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Sarah Freeman

Fall is a time for football, falling leaves, apple cider, hay rides, and the CVSA’s Operation Safe Drive Week. There will be educational outreach events throughout the week. Law enforcement officials across North America will be out in full force with their magnifying glasses on commercial motor vehicle drivers and passenger-vehicle drivers looking for unsafe driving behaviors.

CVSA Operation Safe Driver week will be held October 15-21, 2017. Throughout the week law enforcement officials will identify and issue warnings and/or citations to drivers they see exhibiting unsafe driving behaviors. Dangerous driving behaviors that they will be looking for include, but are not limited to: speeding, texting, not wearing seat belts, traveling too closely, improper lane changes, failure to obey traffic control devices, and distracted driving.

The goal of the program is to “reduce the number of crashes, deaths and injuries involving large trucks, buses and passenger vehicles due to unsafe driving behaviors.” Unsafe driving behaviors are the leading cause of crashes. Keep crash, injury, death, and your insurance rates down by keeping your head up and eyes on the road! 

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            At Precision, we want you to understand more about your insurance costs. Tickets and points on your license are not the only things insurance companies take into consideration.  Insurance companies take many factors into account when determining the price of your insurance quote. One of these factors is your safety rating (DOT score) determined by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration(FMCSA).

            Carriers are given ratings of satisfactory, conditional, or unsatisfactory for multiple compliance areas. These areas include: Unsafe Driving, Crash Indicator, Hours-of-Service Compliance, Vehicle Maintenance, Controlled Substances/Alcohol, Hazardous Materials Compliance, and Driver Fitness.

When your drivers and vehicles go through an inspection, it is noted each time they are placed “out of service”. For example, if your brakes are still in use past the time they need to be replaced, it is noted in the “Vehicle” area on your DOT rating. If your “out of service %” in any category is 80% or above, the DOT places an “alert” on your company. These percentages are determined according to the number of inspections you have had and the number of times out of service. Some insurance companies have a policy not to cover carriers with 2 or more alerts.  Other companies will take the risk, but quote high rates. This means you could have clean drivers, but still have high rates due to bad inspection outcomes. 

Making efforts to improve a bad safety rating or maintain a good one can do remarkable things for your business. When you keep your equipment up to date, comply with hours-of-service, driver safety, and basic laws of the road, your company will be a well-oiled machine (pun intended). In the process, you will reduce accidents and improve your safety score, which in turn, will bring down the price of your insurance! It’s a win-win for everyone!

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