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Fleet RoadRageous

Roadrageous  is an 8 hour classroom course.  It features our exclusive  "Edu-tainment" style that combines skits, games, videos, student-instructor interaction, student-student interaction and oh yes, a little straight instruction to make the time go by quickly and the lessons stick.  The course is not designed to teach people how to drive, it is designed to change their behavior and decision making process behind the wheel.

Roadrageous Course Objectives

1.    Identification of aggressive driving behaviors in oneself and others.

2.    Development of a Personal Driving Conscience.

3.    Education about potential consequences of aggressive driving.  Eliminating harmful, negative driving attitudes and developing and strengthening positive driving attitudes.

4.    Prevention of involvement in aggressive driving "Road incidents".

5.    Intervention in self-destructive behavioral patterns specific to aggressive driving. Identifying with the needs of the entire driving community

6.    Understand the basic facts and solutions to impaired driving (DUI, Anger, Advancing Age, Emotions, Inexperience, Fatigue, Illegal Drugs, Medications).

7.    Motivation for positive attitudinal and behavioral change, as well as lifelong driver self-improvement.

More....


Trucking brings daily food and commodities. We love that. And yet, truckers have an image problem. People often resent sharing the road with large trucks. Truckers feel their needs are misunderstood and they're conscious of an image problem. DrDriving wants to help improve relations between 4-wheelers and 18-wheelers. Here you'll find articles, surveys, links, advice, news, analyses, networking, transportation, discussion board.

We need truckers


From Sassy's Truck Pages

by Brigette Lorraine

"If the public would just take a few minutes to sit down and listen to us and hear our sides, they'd see we are not all bad, and that we pretty much all have allot in common. That the truck driver is not the enemy. They need to stop listening to all the negative that is being said about the truck driver through media, press and other sources."

"I have personally seen enough discrimination and slander towards truck drivers to last me a life time. I have seen them taken advantage of and used more then I care to. I feel it's time and long over due to educate people about trucking and all that is involved. It's time to put a stop Highway Robbery, discrimination, Slander, Abuse (by everyone including our own government), Harassment and all the Truck/Trucker Bashing! and above all to remove this fear people have of truck drivers."

"If people had to experience for one week what "Truck Drivers" experience every single day they would appreciate and understand the people we call "Truck Drivers". I will cover a lot of ground on these pages about the truck driver, trucking industry and what his or her family cope with. What it is like to drive day after day on our highways. It is my hope to get the attention of the American Public. To help them understand what they do not know... what they do not have a clue about."

"Feel free to fill out the comment form which you will find on these pages. Share your stories and thoughts with me. I will include them on these pages to share with others with your permission. WARNING! It's allot of writing and story telling in here of things I've seen and witnessed myself. So happy reading! And I would also very much like to hear from those people of four wheelers (cars) who would like to share their stories as well. After all if we share our thoughts and see it from both sides maybe we can unite and get along on the highways. Wouldn't that be great?

My own opinion "The Trucker is still the Highway Hero" not the villain as many would like to think."

Trucker Perspective

 The author of this page is a Semi truck driver.  Advice is given to all non semi truck drivers.  The author, A. Cummins, Basically wants everyone to realize that is important not to follow too close behind semi's and to be courteous to them.  He gives his view on how we can help them.  Driving a "Big Rig" is a very dangerous occupation and non truck drivers don't realize how hard it really is.

The Truck Safety Page

This is a site aimed towards Semi Truck Drivers.  In it you will find many tips on, "How to avoid getting killed in your big rig."  There are many dangerous situations that may arise while driving a semi.  First of all, 55% of all semi driver fatalities occur in rollover accidents.  And many of these fatalities can be avoided, Up to 2/3!, with the tips provided.  I feel that this site is very thorough and well written.  I have friends that drive semis and I only hope that they'll never get into a situation that they will have to use these tips, but if they do, at least they'll be a little more prepared for it.

Truck Safety

This article gives safety advice to the drivers of semi trucks.  It covers various topics: Anti lock brakes, Cab Safety, Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations, Hazardous Materials Transportation, Truck Conspicuity and Lighting, Truck Size and Weight Limits, Truck Tires, and Truck Underride/Override Protection.

Truck Safety is very important.  I feel that with the amount of accidents involving semi trucks is too high.  Many times the truck is the major cause of the accident.  There are so many times that I have avoided those pieces of re-capped tires on the freeways.  My cousin wasn't as fortunate.  A tire from a semi blew up on the side of him and hit his car.  Why, is it legal to use these tires?  Every day I see these pieces of tire on the road.  I feel that it should be banned from being used.  It may prevent many accidents from happening.

Anti lock Braking Systems (ABS)

The requirement of anti lock brakes on semi trucks should cause a major decline in accidents.  Many accidents that occur are a result of skidding and/or jack-knifing.  This is caused by the locking of brakes.  On March 8th, 1995 the U.S. Department of Transportation passed a law that required all medium and heavy trucks to have anti lock brakes.  The Requirements or the new regulation include:

·       ABS on the front axles and at least one rear axle of tractors, trucks and buses;

·       Independent wheel control on at least one rear axle of tractors, trucks and buses;

·       Separate tractor and trailer ABS malfunction lights in tractor cabs and no manual override switch will be allowed that can turn off ABS;

·       Separate ABS power supply to avoid voltage drops that can result in the loss of ABS on second and third trailers in multi-trailer combinations; and

·       ABS equipment performance checks.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimated that 320-560 lives will be saved each year.

Personally I feel that ABS is a great idea, however, I wonder why it isn't required for all tractor and trailers, trucks and buses.  Perhaps, the Makakilo accident (mentioned above) could have been avoided.

Senate Vote to Ban Large Trucks Nationwide

On March 11, 1998 a nationwide freeze on large double and triple trailer trucks, but allowed then to operate on the inter states in the states of Maine and New Hampshire.  It seems strange that there is a nationwide freeze, but I still see double trailer trucks driving around.  It's true that the double trailer rigs are very dangerous and perhaps unnecessary.  I don't think that there is anything big enough to need a double, yet alone, a triple trailer truck.

more here


ARLINGTON, Va., July 2 ATA-summer-drive-tips

America's Road Team Captains Give Important Safety Tips


ARLINGTON, Va., July 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As motorists prepare for July 4th vacation travel, a team of million mile accident-free drivers are helping to make our roads safer. America's Road Team Captains, elite professional truck drivers chosen by the American Trucking Associations, are offering advice on how to safely navigate through highway traffic and congestion this summer and, at the same time, save costly fuel.



America's Road Team Captains agree that the first step toward a safe trip begins in the driveway.

continues at:  http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/americas-top-drivers-offer-tips,455006.shtml


Tips for Truckers from DrDriving -- How to deal with anger

by Dr. Leon James

Driving psychology has discovered that the driver behind the wheel has to manage three aspects of the self-the driver's feelings, the driver's thinking, and the driver's sensory-motor actions. These three systems of the self must coordinate and act together or else the driver loses control in a situation. The feeling system includes the driver's attitudes, needs, and motivation. The thinking system includes the driver's knowledge, memory, and reasoning capacity. The sensory-motor system includes the driver's sensory input and motor output, and all of the driver's actions. When everything goes well the driver has full control over the three systems of the self. What disturbs this balance?

Let's consider an example. You're driving along and all goes well. Your threefold self is coordinating properly. Your feeling system is held steady by your motivation. You're motivated to get to your destination without unnecessary delays and you bring into play your attitudes of caution and concentration. Your thinking system cooperates with your motivation. You keep in mind the rules of the road, you follow the procedures you've been taught, and you correctly anticipate the moves of other vehicles. Your sensory-motor system coordinates what you see and hear, and executes the necessary motions with your hands, legs, head, and body.

All of a sudden a four-wheeler passes you in the left lane and is speeding up to get to an exit just ahead. You say to yourself he should have waited behind you to take the exit and not try to pass at this point. You see the car turn on its indicator to get back into the right lane. You are suddenly seized with a feeling of annoyance. Your feeling system is quickly heating up with intense emotions of rage and condemnation. Your thinking system floods with thoughts like "What an idiot. Etc." Your sensory-motor system responds by holding the speed steady. And so you're now in a new situation. It's no longer a normal situation. An incident is happening. What are you going to do next? You have a choice of two ways to react to the situation, one dangerous, the other safe .

