haptic. Some crash prevention systems feature a mild steering wheel adjustment or slight braking to avoid switching of lane without prior indication.

The Blind Spot

The blind spot is usually at the side of a vehicle. This spot is monitored by a camera and visual or audio alerts are given to the driver indicating a vehicle spotted around the blind spot. Some crash prevention systems feature a mild steering wheel adjustment of slight braking to maintain lane discipline and avoid a mishap.

Rear Crash Prevention

With cameras and sensors at the back of a vehicle, the rear view is magnified for a driver in comparison with the usual mirror view or peeping out procedure. For some vehicles, a rear view camera is an absolute requirement due to the vehicle structure. Often, camera systems, as well as systems that use radar or ultrasonic sensors, warn the driver if there are objects in the way while reversing. The rear cross-traffic alert system detects vehicles that are bound to cross from either side and behind the vehicle. These systems also feature a mild steering wheel adjustment of slight braking to avoid a collision.

Based on a couple of studies and surveys, let me now discuss with you the pros and cons of the ADAS.

Pros of ADAS

If perceived correctly, the crash prevention system comes with a myriad of benefits. A few to mention are;

  • The advanced driver assistance system helps avoid crashes due to its sensor and camera technology.
  • Light braking and pre charging brakes to intensify sudden braking is extremely helpful in emergencies.
  • The safety system alerts drivers in case they doze off behind the wheel while driving.
  • It helps with maintaining lane discipline.
  • It more or less solves the issue of blind spot while driving.
  • The level of automation in today’s day and age is built to improve safety.
  • Drivers get ample time to avoid a crash due to the alerting feature.

Cons of ADAS

Unfortunately, the safety technology can prove to be more harmful than helpful if not used correctly. A few surveys have mentioned how the safety system has turned into an ironic disadvantage instead.

  • Drivers become more reliant on the safety system, thus engaging themselves in other stuff while driving. In most cases drivers tend to fall asleep.
  • Drivers have found the alerts to be very annoying and hence turn them off altogether.
  • The robotic feature of the safety system often cannot differentiate between a real obstacle and something that isn’t really an obstacle. This factor shocks drivers as they don’t see any necessity for sudden braking or nagging alerts.
  • Drivers don’t really understand the purpose and safety alerts well, thus do not make proper use of the assistance system.

How can a Fleet Manager get his drivers accustomed to this technology?

As a fleet manager, you need to train your drivers to use the safety system to their advantage. You also need to educate your fleet to operate the system effectively. Drivers also need to understand what every alert indication actually means.

A fleet manager should also understand what features are nagging and what features are really helpful for his fleet by being mindful of which specific safety technology they have a vested interest in.

The Risk Factor

Every technology features its own vices and virtues. The ADAS only covers a fraction of behaviours that can be obtained from a vehicle, including telematics data, which should be recorded, collated, and analysed. 

Safety systems often require the driver to take charge of the situation in time which is challenging if the driver is drowsy or inattentive.

The safety system is more risky if not attended to properly in larger vehicles like trucks, etc.

Truck fleet managers should foster pre-trip inspections and issue guidelines to every driver in their fleet.

Note that the safety system you choose for your fleet is updated time and again. Vehicles that are four or five years old have higher rates of false positives while newer systems have a very low rate for the same.

For any assistance or additional information safety systems and fleet management system, you could visit us at Matrack Inc

Emergency Declaration- FMCSA Expands HOS

In response to the Novel Coronavirus outbreak across the globe, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has issued an expanded national emergency declaration to provide hours-of-service regulatory relief to commercial vehicle drivers on 18th March 2020. These expanded hours are however applicable to only those drivers that transport emergency supplies corresponding with COVID-19.

The expanded declaration by the FMCSA renders relief to commercial motor vehicles (CMV) operations underpinning emergency attempts solely for the current needs of the outbreak. For instance:

  • Transporting equipment related to the testing, diagnosis and treatment or any other medical supply of COVID -19
  • Raw material like plastic, paper, alcohol, etc. essential for the manufacturing of essential commodities.
  • Fuel
  • Individuals and equipment supplies necessary for maintaining temporary quarantine.
  • Designated persons by federal, state or local authorities for quarantine or medical isolation.
  • Persons necessary for provision of medical of emergency service.
  • Community safety related commodities and supplies like sanitation and preventive measure material to cease community transmission like disinfectants, gloves, hand sanitizers, masks, soaps, etc.
  • Transportation for restocking of basic commodities like food, paper products and other groceries, to distribution centres and local shops.

The expanded declaration has been set forth with a precondition that it does not apply to routine commercial deliveries. Therefore, routine commercial deliveries or deliveries with a minimal amount of material that qualifies for emergency requirement or mixed load are not granted advantage of this expanded declaration.

It is also a mandate that a driver transporting property must receive a minimum of 10 hours off-duty and a driver transporting passengers must receive a minimum of 8 hours off-duty, after completing a single delivery.

“Direct assistance terminates when a driver or commercial motor vehicle is used in interstate commerce to transport cargo or provide services that are not in support of emergency relief efforts related to the COVID-19 outbreaks or when the motor carrier dispatches a driver or commercial motor vehicle to another location to begin operations in commerce,” the declaration said.

“Upon termination of direct assistance to emergency relief efforts related to the COVID-19 outbreaks, the motor carrier and driver are subject to the requirements of 49 CFR Parts 390 through 399, except that a driver may return empty to the motor carrier’s terminal or the driver’s normal work reporting location without complying with Parts 390 through 399,” has also been stated by the declaration.

It is also important to note that motor carriers or drivers currently subject to an out-of-service order are not permitted to benefit from the relief granted by this declaration. However, if the aforementioned has the applicable conditions for its rescission and the order has been rescinded by FMCSA, they might as well adhere to the expanded declaration.

The FMCSA has stated that it is for the first time in history that they have issued nationwide relief through its emergency declaration. They have also followed President Donald Trump issuing a national emergency declaration in response to the virus.

“The nation’s truck drivers are on the front lines of this effort and are critical to America’s supply chain,” Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao said in a statement.

“Under Secretary Chao’s leadership, FMCSA is providing additional regulatory relief to our nation’s commercial drivers to get critically important medical supplies, food and household goods to Americans in need,” FMCSA acting Administrator Jim Mullen said in a statement. “We will continue to support them and use our authority to protect the health and safety of the American people.”

For additional information on FMCSA rules and regulations you could visit us at MatrackInc

Safety Screens On Semis

Road crashes are often preventable if precautionary safety measures are put into place. Unfortunately, the number of reported deaths due to road accidents is shockingly high. According to the World Health Organization, nearly 1.25 million people die in road crashes each year. That means on average there are 3,287 deaths a day due to road accidents. Overtaking semi-trucks, especially on one lane roads, can be highly dangerous due to the limited vision of oncoming traffic. Samsung has found a way to use technology to help keep people safe and has partnered up with companies in Argentina to make the first “Samsung Safety Truck” prototype.

So how does the safety screen actually work? The Samsung prototype truck has a built-in wireless camera in the front and four rear outdoor monitors so that a live picture of the road is displayed to motorists behind the truck at all times. The screen is composed of four Samsung OH46D video walls and is designed to be both dust and waterproof to ensure a clear picture to motorists regardless of the road or weather. The camera also has a nighttime mode so whether it’s day or night, the motorists behind the truck always have a clear view of the traffic ahead of them. Samsung hopes that through technology they can help keep people safer and improve people’s lives.

Explore the “Safety Truck” for yourself by watching this YouTube video in a player. For GPS Fleet Tracking, Trailer Tracking and Asset Tracking devices, Visit MatrackInc.com.