This year’s Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s Operation Safe Driver Week is almost here. This CVSA program is designed to reduce unsafe and potentially dangerous driving behaviors on shared public roads.
From July 11 to 17, law enforcement personnel are on the lookout for risky drivers, placing an emphasis on speeding. Identified drivers of such risky behaviors will be issued citations or warnings. Each year, this event holds the potential to greatly affect the day-to-day operations of carriers and shippers; thus, they need to ensure that they prepare properly to avoid disruptions and supply chain delays.
As this year’s event approaches, it is important to explore statistics and commonalities when it comes to unsafe driving. Although last year saw fewer drivers on the road as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the estimated rate of deaths on the road managed to increase 24 percent. This alarming data reflects an unexpected climb in unsafe driving, which Operation Safe Driver Week hopes to target and improve. If we take a look at truck driving in particular, more than 10,000 warnings and citations were given during last year’s event, with speeding leading the way as the most common offense.
In addition to this year’s focus on speeding, law enforcement is keeping an eye out for the following dangerous actions:
- Reckless driving
- Distracted driving
- Following too closely
- Improper lane change
- Failure to obey traffic control devices
- Failure to use a seat belt
- Impaired driving
How Can Carriers Prepare?
Ahead of Operation Safe Driver Week, and throughout the year as a whole, safe driving begins with carrier preparation in multiple ways:
- Keep track of updated paperwork, in case of law enforcement check
- Practice regular maintenance on the vehicles to ensure minimal equipment issues on the road; in the event that a part is compromised, provide backup parts if cost and space allow
- Plan out routes with time to spare, or even keep a secondary route in mind, for last-minute disruptions or delays
- Train team members on safety measures, monitor driver behaviors, and routinely discuss new regulations to keep the importance and expectation of safe driving top-of-mind as drivers navigate the roads
How Can Shippers Prepare?
To avoid potential violations, some carriers will opt out of driving during Operation Safe Driver Week, causing tighter capacity in the market and affecting supply chain timelines. Shippers need to prepare in advance for these circumstances in multiple ways:
- Be aware that tighter capacity could impact delivery schedules
- A 3PL partner is beneficial when needing to pivot shipping plans to stay on pre-determined delivery schedule
- Shippers need to strive to be a “shipper of choice” for carriers by streamlining and helping with carriers’ operational workflow when in contact with shipper facilities
Operation Safe Driver Week impacts shippers, carriers and everyday drivers alike. To learn more about the enforcement events in your area or the region you may be traveling through, contact your local agency or department in charge, and remember that proper preparation is the best way to ensure a safe and stress-free journey.