Nicer weather usually means that road construction season is about switch into high gear. Though driving safely is always a best practice, there are some additional things to be aware of when it comes to driving in a construction zone. A little bit of extra care and planning when trucking through construction zones will ensure that you AND the road workers make it home safely. Here are 3 work zone safety tips to focus on this time of year.

1. Always Be Alert

Expect the Unexpected. Be alert for work zone signage along the side of the road, and the overhead digital signage as well. Watch for workers or flaggers helping to direct traffic. Be prepared for the changes in speed limits and lane closures. Give yourself plenty of time to react and keep an eye out for those that aren’t reacting correctly.

Using your height advantage to see signage and changing traffic patterns ahead gives you an advantage when it comes to work zone safety.

And be sure to stay alert if you drive the same routes daily. A long-term construction project might have daily lane shifts or different road closures.

2. Exercise Defensive Driving Skills

Apply the best driver training and experience here. Quick stops from other drivers ahead often lead to rear-end collisions. Using good defensive driving practices allow truckers to avoid accidents and have plenty of time to stop safely.

In construction zones it’s recommended to use extra caution to prevent accidents that most commonly occur due to road work.

Give a little bit of extra braking room to allow for late mergers or someone reacting poorly to changes in the road.

3. Plan in Advance

An ounce of prevention applies here. Plan routes and timing according to what your GPS app or travel websites indicates are the best. Many times this will be to avoid road work if possible. These often will be a little bit longer but will keep you moving and not stuck in traffic jams due to construction work. And everyone arrives safely at the end of the day.

U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration

U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, almost 30 percent of all work zone crashes involve large trucks.

The number of people killed in work zone crashes involving large trucks has been increasing. Over 1,000 fatalities and over 18,000 injuries have occurred during the last 5 years.

Work Zones might be temporary, and some might be multi-year projects in the same area. A one-day closure for minor repairs or lane painting and a 3-year interchange overhaul should demand the same amount of safety precautions from those using the roads. The construction team is out there working, sometimes around the clock, to keep the roads in good repair and improving for the future of all drivers. Be sure to continue to reference these work zone safety tips and “GIVE ‘EM A BRAKE” as the saying goes!

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A man who ran towards a fire to save a trucker stuck in his burning rig last month says God put him there to rescue the driver. The wreck happened last month in Albany, Oregon, but the two still visit each other frequently as the truck driver continues to recover.

According to Statesman Journal, truck driver Terence Jay Shaw was driving on northbound Interstate 5 on the morning of September 1st when he lost control and crashed into an overpass. The force of the impact set his rig on fire and the truck erupted into flames.

As the truck burned with Shaw still inside, Chuck Zeitler came upon the wreck from the southbound side of I-5. Zeitler saw the flames and heard someone screaming for help, so he laid down his motorcycle and rushed to the scene of the fire, pushing through a crowd of people videoing the incident on their phones.

Zeitler ran up to the truck and pulled Shaw out of the burning wreckage and away from the fire. The truck then exploded.

A Lasting Friendship is Formed

Since then, Shaw has been recovering in the burn unit at Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland, where Zeitler visits him frequently.

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“We’re best friends now, only because my relief was stuck in traffic, so I had to wait for him to arrive.  If I’d have left at the regular time, I never would have happened upon the wreck.”

– Zeitler humbly explains how circumstances led him to rescue the trucker and gain a best friend.


Despite the praises from the Shaw family, Zeitler shared God put him in the right place at the right time. He simply acted on his instincts after 24 years as a Navy boiler operator.

Zeitler is an elder member of Fusion Faith Center in Albany and recently became a pastor.  He plans on opening a church for bikers soon, as he believes it is his “calling.”

Shaw is still recovering from the wreck. He has had multiple skin grafts on his right arm and side and currently has 23 stitches.


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In a recent story for Overdrive, the magazine’s editorial director, Max Heine, delved into the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s annual report on truck accidents.

The FMCSA report stated the number of trucks involved in fatal accidents decreased by 5% in 2014. However, truck driver injuries skyrocketed by 21%. Therefore, Heine sought clarity on the issue.

There’s no discrepancy between the two points, says FMCSA Spokesman Duane DeBruyne.

He noted that new technologies “such as electronic stability control, automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, lane departure … save lives by making more crashes ‘survivable’.”

Dan Murray, vice president of the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI), said he knows why. He pointed to ATRI’s July 2013 report, “Assessing the Impacts of the 34-Hour Restart Provisions.”

“We predicted and documented that when you move trucks into the daytime, basically rush hours, property damage crashes go way up, injury crashes increase,” Murray says. “Therefore, because trucks move at 6 mph instead of 55 mph, fatalities decreased.”

He concludes that injuries jumped in 2014.

Overall, that was the first full year that included the new restart provisions. Also, other possible factors include the continued shortening of average length of haul and growing congestion.

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Truck driver hit by RV rushes to save girlEveryone loves a good hero story, especially one about a truck driver! Here at Drive My Way we are always looking for outstanding people with CDL trucking jobs to feature.

