Warning Device Placement

Truck warning lights are important to proper road safety.Know what to do

Even though you are a safe driver and operate well-maintained equipment, at some point in your career you may have to deal with a breakdown or accident. Knowing what to do when he unexpected happens can help you legally and safely deal with the situation.

Warning devices

Section 393.95 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) requires that a commercial motor vehicle be equipped with at least:

  • Three bidirectional emergency reflective triangles,
  •  Six flares capable of burning for 30 minutes, or
  •  Three liquid burning flares that contain enough fuel to burn continuously for at least 60 minutes.

Flame producing devises are prohibited on:

  • Any vehicle carrying Division 1.1, 1.2 or 1.3 (explosives) hazardous materials,
  •  Any cargo tank motor vehicle used for the transportation of Division of 2.1 (flammable gas) or Class 3 (flammable liquid) hazardous materials whether loaded or empty, or
  •  Any commercial motor vehicle using compressed gas as a motor fuel.

When a breakdown or accident occurs you should:

  •  Stop and secure the area.
  •  Activate your vehicle’s four-way flashers.
  •  Set out warning devices (regulations require this within 10 minutes of stopping).
  •  In the event of a breakdown, notify your company and provide a description of what happened.

In the event of an accident:

  •  Notify law enforcement,
  •  Check for injuries,
  •  Notify your company, and
  •  Document the accident.

Warning device placement

As previously mentioned, if your vehicle is stopped on the traveled portion or shoulder of the highway, you must immediately activate your vehicle’s four-way flashers and within 10 minutes, set out warning devices.

When placing the devices, hold them in front of you to increase your visibility to traffic. Wear a high-visibility vest if possible. Also be alert for other drivers who may not see you on the road.

The placement of devices varies depending on where the vehicle is stopped.

 On a two-lane road:

  •   The first device should be placed on the traffic side of the vehicle 10 feet (4 paces) from the front or rear, depending on traffic direction,
  •  The second device should be placed 100 feet (40 paces) behind the vehicle, and
  •  A third device should be placed 100 feet (40 paces) ahead of the vehicle on the shoulder or in the lane where the vehicle is stopped.

One-way or divided highway:

  • The devices should be placed 10, 100 and 200 feet from the rear of the vehicle, toward approaching traffic.

Within 500 feet of a hill, curve or obstruction:

  • A device should be placed 100 to 500 feet from the vehicle in the direction of the obstruction.
  • The other two should be placed according to the rules for two-lane or divided highways.

Do you have an accident report kit?

In addition to carrying the required warning devices, you should also have an accident report kit in your vehicle. In the event of an accident, all of the items are available in one place.The accident report kit should include:

  •  A high-visibility vest,
  •  A written report form to help document the accident,
  •  A diagram template for completing a simple drawing of the accident scene,
  •  Witness cards,
  •  Pens/pencils, and
  •  A camera.

Driver Wellness (Health)

 Driver Wellness in part of DOT Compliance.What’s your New Year’s resolution?

At the start of each year many of us focus on New Year’s resolutions. Improving our health and wellness by losing weight, eating better and exercising top the list of resolutions for many people.

A healthy diet

Eating a variety of nutritious foods each day is important. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends a diet that includes vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy products and lean protein foods.

Vegetables and fruits – Vegetables and fruits are full of nutrients that help in promoting good health. Select vegetables and fruits of various colors and varieties. Choose red, orange, and dark green vegetables such as tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and broccoli with meals.

Also select a variety of fruits and vegetables as snacks such as apples, pears, berries and carrots.

Grains – When selecting bread, rice or pasta, try to select whole grains. Whole grains provide more nutrients than refined grains. Examples of whole grains include oatmeal, brown rice and whole wheat pasta. At least half of the grains you consume on a daily basis should be whole grains.

Protein – Meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, nuts and seeds are considered part of the protein group. Select lean cuts of meat or low-fat meat and poultry.

Dairy – Milk, cheese and yogurt are included in the dairy group. Select fat-free (skim) or low-fat (one percent) milk, cheese and yogurt.

Oils, sugar, salt – Limiting you intake of fats, oils, sugar and salt is also important when it comes to a healthy diet. Fats, oils and sugar add calories and provide little nutritional value. Too much sodium can increase blood pressure.

At the restaurant or truck stop

Being an informed diner is half the battle when it comes to being a health diner. Many restaurants and fast food chains are starting to post calories on their menus. Also, many post nutritional information on their websites. If you are able to access this information, check it out before ordering. If this isn’t a possibility, look for key words such as grilled, whole grain and low fat to help you make informed mealtime decisions.

For breakfast, choose items such as oatmeal, whole grain cereals and fresh fruit.

When it comes to lunch and dinner, look for terms such as grilled, steamed or broiled when selecting meat, whole grain when selecting breads, buns and pasta, and low-fat when choosing dairy products.

When at the salad bar, select vegetables and fruits and use dressing sparingly. Avoid prepared salads such as potato or pasta salads as they often contain dressings or sauces that are high in fat.

Another issue to consider is your beverage of choice. Sodas and sweetened coffees are full of sugars and calories. Low fat milk, unsweetened tea and fruit and vegetable juices without added sugars are better choices.

Get moving

Regular physical activity is important to overall health and fitness. Being physically active can help you:

• Lose weight or maintain a healthy weight (when combined with proper diet),

• Feel better about yourself,

• Sleep well, and

• Strengthen your muscles and bones.

 

Types of physical activity that are especially beneficial include:

• Aerobic exercise (walking, jogging, bicycling, swimming),

• Muscle-stretching activities (push-ups, lifting weights), and

• Balance and stretching activities (gentle stretching, yoga, martial arts).

So how much physical activity is necessary? The USDA recommends that adults do at least two and half hours of moderate physical activity a week. Moderate physical activities include brisk walking, bicycling and golf (when walking and carrying clubs).

It is also recommended that strengthening activities such as push-ups, sit-ups and lifting weights be done at least twice each week.

Notice that before starting any exercise program, you should consult with your health care provider.

Have an exercise “game plan”

Like maintaining a healthy diet, getting in meaningful physical activity can be a challenge for the professional driver. Having a “game plan” can help in addressing this challenge.

The “game plan” may include a 30 minute walk during a stop or it may include stopping at a truck stop or hotel that has exercise equipment.

The “game plan” could also include carrying exercise equipment such as hand weights or a bicycle or doing simple stretching exercises.

Nutrition on the road

For the professional driver, being on the road presents its own set of challenges when it comes to a healthy diet. Planning ahead can go a long way in improving your eating habits.

There are lots of healthy choices that you can purchase from the grocery store before leaving on a trip that you can carry in a small cooler on your vehicle.

These choices include fresh fruits and cut-up vegetables. Ready to eat cereals and unsalted nuts are other healthy foods that you can take on the road.