The DOT Doctor’s Blog

October 23, 2014

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving goes beyond the vehicle class. It is an issue for all drivers but only CMV drivers, with these exceptions, are singled out and penalized. The train accident should not have happened. Following the driver’s “safety” patterns, or rather lack thereof, it was not the phone that caused the wreck but the driver’s habits. He does not pay merit to a train crossing and fudges on his med exams. It is likely this accident would have still occurred even if he had not been on the phone.

Cell phone usage, eating while driving, smoking with driving, laptop/iPad usage while driving and the 100 other things that can be on this list are all distractions.  How often do you see someone multitasking while behind the wheel?  They are applying makeup, shaving, having sex/performing sexual acts, changing clothes, reading a book and a myriad of other unthinkables while driving.  This is a culture and attitude change that needs to occur by all drivers to make our roadways safer.

CMV drivers, due to the larger vehicle and weight size, come into focus more quickly.   With D.O.T. regulations, we already have a means of governance over them so they are easier targets to point the finger upon.   CMV drivers do not need more regulations.  We need a nationwide attitude and accountability change for all drivers.   For all persons!

We have become litigious society that blames the other guy.   There is no personal responsibility taught any more.  It is always someone else’s fault.  People need to take responsibility for their own actions once again.  Drivers need to have real training behind the wheel and in the classroom before obtaining a license.  This is not just CMV drivers but everyone that possess the privilege to drive.  Non-CMV drivers need to be schooled and educated on how to conduct themselves around a CMV.   CMV drivers need to take pride in their profession and return to the Kings (and Queens) of the road that they once were.  We all need to stop trying to doing 100 things at once and concentrate one doing one thing to the best of our ability at a time.  This is how to make our roadways safer.  This how to end so called ADD and other distraction aliments.   We must again learn to concentrate instead of having the mindset and brain power of a gold fish.

Trucking companies are going to communicate with their drivers.  If it is not via cell phone, then it will be via onboard devices (texting alert) or radio.  Business people on the road are going to do the same.  Our society have moved into this “must be connected at all times” state.  The only way this will stop is if the phone manufactures place a block in the phones that render them unusable if in a moving vehicle.   Doubtful they will as this shall cost them money.

Drivers who are concerned for safety can download apps like ‘I’m Driving’.  This app informs your caller, automatically, that you cannot be reached at present due to being behind the wheel.   Some of my drivers use to use this app or a similar one.  While aggravating to the party trying to reach them; it is a welcome call to safety.  The driver who chooses this route, is a driver focused on safety.   To use this app effectively, it is a matter of learning to check the phone regularly when you stop for messages and missed calls.  Instead of killing hours behind the wheel “yacking”; you make safe, direct calls during a stop.  It is all about changing the mindset from frivolous to safety.

We do not need more regulations to achieve this goal.  We need education.  We need people who want to be safe.   Ask yourself, “What are you doing today to improve roadway safety?”  You don’t have to be a CMV driver to make a difference.

Source Story:  http://cdllife.com/2014/top-trucking-news/ntsb-recommends-fmcsa-place-stricter-restrictions-hand-held-devices

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March 11, 2009

Should I be a Trucker?

Filed under: Uncategorized — dotdoctor @ 4:45 pm
Tags: , , , ,

I have had many folks IM, email or phone me asking about a career in trucking. Is it a good time to become a driver? I was laid off and hear driving pays well. Should I do it? These and other similar questions often come my way.

Honestly, right now I would have to say no. First, the pay is generally no where as good as one thinks it is. Second, the hours are long. You are gone from your family and friends for weeks on end. This means missing the ballgame, birthdays, holidays and other events….as well as dinner with the family or tucking the little ones into bed. You “work” about 100 irregular hours a week and log about 60. Be real, anyone making out there knows you do. Work can range from driving, loading or waiting on dispatch for a load just to name a few. Third, the economy is just supporting the need for drivers at this time. Companies have hiring freezes on and go talk to a driver. Stop by a truck stop and have a chat. Buy him/her a cup of coffee and talk to them. Miles are down for most drivers. O/Os are hanging on by threads unless they are a rare, well established “lucky” one.

Need more proof – read on……….

Trucking Jobs Fell 2.5% In Feb.
Tue Mar 10, 2009 7:51 pm (PDT)
Trucking jobs fell 2.5% in February

By Avery Vise

Continuing a string of unprecedented percentage decreases, the trucking
industry lost 33,400 employees on a seasonal basis in February — a 2.5 percent
drop from January, according to preliminary figures released March 6 by the
Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The 33,400 trucking jobs lost in February represent 5.1 percent of the net
651,000 nonfarm payroll jobs lost. And the rate of decline in trucking
employment in February far exceeds that of the 0.5 percent employment decline in the
overall economy.

Trucking employment was down 1.8 percent in January, 1.3 percent in December
and just less than 1 percent in November. Each decline was the highest
recorded monthly percentage drop at the time except for April 1994 during a
Teamsters strike. Since October, trucking employment is down 6.4 percent.

Trucking employment is down 11.8 percent from its peak of 1.45 million in
January 2007, according to BLS figures.

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