Archive for the ‘Safety’ Category

April 16th, 2015

Since 1999, more than 170 law enforcement officers have been killed — and thousands have been injured — as a result of being on the side of the road doing their job and being struck by a distracted driver. 

In January of 2015, Oklahoma Highway Patrol Troopers Nicholas Dees and Keith Burch were working at a collision scene on I-40 when a motorist struck them. Trooper Dees died at the scene while Trooper Burch was seriously injured. The motorist — who admitted he was updating his social media at the time of the incident – is facing first-degree manslaughter charges.

On March 12, Highway Patrol Trooper Gary Sanders was conducting a routine traffic stop when a vehicle struck the back of his cruiser, pushing it into the vehicle he had pulled over. Trooper Sanders was critically injured in the incident, and is slowly recovering.

You get the picture. According to FBI statistics, officers being struck and killed by distracted drivers is a major cause of law enforcement deaths. So much so that today, all 50 states have some form of a “Move Over” law in effect.

The “Move Over” laws are simple: when you see flashing lights on the side of the road, you are required to slow down. If it’s safe, you need to move over to another lane away from police, fire crews, paramedics and tow truck drivers. These laws really should be common sense. If you see anybody on the side of the road – law enforcement, construction workers, or simply a car broken down – “Move Over” and give them some space.

According to Mason Dixon Polling and Research, sponsored by the National Safety Commission, 71 percent of Americans have not heard of “Move Over” laws. As truck drivers, you are the professionals. If you make the move into another lane to give law enforcement officers space to do their jobs, other motorists will follow.

We learned in our Smith System Training to:

  1. Aim high in steering.
  2. Get the big picture.
  3. Keep your eyes moving.
  4. Leave yourself an out.
  5. Make sure they see you.

If you follow these five keys of safety, you’re looking farther down the road. You’ll be prepared and have the time to change lanes or adjust your speed if needed. It’s also important to remember that others behind you may not be able to see what is coming up on the side of the road, so make your move to the next lane as early as you can, and make sure you signal your intentions. If you have to slow down, using your four-ways may be a good idea.

Use your expertise to talk to your friends and family members about this as well.


Remember; “Move Over,” it’s the law!





April 7th, 2015

We have all heard the stories and seen the campaigns – texting while driving is dangerous, and can even be lethal. But, what else is defined as a distraction while driving? According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there are three main types of distraction on the road:

  • Visual distractions that occupy your eyes
  • Manual distractions that occupy your hands
  • Cognitive distractions that occupy your mind

The CDC estimates that each day, more than 9 people are killed as a result of distracted driving in the United States – not to mention the hundreds of injuries and thousands of dollars in damages that are accrued. The purpose of Distracted Driving Awareness Month is to bring these statistics to the attention of everyone who shares our nation’s roads in the hopes of creating safer conditions for drivers everywhere.

Some of our Drivers of the Month recently gave us some tips for staying safe on the road, whether you’re a member of the motoring public or behind the wheel of a tractor-trailer.

Butterworth James #015


Stay focused and remember the five keys of safety.

James Butterworth




Korn Mick #14

Pay attention to the traffic, surroundings, and road conditions and keep your eyes moving.

Mick Korn





Lynch & Turns #023


Take your time. Don’t act like you know everything, because you learn something new every day. Don’t take any risks.

Terri Lynch & Amey Turns




Martin Shaun


Don’t be too confident. Take every day like a student and drive with caution.

Shaun Martin




Dorman Mike #035


Set aside one cent for every safe mile driven, and if nothing happens, you will have $10,000 when you reach 1 million miles!

     – Mike Dorman




How do you stay safe and avoid distractions on the road? Share your tips with us on Facebook, and don’t forget to spread the word about Distracted Driving Awareness Month to your fellow drivers!



March 17th, 2015

What a winter this has been for most of the country. Record snow falls and arctic temperatures that seemed to last forever have us all dreaming about replacing our snow suits with shorts and t-shirts and escaping outside to enjoy our favorite spring activities.

A sure sign of spring is the appearance of large numbers of motorcyclists on the road. There are over eight million registered motorcycles in the U.S. and when the snow melts, these riders ride! Between the months of April and October, the spike in cyclists on our nation’s highways and secondary roads is staggering. Concurrently, the number of motorcycle-related accidents rises proportionately. Federal studies reveal that the number of fatalities on motorcycles was over 30 times the number reported in cars. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the Highway Loss Data Institute report that in 2013, the most recent year from which statistics are available, 4,381 motorcyclists lost their lives in crashes.

Roughly three-fourths of all motorcycle accidents involve collisions with another vehicle and the most common reason given by motorists is their failure to see and recognize motorcycles in traffic. It has also been statistically recorded that in two-thirds of these accidents, the vehicle driver violated the motorcyclist’s right-of-way. The most frequent locations of these collisions are intersections.

Because of a motorcycle’s narrow profile, it can easily be hidden in a vehicle’s blind spot, or masked by objects or backgrounds outside the vehicle, such as bushes, fences, trees or bridges. Additionally, a motorcycle’s small size may make it look farther away than it really is and it’s often difficult to judge a motorcycle’s speed.




Motorists and motorcyclists share the responsibility for safety on the road. Whether you’re driving a truck, car, motorcycle or even a bicycle, remember to keep an eye out for one another. As a truck driver, you know the importance of the basics; keep your eyes high and keep your eyes moving. Maintain your focus and pay attention to proper spacing. At intersections, make eye contact with other drivers before proceeding and always use turn signals. If you roll off the throttle, tap your brakes or ride them enough to engage the brake lights.

Remember: “Look twice and save a life.” When driving, look, signal, and then look again before making a lane change. Check your mirrors and give the other guy time to clear your blind spot if they’re in it. Change lanes gradually. And always keep in mind, that an object as small as a pencil in your line of vision can prevent you from seeing a motorcycle.

Finally, if you yourself enjoy the pleasure of taking to the open road on a motorcycle and you live in a state that doesn’t require you to wear a helmet, consider wearing one anyway. Data indicates that in almost 69 percent of all cases, a helmet prevented or reduced head injury sustained by the rider.


Let’s all take a little extra care so that everyone is able to get out and enjoy all the activities that spring has to offer!  


What is your favorite spring hobby? Do you ride a motorcycle? Share your stories with us at