The dangerous mode is to tie together in your mind your angry feeling with prejudiced thinking. The result is high risk behavior and a short-lived adrenalin high. The other option is lay aside the prejudiced thinking and reason it out in a fair-minded way. Instead of anger you now feel zeal and compassion. Zeal is an intense positive feeling focused on coping rather than retaliating. Anger is an intense negative feeling focused on retaliating and punishing rather than coping with a difficult situation. Anger ties itself to prejudiced thinking that serves to justify your aggressiveness, while zeal ties itself to fair-minded thinking that serves to cope with the situation. Coping is behavior that is safe and protective of everyone's welfare. Thus it has compassion within it.

DrDriving Tips:

1. First acknowledge that you need to train your emotions and thoughts behind the wheel even if you have an excellent record as a driver.

2. Become a witness to your driving style and habits. On different trips focus on one particular issue. For example: When do I get impatient? When do I get angry? What are my thoughts when I get angry-are they prejudiced or fair-minded? What are my weak points? What errors do I make? Keep a diary or log book of notes so you can review it from time to time. Another method that works well is a tape recorder you can turn on and speak your thoughts out loud. When you listen to it later you'll discover many things about your personality as a driver.

3. When you find yourself cussing against other drivers, or thinking nasty thoughts about them, don't let it stand. Remind yourself that being angry is useless and venting your anger is harmful to your health. In addition, it sets you up for more cussing and more anger, and at some point you feel yourself out of control making a move that is risky and scary, and gets you into trouble.

Safety Advice

Stress-free, safe, and friendly driving. How do we get to it? First, we resist blaming others and their shortcomings. Second, we examine how we ourselves contribute to the stress and hostility. Third, and finally, we do the opposite. Result: reduced stress, greater safety, more civility or mutual support..

Problem

"Why should I resist blaming idiots who endanger my life and their own because they're too stupid to be aware of what's going on?"

This attitude problem has gotten thousands of drivers killed last year, and again as many this year. Hundreds of thousands of crashes involving truckers every year are caused by this attitude problem.

Solution

Make yourself face this: getting angry is stress producing. Who is making you angry? That driver you call "idiot"? No. Wrong theory. You are making yourself angry over that driver's behavior or mentality. Therefore: It is you who is pumping up the stress by mentally churning up your emotions through the venting you're doing. Venting your anger means feeling indignant at the other driver, and wanting the other driver to know that you're displeased, mad, shocked, or scared. You can tell yourself this: it's worth giving up venting so that you can reduce your stress. Medical research shows that the stress from venting weakens your body's resistance to getting sick.

Sometimes part of the solution lies in using wheelchair accessible trucks and minibuses.

Giving up venting is not easy, even after you decide you want to. One trick I recommend is this:

ACT THE OPPOSITE OF WHAT YOU FEEL LIKE

Smile and the whole highway smiles with you!

Try this and you will be convinced that it works. Your driving stress will be reduced if you don't vent your anger. By not venting, you discover alternative ways of handling driving situations. You're happier, safer, and others are more happy with you!

For more on this topic consult this book:  Leon James, Ph.D. and Diane Nahl, Ph.D. Road Rage and Aggressive Driving: Steering Clear of Highway Warfare (Amherst, N.Y.: Prometheus Books, 2000)  
Selections available here 

See also the RoadRageous Video Course used by professional drivers, law enforcement, and the military

United States Army Forces Command

Freedom's Guradian

FORSCOM News Service

FORSCOM Selects American Institute For Safety Campaign

American Institute for Public Safety News Release

The U.S. Army has selected the American Institute for Public Safety’s innovative interactive programs to help limit loss of life from automotive crashes involving soldiers and their families while operating Privately Owned Vehicles.

The American Institute for Public Safety (AIPS), based in North Miami, Fla., signed a contract in mid-June with the Army’s Forces Command, headquartered at Fort McPherson, Ga.

“The Army is making a step change to save lives,” said Chris O. Huffman, president of AIPS. “The leading cause of death for soldiers is not in combat with the enemy. It’s when they drive in their privately owned vehicle.”

The Army’s safe driving campaign will operate under the “Combat Aggressive Driving” brand name. The campaign that will be built on use of AIPS’ aggressive driver course, called “RoadRageousTM.”

RoadRageous is the nation’s first comprehensive course on aggressive driving. Presented in eight one-hour segments, the course was developed by AIPS in conjunction with three leading experts on aggressive driving, Dr. Leon James and Dr. Diane Nahl, both of the University of Hawaii, and Dr. Arnold Nerenberg, a Ph.D. psychologist in Southern California known as “America’s road rage therapist."

James and Nerenberg have testified before Congress on aggressive driving and road rage, now ranked by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as the  leading concern among drivers today. In addition, Nerenberg has taught numerous seminars for the California Office of Traffic Safety and has appeared on major television network newscasts as the recognized expert on aggressive driving and road rage.

The Army campaign will be launched at Fort Bragg, N.C.; Fort Campbell, Ky.; Fort Carson, Colo.; Fort Hood, Texas; Fort Lewis, Wash.; Fort Polk, La., and Fort Stewart, Ga. All three versions of the course will be utilized for Military Police and local law enforcement, general adult education and education for teens.

Huffman said the “Combat Aggressive Driving” program is more than just educational courses. AIPS will coordinate instructor training, public awareness campaigns, and outreach to communities and state and local governments to insure that principles of non-harmful driving are communicated to soldiers, families, and civilians at key Army posts where the “Combat Aggressive Driving” program will be used.

“After extensive research, the Army selected AIPS because we’re more than a course provider,” Huffman said. “The Army program we designed is an all-embracing campaign that features education, public awareness, community integration with state and local initiatives and even websites to deal with an overall approach to traffic safety. This approach will also include defensive driving, driving under the influence, seat belt usage, child safety seats, distracted driving, cell phone safety and other related auto safety topics.

“This builds on AIPS’ success delivering leading-edge driver safety programs across the nation. Our programs feature new and innovative ways to teach responsible driving to motorists with a proactive approach to behavior modification,” Huffman said.

see original here


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From: http://www.tfhrc.gov/safety/hsis/pubs/04085/index.htm

An Examination of Fault, Unsafe Driving Acts, and Total Harm in Car-Truck Collisions

FHWA-HRT-04-085   PDF Version (166 kb)

Table of Contents

Table 1. Experts' ranking of criticality of UDAs based on danger and frequency
(from Stuster(3))

RANK

UNSAFE DRIVING ACT

1

Driving inattentively (e.g., reading, talking on the phone, fatigue-induced)

2

Merging improperly into traffic, causing a truck to maneuver or brake quickly

3

Failure to stop for a stop sign or light (also, early or late through a signal)

4

Failure to slow down in a construction zone

5

Unsafe speed (e.g., approaching too fast from the rear/misjudging truck's speed)

6

Following too closely

7

Failure to slow down in response to environmental conditions (e.g., fog, rain, smoke, bright sun)

8

Changing lanes abruptly in front of a truck

9

Driving in the "no zones" (left rear quarter, right front quarter, and directly behind)

10

Unsafe turning, primarily turning with insufficient headway

11

Unsafe passing, primarily passing with insufficient headway

12

Pulling into traffic from roadside in front of truck without accelerating sufficiently

13

Driving while impaired by alcohol or other drug

14

Changing lanes in front of a truck, then braking (for traffic, obstacle, toll gate, etc.)

15

Unsafe crossing, primarily crossing traffic with insufficient headway

16

Driving left of center into opposing traffic

17

Failure to permit a truck to merge

18

Failure to discern that the trailer of a maneuvering truck is blocking the roadway

19

Nearly striking the front or rear of a truck or trailer while changing lanes

20

Maneuvering to the right of a truck that is making a right turn (the "right-turn squeeze")

21

Operating at dawn or dusk without headlights

22

Crossing a lane line near the side of a truck or trailer while passing

23

Driving between large trucks

24

Nearly striking the rear of a truck or trailer that is stopped or moving slowing in traffic

25

Nearly striking an unattended or parked truck at roadside

26

Abandoning vehicle in travel lane or impeding traffic

 

Table 2. Fault for truck and car drivers by crash type
(North Carolina car-truck crashes, 1994–97)

Crash Type

Truck
At Fault

Car
At Fault

Both
At Fault

Neither
At Fault

Total

Rear-end slow

2,127
(50.7%)

1,722
(41.0%)

258
(6.1%)

92
(2.2%)

4,199

Rear-end turn

203
(51.5%)

142
(36.0%)

42
(10.7%)

7
(1.8%)

394

Left turn—both same roadway

646
(45.4%)

549
(38.6%)

200
(14.1%)

28
(2.0%)

1,423

Left turn—crossing traffic

413
(42.9%)

466
(48.4%)

67
(7.0%)

16
(1.7%)

962

Right turn—both same roadway

330
(43.1%)

272
(35.5%)

