It goes by many names — D.O.T. Week, DOT Blitz Week, International Roadcheck — but all convey the same meaning, keeping commercial motor vehicles and drivers safe and compliant on the road.
For the uninitiated, D.O.T. Week is a 72-hour period where Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CSVA) inspectors conduct the North American Standard Level I Inspection. While commercial drivers can be stopped for inspection at any time of the year, D.O.T. Week is considered a “high-volume inspection and regulatory enforcement event,” with an average of 17 commercial vehicles inspected every minute.
This year, from May 4 – 6, inspectors will follow a highly detailed, 37-step process that covers both the fitness of the driver and their vehicle. Each year, the CVSA highlights areas of focus from each category based on the top violations from the previous year. For 2021, the focus is Hours of Service and Lighting.
Are You Road Ready? Find Out With Our Readiness Checklist.
In an effort to make sure you’re as prepared as possible for D.O.T. Week, we’ve created a custom, readiness checklist you can fill out to determine your overall Roadcheck Readiness score. It’s easy to use and will record your responses so that you can easily reference any items you need to complete to be fully prepared.
Additionally, we take a deeper dive into this year’s two areas of focus to remind everyone of the importance of proactive maintenance and personal responsibility.
Hours of Service (HOS)
Finding that balance between meeting tighter deadlines and keeping drivers safe is a consistent challenge in the logistics industry. As a reminder, commercial drivers are allowed a 14-hour on-duty window, with 11 hours of those on the road. Once this shift is over, a commercial driver is not allowed to drive for ten consecutive hours. Additionally, commercial drivers may only be on duty 60 hours in a seven-day period or 70 hours in eight.
It has been well researched that fatigue can lead to failures in attention, slower response times, and poor decision making. These can lead to a range of risks, from administrative and delivery mistakes to a fatal collision. The good news is that there are many tools out there designed to help commercial drivers both keep track of their hours as well as manage breaks and alerts. Samsara, Track Your Truck, and LifeSaver are just a few. The FMCSA also has a good resource on Hours of Service.
The average truck can come equipped with a large number of lamps—headlights, turn signals, brake lights, and license plate illuminators, to name just a few. Each of these lamps serves a specific purpose, many of which alert our activity to those around us. Without the proper attention, burned-out lamps can go unnoticed by the driver. The good news is that the fix is generally an easy one.
In 2020, citations for inoperable lamps accounted for 12.2% of all vehicle violations. These can lead to pricey fines (for you and your company) and a possible loss of credentials. Bottom line, making a habit of checking the status of your lights every time you drive can save you a lot of time (and money), not to mention stress.
Take Care Out There
We hope that you will take advantage of EASE’s Readiness Checklist all year long. For more information about the North American Standard Level I Inspection, the CVSA has a lot of useful, detailed information on their website.