On February 25th, Live Trucking reported on a trucking accident on an off-ramp near Harrisburg, Oregon.

37-year-old truck driver Sergio Valente was asleep inside his semi truck when it happened. “Suddenly, I felt the truck move, and I woke up,” he said. “I went into shock. I did not know what to do.”

Valente got out of his truck to see what happened and saw the RV was on fire. He immediately tried to help put out the flames.

 As he was fighting the flames from the accident, he heard cries from a young girl inside the camper. He then broke the camper’s side window and pulled a 5-year-old girl to safety.

Sgt. Alan Gilbert of the Oregon State Police confirmed that the truck driver was not cited in the crash, and praised his heroics.

Unfortunately, the girl’s father and grandmother, who were also in the RV, died in the accident.

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Fatal work-related injuries to commercial truck drivers last year reached a critical point, and not in a good way. In fact, driver fatalities in 2014 reached their highest level in six years, states a summary of preliminary results from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries for 2014, just released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Chart: Bureau of Labor Statistics
work related fatality


BLS said that “transportation and material moving occupations” accounted for the largest share (28%) of fatal occupational injuries of any group of workers last year. Fatal work injuries in this group climbed 3 percent to 1,289 incidents in 2014, marking the highest total since 2008 (see BLS chart above). Heavy-truck and tractor-trailer drivers incurred their highest total since 2008– with 725 fatalities recorded in 2014.

According to the census, truck drivers and drivers/sales workers accounted for nearly two out of every three fatal injuries in the overall group (835 of the 1,289 fatal injuries in 2014). BLS also found that in 2014, transportation-related fatal work injuries rose slightly, from 1,865 in 2013 to 1,891 in 2014.

Overall, the article stated, transportation incidents accounted for 40 percent of fatal workplace injuries in 2014.


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NTSB logoThe National Transportation Safety Board on Tuesday said it wants commercial trucks to carry event data recorders. The news follows the end of an investigation into a California crash between a truck and motorcoach that caused 10 fatalities in April 2014.

The investigation revealed inadequacies in fire performance standards for motorcoaches. However, the lack of event data recorders on the truck and motorchoach made the investigation more difficult to conduct, according to NTSB chairman Christopher Hart. The truck’s ECM was destroyed in the crash and subsequent fire.

Had the NTSB had access to event data recorders, Hart said in the article, the agency may have determined why the truck in the accident crossed the median.

[It] could have enabled us to make recommendations to prevent it from happening again,” Hart said.

Flight data recorders have been an asset in the aviation industry, Hart said in the article. Yet, he lamented, even with longtime recommendations from the NTSB, commercial trucks and motorcoaches today are not required to have data recorders. Time will tell if that will change in the future.

Read the full article here. out this great info graphic that includes 10 tips to help avoid a truck accident. We know that trucks are generally safer than cars, so drivers need to be less distracted, and more aware of the trucks on the road around them.

Long hours of travel means spending a lot of time sharing the road with semi trucks. Did you know there are approximately 400,000 semi truck accidents per year? How about that over 80% of those are caused by passenger vehicles?

As you can see, it’s important that you’re aware of some basic safe driving tips so you can safely share the road with trucks before you take off to wherever it may be that you’re going.

Whether you’re making a 500 mile trip to Fort Lauderdale or a 5 mile trip to the local Walmart, these tips are helpful for everybody.

We also know that teenagers are most likely the ones who are using a device or listening to loud music.  Make  this info graphic a part of their driver education to keep them and truckers much safer.  Let’s share the road safely!  See Full Sized Image.



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Wabco System introduced it latest collision mitigation system and it has some great improvements. The system uses a 77GHz radar which allows it to track both moving and stationary objects. Here is a list of some more great benefits.

  • Radar system works in all weather conditions
  • A dual-mode allows both long-range and adjacent lane views
  • The system provides active braking on moving, stopping and stationary vehicles to mitigate or prevent impending rear-end collisions.

WABCO safety systems deliver measurable, real-world benefits to fleets, Varty noted. He cited company data which indicated that fleets have seen 24 percent fewer fatalities when using OnGuard, 53 percent fewer rollovers with the company’s ESCsmart stability system and 5,200 fewer vehicle crashes thanks to its mBSP modular braking system.

Also of note: fleets using full suites of WABCO vehicle efficiency systems such as tire pressure monitoring systems and adaptive cruise control can realize up to 10 percent boosts in single vehicle fuel economy.  Read more…

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Great Tips for Driving Trucks On Slippery Grades

This video helps truck drivers learn great tips for driving trucks on slippery grades. View this great video for drivers of any experience level brought to you by Smart Trucking.

It features great tips for driving trucks on slippery grades.

Climbing a slippery or snow-covered road in a tractor trailer serves as a challenge for any truck driver. A 35+ year veteran trucker, gives a few tips for successfully climbing a slippery grade and descending too. Watch a demonstration of climbing the grade, while the driver uses a few techniques useful to prevent slides.


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