142
(18.5%)

22
(2.9%)

766

Right turn—crossing traffic

135
(36.2%)

203
(54.4%)

27
(7.2%)

8
(2.1%)

373

Head-on

50
(22.5%)

158
(71.2%)

9
(4.1%)

5
(2.3%)

222

Sideswipe

1,813
(51.1%)

1,246
(35.1%)

380
(10.7%)

109
(3.1%)

3,548

Angle

1,371
(39.3%)

1,690
(48.5%)

276
(7.9%)

150
(4.3%)

3,487

Backing

725
(81.5%)

86
(9.7%)

52
(5.8%)

27
(3.0%)

890

Total

7,813
(48.0%)

6,534
(40.2%)

1,453
(8.9%)

464
(2.9%)

16,264

 

Table 3. Crash totals, percentages, and rankings for UDAs where GES data were sufficient


Unsafe Driving Acts

Percent of Total Car-Truck Crashes

Percent of Serious or Fatal Crashes

Combined GES Rank

Expert Ranking
(Stuster, 1999)

 

Original

Adjusted*

 

Judgement Problems

 

Failure to stop for a stop sign or signal

0.9

20.0

Tie 4

3

2

 

Driving while impaired by alcohol or other drug

1.7

19.2

Tie 14

14

9

 

Maneuvering to the right of a truck that is making a right turn (the “right-turn squeeze”)

3.0

3.1

12

20

13

 

Nearly striking the rear of a truck or trailer that is stopped or moving slowly in traffic

5.4

8.9

Tie 4

24

15

 

Nearly striking an unattended or parked truck at roadside

0.0

9.9

Tie 14

25

16

 

Speed-Related Problems

 

Failure to slow down in a construction zone

0.0

0.0

17

4

3

 

Unsafe speed

5.2

14.5

Tie 1

5

4

 

Failure to slow down in response to environmental conditions

2.3

8.3

9

7

5

 

Right-of-Way or Headway-Related Problems

 

Unsafe turning, primarily turning with insufficient headway

4.3

10.5

7

10

Tie 7

 

Unsafe passing, primarily passing with insufficient headway

0.9

13.5

8

10

Tie 7

 

Driving left of center or into opposing traffic

4.8

17.0

Tie 1

16

11

 

Crossing a lane line near the side of a truck or trailer while passing

0.5

12.1

Tie 10

22

14

 

Unsafe crossing, primarily crossing traffic with insufficient headway
 

1.8

20.0

3

15

10

 

Lane Change or Lane Position Problems

 

Merging improperly into traffic, causing a truck to maneuver or brake quickly

0.1

9.0

13

2

1

 

Changing lanes abruptly in front of a truck

4.4

2.4

Tie 10

8

6

 

Nearly striking the front or rear of a truck or trailer while changing lanes

0.4

5.4

16

19

12

 

Miscellaneous

 

Abandoning vehicle in travel lane/ impeding traffic

0.6

3.3

Tie 14

26

17

 

* Relative rankings for these 17 UDAs based on original Stuster rankings.

The above Tables plus their explanations will be found at:
http://www.tfhrc.gov/safety/hsis/pubs/04085/index.htm

Truckers

Cross Border Truck Safety Inspection Program
Hours of service regulations

Your web site looks interesting. I own a small company that contracts with companies for driver awareness/defensive driving training. Keep up the good work.

 Thanks for writing! Feel free to use whatever materials help you out in your training program against aggressive drivers. I'm particularly interested to know if you try the QDC idea (Quality Driving Circles) with some of your drivers.

Take care and drive with Aloha spirit! **DrDriving**

 

Road Rage is not about the other guy!


 

 


 

 

 

 

In 1999, 475,000 large trucks (gross vehicle weight rating greater than 10,000 pounds) were involved in traffic crashes in the United States; 4,898 were involved in fatal crashes. A total of 5,362 people died (13 percent of all the traffic fatalities reported in 1999) and an additional 142,000 were injured in those crashes.

Large trucks accounted for 3 percent of all registered vehicles, 7 percent of total vehicle miles traveled, 9 percent of all vehicles involved in fatal crashes, and 4 percent of all vehicles involved in injury and property-damage-only crashes in 1998 (1999 registered vehicle and vehicle miles traveled data not available).

For your information, when it is time to book your DSA theory test you can conveniently do it online.

One out of eight traffic fatalities in 1999 resulted from a collision involving a large truck.  (NHTSA – U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Study

PRIVATE "TYPE=PICT;ALT=ragingman.jpg (21979 bytes)"

According to a national survey recently conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the majority of motorists consider unsafe driving by others a significant threat to their personal safety. The survey results, released January 22, 1999, included:

·         98 percent of those surveyed felt it was important to do something about unsafe driving. Of that 98 percent, 75 percent felt it was very important.

·         About one in three felt that drivers in their area were driving somewhat or a lot more aggressively than a year ago.

·         Among reasons for increased aggressive driving, respondents included drivers being rushed or behind schedule (23 percent); increased traffic or congestion (22 percent); careless, inconsiderate drivers (12 percent); and immature, young drivers (12 percent).

·         More than half (59 percent) of the drivers reported they see vehicles traveling at unsafe speeds all (31 percent) or most of the time (28 percent). Another 35 percent saw drivers traveling at unsafe speeds at least some of the time.

·        Respondents listed the following as unsafe behaviors, other than speed, that they encounter on the roads: weaving in and out of traffic (24 percent), tailgating (17 percent), driver inattention (15 percent), and unsafe lane changes (10 percent).

Tips for Truckers from DrDriving



 


 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

How to deal with anger

Driving psychology has discovered that the driver behind the wheel has to manage three aspects of the self-the driver's feelings, the driver's thinking, and the driver's sensory-motor actions. These three systems of the self must coordinate and act together or else the driver loses control in a situation. The feeling system includes the driver's attitudes, needs, and motivation. The thinking system includes the driver's knowledge, memory, and reasoning capacity. The sensory-motor system includes the driver's sensory input and motor output, and all of the driver's actions. When everything goes well the driver has full control over the three systems of the self. What disturbs this balance?

Let's consider an example. You're driving along and all goes well. Your threefold self is coordinating properly. Your feeling system is held steady by your motivation. You're motivated to get to your destination without unnecessary delays and you bring into play your attitudes of caution and concentration. Your thinking system cooperates with your motivation. You keep in mind the rules of the road, you follow the procedures you've been taught, and you correctly anticipate the moves of other vehicles. Your sensory-motor system coordinates what you see and hear, and executes the necessary motions with your hands, legs, head, and body.

All of a sudden a four-wheeler passes you in the left lane and is speeding up to get to an exit just ahead. You say to yourself he should have waited behind you to take the exit and not try to pass at this point. You see the car turn on its indicator to get back into the right lane. You are suddenly seized with a feeling of annoyance. Your feeling system is quickly heating up with intense emotions of rage and condemnation. Your thinking system floods with thoughts like "What an idiot. Etc." Your sensory-motor system responds by holding the speed steady. And so you're now in a new situation. It's no longer a normal situation. An incident is happening. What are you going to do next? You have a choice of two ways to react to the situation, one dangerous, the other safe .

The dangerous mode is to tie together in your mind your angry feeling with prejudiced thinking. The result is high risk behavior and a short-lived adrenalin high. The other option is lay aside the prejudiced thinking and reason it out in a fair-minded way. Instead of anger you now feel zeal and compassion. Zeal is an intense positive feeling focused on coping rather retaliating. Anger is an intense negative feeling focused on retaliating and punishing rather than coping with a difficult situation. Anger ties itself to prejudiced thinking that serves to justify your aggressiveness, while zeal ties itself to fair-minded thinking that serves to cope with the situation. Coping is behavior that is safe and protective of everyone's welfare. Thus it has compassion within it.

DrDriving Tips: 1. First acknowledge that you need to train your emotions and thoughts behind the wheel even if you have an excellent record as a driver. 2. Become a witness to your driving style and habits. On different trips focus on one particular issue. For example: When do I get impatient? When do I get angry? What are my thoughts when I get angry-are they prejudiced or fair-minded? What are my weak points? What errors do I make? Keep a diary or log book of notes so you can review it from time to time. Another method that works well is a tape recorder you can turn on and speak your thoughts out loud. When you listen to it later you'll discover many things about your personality as a driver. 3. When you find yourself cussing against other drivers, or thinking nasty thoughts about them, don't let it stand. Remind yourself that being angry is useless and venting your anger is harmful to your health. In addition, it sets you up for more cussing and more anger, and at some point you feel yourself out of control making a move that is risky and scary, and gets you into trouble.

For more on this topic consult this book:

Leon James, Ph.D. and Diane Nahl, Ph.D. Road Rage and Aggressive Driving: Steering Clear of Highway Warfare (Amherst, N.Y.: Prometheus Books, 2000) ISBN 1-57392-846-1

As a SWD Trasportation Driver what can I do when confronted by road rage from others:

1.        Do not stop, continue driving to your next destination. Contact Cedar Hills and your supervisor via radio for instructions.

2.        If the other driver is driving erratically and appears to be a danger to you or others, ask for police assistance.  Give your exact location, your direction of travel, description of vehile, its direction of travel and license number if available.

3.        If the other driver approaches you while you are stopped (at a stop light, etc.) do not get out of your vehicle.  Contact Cedar Hills and ask for police assistance.

4.        Do not become fuel for the fire.  You might be “in the right”, but “in the right” is not as important as safe and unharmed.

 

 

 

 

 


Date: Sat, 7 Mar 1998 16:50:23 -1000
From: Gary Bricken gbricken@txdirect.net
To: DrDriving@DrDriving.org
Subject: article for truck magazine

Hi DrDriving- I am a writer for a trucking magazine, RPM for Truckers, an have been assigned an article on Road Rage. Could I possibly get a phone interview with you about your work. I would appreciate your help. Mostly I am interested in you, how you got into this field, how you feel you have helped, what the future holds and perhaps a few words that illustrate that road rage is an extension of rage that may be a marker of changes in our society in general (if that's true). would enjoy talking with you, I promise to keep it 15 min.

Gary Bricken, Editor
RPM for Truckers
RPM eXtra, & TRUX


Date: Thu, 12 Mar 1998 20:54:21 -1000

Hi Gary,

Thanks for the faxed article (Spring 1998 issue). I think you did a fine job with the whole thing--not too erudite or abstract, yet dealing with causes of things. Well I have one thing to clarify about the list of aggressive driving behaviors. Yours is a fine list but you might consider adding emotions and thoughts, not just overt actions--because these are also good signals:

--having fantasies about doing violence to someone

--thinking overcritically of other drivers most of the time

--feeling depressed about one's lack of enjoyment behind the wheel

--feeling in a hurry all the time, not being able to drive in a calm mode

--ignoring one's own 'DrDriving' conscience and taking excessive risks

--feeling happy about another driver's mishap or trouble

--hating the road and feeling disconnected from other drivers

--stressing over highway police

--no longer experiencing joy and security behind the wheel

You see what I mean: they are not OVERT actions or behaviors, yet they are part of driving because driving is made up of 3 parts acting together: one's feelings, one's thoughts, and one's actions. I'm wondering if you've seen the interview I gave for SuperDriver Magazine a few months ago which was also for a professional driver audience.  Here is a piece of it:

There are three driving styles, corresponding to three levels of emotional intelligence. The lowest form of emotional intelligence is to drive in an oppositional style. This means letting your emotions do the driving. We all have our favorite pet peeves about driving rules, and if somebody steps on one of them, we react by feeling offended, and expressing it in some form of aggression. For example, you might see another driver forget to turn off the signal indicator. It's automatic to denigrate and ridicule that driver in your mind. Or, a truck is left idling when you feel it shouldn't and you get incensed at the stupidity of the owner. Or, the car in front of you is driving too slow for no reason you can detect, and you rev your engine or blast your horn as you overtake the car, to make sure the driver gets your message of displeasure. This style of oppositional driving will get you into trouble and make your life on the road miserable.
read more here


Another angle of interest might be to discuss exercises drivers can do such as the Threestep Program you can find here. And finally, the Random Acts of Kindness for Drivers is something truckers would surely endorse as a desirable thing (because it improves highway community and mutual support).

Take care and drive with Aloha spirit!
**DrDriving**

Try this exercise:   Review the contrasts between anti-social and civilized and explain the difference in each example.  Show how they differ in terms of the focus.

NEGATIVE & ANTI-SOCIAL

POSITIVE & CIVILIZED

REPTILIAN DRIVING

FOCUS IS ON BLAMING OTHERS AND RETALIATING

CORTICAL
DRIVING

FOCUS IS ON
SELF AND HOW TO COPE BETTER

They're jerks!

I'm feeling very impatient today!

How can they do this to me!

I'm scared and angry!

They make me so mad when they do this!

I make myself so mad when they do this.

I just want him to know how I feel!

It's not worth it.

They better stay out of my way!

I need to recognize that everybody has to get to their destination.

How can they be so stupid talking on the phone while driving!

I need to be extra careful around these drivers.


Take Inventory

While some drivers are perfectly happy driving a truck, others act out their frustration and cynicism as aggressive driving. Take a few moments to reflect on yourself as a truck driver by considering each of the following items, as they may apply to you. This list was supplied by Safety Managers whose job it is to train and supervise hundreds of truck drivers every year. These are the top 6 problems and concerns they have experienced with their truck drivers.

1.) Anonymity is still the biggest factor with all aggressive drivers. Although, professional drivers seem to forget that their company name and truck number is all over the side of their vehicle.

2.) Because of their size, they have a greater feeling of superiority. This also makes them the victim of road rage as well.

3.) Although their job often depends on their safe driving, the company they drive for often is the main target of litigation. This will lessen the feeling of personal responsibility for some drivers.

4.) Tailgating remains the number one sin of the professional driver and is the main cause of most at fault accidents involving commercial vehicles. It is also the number one reason for motorists complaints.

5.) Professional drivers, because of their ability to operate an 18-wheeler, have a feeling of superiority. Some believe it their obligation to teach proper driving habits to automobiles through intimidation. The reason for some to tailgate.

6.) Truck driving is the job of last resort for some drivers. Being away from home for long periods of time creates many personal problems. They are raging at home, at work as well as on the highways. Often the personalities that we find common with aggressive drivers are the same personalities that we find with some truck drivers.

Well, how did you come out?  Remember:   it's never too late change!  I found out as DrDriving that changing my driving habits wasn't easy--until I started re-training myself from the bottom up.  I'm still doing it because there is always room for my improvement.  Let me know your perspective on this.  Do you see a need for you to improve as a truck driver?   Here is my e-mail button.
Leon James ("DrDriving")



Red-Light Cameras Coming Soon to Fresno

(Fresno-AP) -- While local politicians negotiate the administrative details of installing red-light cameras, Fresno intersections remain among the deadliest in the nation.

A report made public Thursday by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows that Fresno led California and ranked 11th nationally in deaths caused by red-light running with nearly six fatalities per 100,000 people for the years 1992 to 1998.

Fresno ranked seventh nationally and first in California in 1998 with 4.9 deaths per 100,000 for the 1992-96 period.

Since then, the city has cracked down on red-light runners by adding traffic officers, issuing $270 fines and installing so-called "rat boxes," which help patrol officers detect offenders.

But, as the latest reports show, city streets have become more dangerous.

The cameras photograph vehicles running red lights and violators are sent tickets in the mail.

The devices, which have been used for years in Europe and are in about 40 U.S. communities, are endorsed by the insurance institute.

Stories posted 7/14/00

Copyright © 2000 The Associated Press
original here


Facts from government agencies

In 1999, 475,000 large trucks (gross vehicle weight rating greater than 10,000 pounds) were involved in traffic crashes in the United States; 4,898 were involved in fatal crashes. A total of 5,362 people died (13 percent of all the traffic fatalities reported in 1999) and an additional 142,000 were injured in those crashes. Large trucks accounted for 3 percent of all registered vehicles, 7 percent of total vehicle miles traveled, 9 percent of all vehicles involved in fatal crashes, and 4 percent of all vehicles involved in injury and property-damage-only crashes in 1998 (1999 registered vehicle and vehicle miles traveled data not available). One out of eight traffic fatalities in 1999 resulted from a collision involving a large truck.

Aggressive Driving and Fuel Consumption


"The highest fuel consumption was monitored in the city, with a cold engine and an aggressive driver. A difference of 30 to 40% in the fuel consumption was observed between aggressive and normal driving behaviour.

The big difference in fuel consumption between an aggressive and normal driver in city centre traffic is due to the highly dynamic driving pattern. In rural traffic fuel consumption for an aggressive driver increases by 20% though there is a significant gain in average speed.

The fuel consumption of cars in motorway traffic is more or less independent of driving behaviour. Average speed is very constant and acceleration is limited. Ring-road traffic at low average speeds results in lower fuel consumption compared with the same average speeds in city centre traffic. Differences between aggressive and normal driving behaviour were also less pronounced: 15 to 20% instead of 40%. These better fuel consumption results are due to the continuous traffic flows that are guaranteed on ring-roads even when there are traffic jams."

 

BRAND NEW FEDERAL AGENCY AFFECTING TRUCK DRIVERS


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 8, 2000

"U.S. Transportation Secretary Rodney E. Slater today marked an historic moment in American transportation safety by formally inaugurating the new Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Secretary Slater called on the newest agency of the U.S. Department of Transportation to provide the leadership, direction and action necessary to continue to improve motor carrier safety, save lives and guide the nation to reduce by 50 percent truck- and bus-related fatalities by 2010."

 

 

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Study
 

  • According to a national survey recently conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the majority of motorists consider unsafe driving by others a significant threat to their personal safety. The survey results, released January 22, 1999, included:
  • 98 percent of those surveyed felt it was important to do something about unsafe driving. Of that 98 percent, 75 percent felt it was very important.
    About one in three felt that drivers in their area were driving somewhat or a lot more aggressively than a year ago.
  • Among reasons for increased aggressive driving, respondents included drivers being rushed or behind schedule (23 percent); increased traffic or congestion (22 percent); careless, inconsiderate drivers (12 percent); and immature, young drivers (12 percent).
  • More than half (59 percent) of the drivers reported they see vehicles traveling at unsafe speeds all (31 percent) or most of the time (28 percent). Another 35 percent saw drivers traveling at unsafe speeds at least some of the time.
  • Respondents listed the following as unsafe behaviors, other than speed, that they encounter on the roads: weaving in and out of traffic (24 percent), tailgating (17 percent), driver inattention (15 percent), and unsafe lane changes (10 percent).
    http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/people/injury/enforce/aggressdrivers/index.html

 

 

In California...

Driver License Handbook Table of Contents

 

Sharing the Road with Other Vehicles

Large Trucks (Big Rigs) and RVs

School Buses

Buses and Streetcars

Light Rail Vehicles (Trolleys)

Emergency Vehicles

Slow Moving Vehicles

Animal-Drawn Vehicles

Motorcycles

Bicycles

Pedestrians

Road Workers

Railroad (Train) Crossing

Trolley Crossings

Hazardous Loads

 

Did you know that?


there are seven violations that can cause a driver to have his
license immediately suspended even on a first offense, including
drunken-driving, violating railroad crossing rules and using a
commercial vehicle to distribute drugs.

Several other common moving violations, such as speeding or
reckless driving, can mean a 60-day suspension for a second
offense.

see article here

 

Trucker Buddy


"Trucker Buddy International is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to helping educate and mentor schoolchildren via a pen pal relationship between professional truck drivers and children in grades 2-8. Trucker Buddy matches classes of students with professional truck drivers. Every week drivers share news about their travels with their class. Once a month, students write letters to their drivers. Students' skills in reading, writing, geography, mathematics, social studies, and history are enhanced and learning is fun. Since 1992, Trucker Buddy has helped educate over a million schoolchildren and introduced them to caring, compassionate men and women, professional truck drivers."

 

Dave in Seattle: Good Samaritan Trucker of the Month


From Weakster@wa.freei.net
Sun Feb 14 18:05:29 1999
Date: Sun, 14 Feb 1999 01:14:09 -1000
To: DrDriving@DrDriving.org

DrDriving:
My name is Dave and I live in the Seattle area of Washington. The road rage is really getting bad here. I have had my share of it and am making an effort to help stop it. I once was on my way to work. It was one of the coldest days of the winter and the wind was blowing hard.

I was late and was trying to hurry because if I was late again I would be in big trouble. Possibly suspended. I am not a morning person. Anyway, I pass this car on the side of the road that the shoulder is quite narrow. I see this nicely dressed woman reading (what I later found out) the directions on how to change her flat tire. I passed her and felt terrible. The guilt took over and I took the next exit and circled back and pulled up behind her and got out. She was very confused and panicked. I asked her if she needed help and she said she was going to something very important to her daughter. I can't remember what it was. The cars were flying by at the usual 65 mph. It was probably about 10 degrees out with a wind chill factor of minus who knows.

I looked over the situation and I told her to get in her car from the right side and put her seatbelt on in case some one rear ended us. I backed up my truck to create a barrier in case of the worst possibility of someone slamming into us. I jacked up her Cadillac and changed her tire. When I was done I was frozen and dirty. I secured the flat in the trunk and walked around to assure her that she was okay to go. She opened the passenger side window and tried to offer me money. I could not accept and she smiled and tried again. I said no again and I saw a tear come to her eye. I said go see your daughter and walked back to my truck. Off she went, and I started my way to work again. I knew I was in big trouble. But when I got there. I was the first one on shift and was supposed to get things ready for the rest of the crew. But the time clock was not working. So I hurried and got caught up on my work. the next person came in and tried to punch in and saw the time clock was down. None of us could clock in that day and an engineer fixed it later that morning. I didn't get in trouble and I felt wonderful all day.

 

Did you know?

"In half of the two-vehicle fatal crashes involving a large truck and another type of vehicle, both vehicles were proceeding straight at the time of the crash. In 10 percent of the crashes, the other vehicle was turning. In 9 percent, either the truck or the other vehicle was negotiating a curve. In 8 percent, either the truck or the other vehicle was stopped or parked in a traffic lane (6 percent and 2 percent, respectively)."

 

September 8, 2000


Freeway Fury
Road rage moves from middle finger to trigger finger

Truckers News publisher Robert Lake
rlake@truckersnews.com

Truckers know what it’s like to have the middle finger flashed at them — many now know what it’s like to have a weapon waved at them. “It’s getting to be a fact of driving life,” Shawn Grimes, a trucker with Elliot Trucking, says. Grimes has been driving for four years and has had a gun pulled on him three times.

The first time was on a crowded freeway in Los Angeles. The second, on a highway leading into Atlanta. The third time, a car driver passed him 20 miles after first flashing the gun — and fired. The bullet smashed through Grimes’ sleeper, entered Grimes’ two-year old son Anthony’s shoulder, and exited through the right side of the toddler’s face. The child faces lifelong reconstruction, therapy and medical bills. Truckers outraged over the incident contributed money to the Anthony Grimes Foundation and aided police by distributing posters of a composite drawing of the shooter’s female companion. Truckers News contributed $10,000 toward a reward leading to the arrest and conviction of the shooter, but hope of finding him dims as leads wane. Truckers express their compassion to the Grimes family, but their sense of helplessness over the incident and others like it continues to rage.

“During an average day in the U.S., 100 drivers step into their cars and don’t emerge alive. I estimate that there are more than 2 billion aggressive driving exchanges per day in the U.S. says Dr. Leon James, author of Road Rage and Aggressive Driving: Steering Clear of Highway Warfare.

James believes drivers display hostility they would consider inappropriate in a home or work environment, and his research confirms that to some degree, nearly everyone experiences feelings of anger and retaliation on the road.

A report released by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety indicates serious incidents of road rage have risen 51 percent since 1990. Most of the incidents occur on crowded freeways and many have begun to involve car and truck altercations such as Grimes experienced.

Truckers often feel the attacks are personal and directed at their driving. But ordinary citizens with no previous history of aggression or arrests can commit crimes fueled by road rage. A bad day at work, a relationship gone sour or an accumulation of perceived injustices all can prompt seemingly normal people to commit acts of highway violence.

When someone lashes out at you, be prepared to drive defensively and courteously. Remember: an encounter that starts with the flash of a middle finger can turn life-threatening. Be careful; it’s a war out there.

(...)

 

NEW PHONE CODE COULD HELP DRIVERS


The federal government has paved the way for drivers to get information about traffic jams, road conditions and construction by dialing a single three digit code.

Federal regulators have designated 511 as the number to call for local traffic information. The plan is modeled after the 911 emergency number.

It will be up to local governments to decide how to implement and pay for the new number. That means 511 will not be available in the Dallas-Fort Worth area right away.

The Texas Department of Transportation already monitors roads around the Metroplex using a network of 57 cameras. Using information from the cameras, TxDOT is able to dispatch courtesy patrol crews to stranded drivers.

Still, the idea of supplying more information to north Texas drivers appeals to traffic specialist Mike West.

"The more people know, the more they can take alternate routes," West said. His only concern is the cost, and whether TxDOT will have the resources and manpower to support the new 511 code.

Pilot programs are being set up in five U.S. cities, though none are in north Texas. The outcome of those programs will help determine whether 511 becomes as common nationwide as 911.

To learn more about the new code, visit the Federal Communications Commission online.

 

 

Research Reports on Trucks

June, 2000
Fatality Facts 1998: Large Trucks

February, 2000
Axles to Grind: Driving Questions About the Limits to Place on Trucks Traveling Our Roads

September, 1999
A Crash Course in How to Steer Clear of Trucks

February, 1999
Indiana Study Shows Double-Trailer Vehicles Not Overinvolved in Crashes

February, 1999
National Crash Data Bases Underestimate Underride Statistics

July 17, 1998
Canadian and U.S. Truckers May Not Be Getting Enough Sleep

December, 1997
Oregon Study Looks at Potential Pavement Damage from High-Pressure Truck Tires and Single-Tired Axles

October, 1997
Large Trucks a Significant Factor in Major Freeway Incidents in Houston, Texas

September, 1997
University of Tennessee Hosts Large Truck Symposium

August, 1997
Truck Escape Ramps: Determining the Need and the Location

August, 1997
Appeals Court Reviews "Legal Duty" and "Discretionary Function" in Runaway Ramp Crash in Idaho

August, 1997
Study Discussed Characteristics of Longer Combination Vehicles (LCVs) in Relation to Roadway Design

June, 1997
Vehicle-Arresting Net Successfully Tested in France

May 28, 1997
Q&A: Large Trucks

February 1, 1997
Lime-Yellow Fire Trucks Safer Than Red: A Conclusion from Four Years of Data

source here

 

Truckers: We Don't Need More Sleep Criticize


Federal Plan to Require 12 Hours Off Road

April 26, 2000

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) -- Truckers say they can only sleep so much -- or drive so long.

Long-distance drivers interviewed at one of the country's major crossroads were unanimous Tuesday in their disapproval of proposed federal regulations requiring 10 to 12 hours' rest between driving shifts.

"You can't lay in bed that long. It's going to create a problem," said Don Alyea of Kansas City, Mo.

Alyea's truck was among 50 or so big-rig diesels stopped Tuesday at the Travel Centers of America truck stop. Located at the intersection of Interstates 25 and 40 in Albuquerque, the truck stop handles an estimated 100,000 rigs a year.

Mandatory rest longer

Under existing, 60-year-old regulations, truckers can drive no more than 10 hours straight, followed by at least eight hours off, leaving open the possibility of driving as much as 16 hours in a 24-hour period.

The new rules would require big-rig drivers to take a mandatory rest period of 10 consecutive hours every 24 hours, with an additional two hours of rest taken during the work shift or at its beginning or end. Drivers could conceivably work 12 hours on and 12 off each day.

"A man can't sleep 12 hours," said Danny O'Brien, a trucker from Lake of the Ozarks, Mo.

"If you sleep eight hours and wake up, you still have to wait four hours before you start driving again," O'Brien said. "That's 16 hours you have to be awake."

original continued here

 

Stress + Hostility = Violence


Road Rage Is a Highway Hazard on the Rise

By George Abry
Staff Reporter

Donald Graham didn't like what he saw one February evening on I-95 in Massachusetts. Two men in a car were tailgating a woman driver, flashing their lights in a threatening manner.

Indignant, Mr. Graham began following the men closely, flashing his own lights. After about eight miles of mutual antagonism, the men stopped on an access road and got out of their cars.

At some point during the resulting altercation, Mr. Graham, 54, a retired bookkeeper and minister, produced a hunting crossbow from his trunk and released a 29-inch arrow into the chest of Michael Blodgett, one of the other motorists. Mr. Blodgett, 42, later died at an area hospital.

Today, Mr. Graham's congregation is his fellow inmates at Massachusetts Correctional Institute, where he is serving a life sentence without parole for first degree murder with extreme atrocity. Mrs. Graham is divorcing him, and he regrets the way things turned out.

"I'm sorry that it happened; I wish it hadn't happened; I just didn't like what I saw," Mr. Graham said in a recent television interview from jail.

Mr. Graham's case may sound outlandish but it illustrates a growing national problem: increasing hostility on the highway, coupled with a readiness to resort to violence over small provocations.

Statistics are not much help. A recent survey by the American Automobile Association indicates 10,037 recorded incidents of aggressive driving in the past six years. It found that 12,610 people were injured in those incidents, and at least 218 men, women and children were killed.

But the vast majority of these incidents are not reported.

One study found that nearly 90% of motorists surveyed had experienced an aggressive driving incident in the past year.

There is no single description of aggressive behavior behind the wheel. Its manifestations are as varied as human nature, and the terms "aggressive driving" and "road rage" are used interchangeably in the media.

Incidents frequently begin with an action that angers or scares another driver -- tailgating or indiscriminate lane changing, for example. Raising the middle finger to another driver has gotten people shot, stabbed or beaten in every state of the union.

Explanations of the phenomenon range from obvious observations about how people behave to complex analyses of cultural and psychological causes.

"I think a lot of it is stress: people in this country are being stressed out," said David K. Willis, president of AAA Foundation forTraffic Safety.

"People are worried about losing their jobs, companies are downsizing, people feel as though their workloads are unreasonable, workplace violence is up. It's more than just bad behavior on the road."

No one can dispute the relationship between stress and highway congestion. Metropolitan areas with the worst traffic problems experience the worst cases of road rage.

Although the number of miles driven nationally has increased some 35% since of 1987, the number of miles of roads has increased 1%. Almost 70% of urban freeways are choked with traffic during rush hour, according to a recent study by the Federal Highway Administration.

To make matters worse, people are relying more on cars than on mass transit. This is thanks in part to jobs shifting from cities to suburbs.

For truck drivers, road rage is a daily hazard. "It's out there every day on the road," said Larry I. Ripley, a 30-year driver with Matlack Inc., a tank truck operation based in Wilmington, Del.

"For the most part, I witness passenger car vehicles driving aggressively. We don't want people to fear us, but just respect the size that we are."

According to Mr. Willis of AAA, road rage appears not to be a truck driver problem. "From the numbers we've seen it seems to be more of a young male problem."

The authors of the AAA study have drawn a profile of the aggressive driver with the most lethal inclination. Dangerous aggressive drivers would most likely be "relatively young, poorly educated males who have criminal records, histories of violence, and drug or alcohol problems."

But truck drivers are not exempt from making poor decisions because of anger. "What we have been seeing is that characteristics of aggressive driving cover all drivers and vehicle types," said Captain Greg Shipley, spokesman for the Maryland state police.

"There are some truck drivers out there who have characteristics of being aggressive, and there are some aggressive car drivers. But I do not think you can say there is more of one than the other."

Jeff Weinberg, an owner-operator leased to Westran Inc. and based out of Billings, Mont., recalls an incident earlier this year at a truck stop in Walcott, Iowa, where one driver attacked another with a baseball bat. The assailant was provoked by the apparent refusal of the victim to cut off his high beam headlights as they entered the truck stop from opposite directions.

"That never would have happened 10 years ago," Mr. Weinberg said. "I think the industry is starting to bring in people who possibly don't deserve to be there. There is a certain mentality you need to be in this business."

Mr. Weinberg felt his own anger rising after picking up a load on Monday and hustling to deliver it by Friday only to be told the plant would be shut down for inventory.

This kind of preventable delay is devastating for truck drivers who are generally paid by the mile and are gone from home for weeks at a time.

Mr. Weinberg would like to see more truck stops like the one in New Mexico that has weight rooms, racquetball courts and jogging trails. "It really helps release a lot of tension," he said.

Bill Emrick of Columbia Falls, Mont., hauls oversize and overweight loads throughout the U.S. and Canada for Westran. "The whole atmosphere of driving in urban traffic has changed. There's no civility left," he said.

"We're moving oversized loads and even with escort vehicles, people go around on the shoulder honking their horn and giving you the bird. I try hard to be very courteous."

Mr. Emrick said most of the reckless driving he sees is probably due to people being in too much of a hurry. "They see a big truck as just being in the way."

In some states, differential speed limits are a source of aggravation for truck drivers and four-wheelers alike, he said. In congested areas especially, traffic tends to back up behind slower trucks, blocking ramps and making it impossible for trucks to pass each other.

Road rage claims innocent victims as well as perpetrators. Mr. Emrick recalls one incident in which two cars collided in front of his truck after each tried to cut in from opposite lanes. Although he was able to avoid hitting the stopped vehicles, police officers blamed him for the accident.

Possible solutions cover as much ground as the causes of the phenomenon.

At a public hearing this summer on Capitol Hill, Rep. Bud Shuster, R-Pa., called for more highway funding to reduce congestion and relieve driver tension.

"There are many ways to improve safety on our highways," said Mr. Shuster, who chairs the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. "The construction of additional lanes, the widening of roads and the straightening of curves would decrease congestion and reduce the impatience and unsafe habits of some motorists."

University of Hawaii traffic psychology professor Leon James told the committee that "behavioral modification techniques" should be employed.

"The culture of road rage has deep roots," Mr. James said. "We inherit aggressive and dangerous driving patterns as children, watching our parents and other adults behind the wheel, and by watching and absorbing bad driving behaviors depicted in movies and television commercials."

Mr. James recommends a set of emotional management techniques he refers to as "inner power tools" for smart driving. They include: acquiring a supportive driving philosophy; acting positive even when you feel negative; regularly considering the effect of one's driving on others.

He suggests that instead of emphasizing defensive driving -- which may imply an enemy -- we should focus on "supportive driving." But most of all, Mr. James recommends "driving with the aloha spirit."

Some states are running programs to counter road rage. In Maryland, for example, the highway department has a campaign called "The End of the Road for Aggressive Drivers" involving stepped-up highway patrols and messages flashed on electronic billboards. Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey have introduced special highway patrols targeting aggressive drivers.

Further, judicial authorities are taking steps to curb violent behavior.

On Sept. 18, a Virginia judge sentenced a motorist to one year in jail for forcing an off-duty police officer to pull her car over, and then choking her.

General District Court Judge Barbara L. Kimble said during the sentencing that she has been hearing more and more cases in her court involving aggressive driving.

"If judges would put people in jail, these things would not happen," Ms. Kimble said.

Swift and sure punishment is an effective deterrent, and public information efforts can reduce the problem by focusing attention on it. But in the end, it comes down to individual responsibility. What's required is grace under pressure: Drivers must maintain composure in the face of seeming chaos on the road.

"The key factor for a professional driver is being tolerant of it," said Matlack's Mr. Ripley. "Professional drivers do not let it bother them -- otherwise you stoop to their level."

original here

 

Study:


Truckers not getting enough shut eye Drivers average less than 5 hours of sleep a night
More than half of the truckers in the study, who were videotaped as they drove, experienced at least one six-minute interval of drowsiness while driving. Truckers were most vulnerable to drowsiness late in the night or early in the morning, when the body naturally wants to shut down.

More than 110,000 people are injured and 5,000 killed in the United States each year in commercial truck accidents. The Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that perhaps 30 percent of those deaths, and 70 percent of the injuries, are directly attributable to accidents caused by sleep deprivation.

But sleepy truckers may not be the only menace on the road. In an editorial accompanying the article, Dr. William Dement of Stanford University said the findings reflect his belief that "pervasive drowsy driving is an established fact in the United States," with more than half of the general public driving while sleep deprived.

"We're beginning to realize that drowsiness or sleep deprivation, fatigue, is beginning to outstrip alcohol as a cause of accidents in transportation, particularly on the highway," Dement said.

 

 

 

Date: Tue, 20 Oct 1998 16:32:53 -0500


From: Ron or Mellissa timeline@spacestar.net
To: "Dr. Leon James" leon@hawaii.edu
Subject: trucker road rage

Dear DrDriving:
May I schedule an interview with you for 9:30 am your time. (Please confirm). Our audience will be truck drivers, primarily semi truck drivers. Therefore the video itself will focus on Road Rage and the trucking industry.

Do they encounter more RR situations because they're on the road all the time?

Do other drivers view trucks/truckers as a problem and perhaps become more angry at them?

Because truckers are on the road so much do they tend to be more anxious or more lenient regarding people?

Who provokes them?

How does general Road Rage info and how to prevent it pertain directly to truck drivers.?

There is little info on Road Rage and the trucking industry...so...I'm on a mission to find out what I can by researching it myself. This interview with you is part of that research. The info I gather at this stage will allow me to write the video script. Then in a couple months we will interview people again, in person with a camera crew. In your case we may hire a local crew there to shoot it for us.



oogle

       

 

 

 



             

 

Dear DrDriving:


What can truckers do in response to the negative image they have in many people’s minds?

Dr. Leon James Answers:
Truckers do have an image problem. I’ve seen it in people’s comments over the years. So I think truckers need to fix this image. One approach I would recommend is to acquire Inner Power Tools on a long term basis. It takes practice and dedication, but it’s worth it. One such tool I recommend Come Out Swinging Positive. This means taking charge in a positive way where normally we’re being negative. Example: try to remember this: what does your face look like during your mini-encounters with four wheelers? What do those drivers see: a cold tired displeased face (which reflects how you feel inside), or a pleasant upbeat smiling face (which is the image we want to project as truck drivers)? This is considered professionalism.

Truckers have a choice about this negative image: to complain about it and feel bad, or to actively do things to change that image. Actually I don't think this would be difficult because most people realize in the back of their mind that they owe their daily commodities and conveniences largely to truckers who bring that good stuff in every day to the supermarkets and warehouses. So people are inwardly pre-disposed to honor truckers for this indispensable work. So the general public would respond well to friendly initiatives by truckers.

One thing truckers need to watch out for is where the other drivers are oversensitive to trucks and feel intimidated by trucks because of their size. So truck operators should take care to follow from a greater distance than they're used to. Drivers will begin to appreciate this gesture. Another is for truckers to allow four wheelers into their lanes and to wave or smile when they pass other drivers. This will go a long way to fix their image, and the truckers will feel so much appreciated and rewarded for what they’re doing.

 

Road Rage Among Truck Drivers

BOSTON HEIGHTS: Steven Graham never thought that running out of gas would send another motorist spinning emotionally out of control. But that's what he thinks happened yesterday morning, when a truck driver pulled off state Route 8 and ran into him as he tried to fill his vehicle with a can of gas.

``I thought he was going to give me a hand,'' said Graham, 30, of Ravenna. ``Instead, all he wanted to do was pick a fight.'' Police classify the case as the latest incident of road rage along the congested north-south route through northern Summit County. Full Story here.

 

'Road rage to extreme'


By AARON WILLIAMS BEE STAFF WRITER
(Published: Thursday, July 06, 2000)

A Turlock trucker ran down a motorcyclist Wednesday afternoon, bringing to an end a highway vendetta that stretched from southern San Joaquin County to the Vintage Faire Mall offramp, Modesto police said.

The big rig crashed into the cycle, and the rider went flying over the truck's engine and landed at the side of the road. The truck continued for about 200 yards, with the Harley-Davidson cycle lodged in the bumper. The motorcyclist, Michael McClatchy, 30, of Stockton, was in serious condition late Wednesday in a Modesto hospital with severe injuries to his legs, a nursing supervisor said. The big rig driver, John Fagundes, 45, of Turlock, was booked at Stanislaus County Jail for investigation of assault with a deadly weapon. More serious charges could be filed, depending on the victim's condition and the investigation, police spokesman Terry Miller said. "This is really taking road rage to the extreme," Miller said. "To have a truck driver intentionally run over a motorcyclist. It's the first time I've seen something like this."

The crash occurred at about 3 p.m. on the Standiford Avenue-Beckwith Road offramp from southbound Highway 99. The incident began at least half an hour earlier, police said. There were conflicting reports about whether it started near Manteca or French Camp.

It also was unclear exactly what started the feud. Fagundes said the confrontation began near the Highway 120 exit in Manteca when the motorcyclist slowed down in front of him and made an obscene finger gesture. Fagundes said he passed the Harley and saw the motorcyclist pull to the side of the road and pick up some rocks. The biker then caught up to the big rig and began pelting it with rocks as the two continued southbound, Fagundes said.

After the incident, Fagundes pointed to marks on his truck he said were caused by the thrown rocks. California Highway Patrol officers at the scene could not confirm Fagundes' claim. As the two neared Modesto, Fagundes called 911 from a cell phone. "I called 911 telling them to get someone out here, that he was throwing rocks at my truck," he said. At 3 p.m., McClatchy exited the highway and started climbing the Beckwith-Standiford offramp.

A witness told police he saw the truck cut across two lanes to get onto the offramp and then accelerate to catch up with the bike. "I saw black smoke coming from his stacks which means he was accelerating," the witness said. "You could see the truck was after him." The big rig caught McClatchy about halfway up the offramp.

Modesto's Karyn Brooks was exiting the highway at the same time and saw the motorcycle and truck coming at her from behind: "I looked in my rearview mirror when I heard the noise. The truck was barreling up the offramp. He was going a lot faster than he should have been." Brooks stopped to help the biker after he'd fallen to the side of the road. She said a big chunk of his helmet had broken off and that his legs were mangled. The motorcycle remained upright, locked under the big rig's bumper. The bike's undercarriage carved a rut in the pavement, and the front tire left a dark skid mark that stretched up the offramp, across the intersection and down the onramp where the truck came to a stop. Both ramps remained closed seven hours later as officers continued to investigate the crash.

posted here

Somebody posted this reply:

There is NO SUCH THING as "road rage" There is only MURDER, attempted MURDER, assault and other things BAD people do.
The truck driver is a MURDERER since he committed an attempted murder. I don't thing attempted murder should be less of a crime as murder. That's rewarding incompetence. The incompetent gets out sooner and trys murder again. The truck driver should swing from a rope!

Somebody replied:

Okay, guys, 'splain this one to me. Why on earth would anybody riding a motorcycle try to provoke somebody driving an 18-wheeler? That's like a mouse trying to provoke a lion, IMHO. I jest don't get it.

Babyface--->truckers *always* have the right-of-way when I'm on the interstate

Advice from another:

Folks who decide to play road games with big rigs should remember two rules:

Rule of the road #1:
In any collision, the greater mass always wins. Always.

Rule of the road #2:
"But I had the right of way" is just the right length to fit on a tombstone.

Next writer:

'm wondering, just based on the photo on the site, whether or not the motorcycle driver might not have just pulled up in front of this guy's rig and slowed down dramatically. Not that I'm ready to let the trucker walk until there's more known, but that's one of the hideous tactics you see on the road all the time, and stopping with an 18-Wheeler is *not* the same as stopping a Mazda Miata.

If the guy on the bike really did initiate this moronic exchange, and pulled the slow-down-real-fast trick on the guy in the rig, he's more responsible than the rig driver for what happened.

Another writer:

Scary thought they would let someone like that behind the wheel of one of those big rigs. I'm surprised he didn't jack knife it.

Do you have comments? Write to:  letters@DrDriving.org

 

Slowing Drivers Who Speed Through Town Traffic


Planners Propose Narrow Streets to Promote Safety

May 22, 2000

By Mercedes Diaz

NEW YORK (APBnews.com) -- Traffic safety experts say those narrow, tree-lined streets that wend their way through neighborhoods around the country can be effective in slowing down speeding drivers.

Some traffic safety advocates are now calling for a narrowing of roadways throughout cities as a way to promote safety for motorists and pedestrians.

But other traffic safety experts disagree. They say that narrowing wide streets may endanger lives by increasing the number of traffic accidents.

(...)

But there may be a downside to the street-narrowing proposals, said J.L. Gattis, an associate professor of civil engineering at the University of Arkansas. The results of his study, published earlier this year in the Journal of Transportation Engineering, conclude that narrowing streets does not necessarily slow down traffic or make the streets safer.

Motorists tend to drive fast on arterials, then gradually slow down as they travel through local streets.

"If all the streets are narrow, the developer is going to spend less. But if there are accidents, the cost is going to be borne by the residents," Gattis said.

(...)

If the street is too narrow and "you park a car on the street, then a fire truck can't get by," he said.

Walter Morris, a supervisor at the Rockland County Fire Training Center in New York state, said the international fire safety code dictates that streets be built to allow a minimum of 20 to 25 feet of access. That way, said Morris, if a fire truck is parked in front of a structure, a second truck can safely pass around it.

(...)

Engineers on both sides of the issue agree that the debate is just in its infancy. And on both sides of the issue, there have been accusations of being pro-car or anti-car.

(...)

 

Take Inventory

While some drivers are perfectly happy driving a truck, others act out their frustration and cynicism as aggressive driving. Take a few moments to reflect on yourself as a truck driver by considering each of the following items, as they may apply to you. This list was supplied by Safety Managers whose job it is to train and supervise hundreds of truck drivers every year. These are the top 6 problems and concerns they have experienced with their truck drivers.

1.) Anonymity is still the biggest factor with all aggressive drivers. Although, professional drivers seem to forget that their company name and truck number is all over the side of their vehicle.

2.) Because of their size, they have a greater feeling of superiority. This also makes them the victim of road rage as well.

3.) Although their job often depends on their safe driving, the company they drive for often is the main target of litigation. This will lessen the feeling of personal responsibility for some drivers.

4.) Tailgating remains the number one sin of the professional driver and is the main cause of most at fault accidents involving commercial vehicles. It is also the number one reason for motorists complaints.

5.) Professional drivers, because of their ability to operate an 18-wheeler, have a feeling of superiority. Some believe it their obligation to teach proper driving habits to automobiles through intimidation. The reason for some to tailgate.

6.) Truck driving is the job of last resort for some drivers. Being away from home for long periods of time creates many personal problems. They are raging at home, at work as well as on the highways. Often the personalities that we find common with aggressive drivers are the same personalities that we find with some truck drivers.

Well, how did you come out? Remember: it's never too late change! I found out as DrDriving that changing my driving habits wasn't easy--until I started re-training myself from the bottom up. I'm still doing it because there is always room for my improvement. Let me know your perspective on this. Do you see a need for you to improve as a truck driver?

 

Date: Sat, 7 Mar 1998 16:50:23 -1000


From: Gary Bricken gbricken@txdirect.net
To: DrDriving@DrDriving.org
Subject: article for truck magazine

Hi DrDriving- I am a writer for a trucking magazine, RPM for Truckers, an have been assigned an article on Road Rage. Could I possibly get a phone interview with you about your work. I would appreciate your help. Mostly I am interested in you, how you got into this field, how you feel you have helped, what the future holds and perhaps a few words that illustrate that road rage is an extension of rage that may be a marker of changes in our society in general (if that's true). would enjoy talking with you, I promise to keep it 15 min.

Gary Bricken, Editor
RPM for Truckers
RPM eXtra, & TRUX


Date: Thu, 12 Mar 1998 20:54:21 -1000
From: "DrDriving" DrDriving@DrDriving.org
To: gbricken@txdirect.net
Subject: your fax

Hi Gary,

Thanks for the faxed article (Spring 1998 issue). I think you did a fine job with the whole thing--not too erudite or abstract, yet dealing with causes of things. Well I have one thing to clarify about the list of aggressive driving behaviors. Yours is a fine list but you might consider adding emotions and thoughts, not just overt actions--because these are also good signals:

--having fantasies about doing violence to someone

--thinking overcritically of other drivers most of the time

--feeling depressed about one's lack of enjoyment behind the wheel

--feeling in a hurry all the time, not being able to drive in a calm mode

--ignoring one's own 'DrDriving' conscience and taking excessive risks

--feeling happy about another driver's mishap or trouble

--hating the road and feeling disconnected from other drivers

--stressing over highway police

--no longer experiencing joy and security behind the wheel

You see what I mean: they are not OVERT actions or behaviors, yet they are part of driving because driving is made up of 3 parts acting together: one's feelings, one's thoughts, and one's actions. I'm wondering if you've seen the interview I gave for SuperDriver Magazine a few months ago which was also for a professional driver audience. Here is a piece of it:

There are three driving styles, corresponding to three levels of emotional intelligence. The lowest form of emotional intelligence is to drive in an oppositional style. This means letting your emotions do the driving. We all have our favorite pet peeves about driving rules, and if somebody steps on one of them, we react by feeling offended, and expressing it in some form of aggression. For example, you might see another driver forget to turn off the signal indicator. It's automatic to denigrate and ridicule that driver in your mind. Or, a truck is left idling when you feel it shouldn't and you get incensed at the stupidity of the owner. Or, the car in front of you is driving too slow for no reason you can detect, and you rev your engine or blast your horn as you overtake the car, to make sure the driver gets your message of displeasure. This style of oppositonal driving will get you into trouble and make your life on the road miserable.
read more here
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Another angle of interest might be to discuss exercises drivers can do such as the Threestep Program. And finally, the Random Acts of Kindness for Drivers is something truckers would surely endorse as a desirable thing (because it improves highway community and mutual support).

Take care and drive with Aloha spirit!
**DrDriving**

 

Red-Light Cameras Coming Soon to Fresno

(Fresno-AP) -- While local politicians negotiate the administrative details of installing red-light cameras, Fresno intersections remain among the deadliest in the nation.

A report made public Thursday by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows that Fresno led California and ranked 11th nationally in deaths caused by red-light running with nearly six fatalities per 100,000 people for the years 1992 to 1998.

Fresno ranked seventh nationally and first in California in 1998 with 4.9 deaths per 100,000 for the 1992-96 period.

Since then, the city has cracked down on red-light runners by adding traffic officers, issuing $270 fines and installing so-called "rat boxes," which help patrol officers detect offenders.

But, as the latest reports show, city streets have become more dangerous.

The cameras photograph vehicles running red lights and violators are sent tickets in the mail.

The devices, which have been used for years in Europe and are in about 40 U.S. communities, are endorsed by the insurance institute.

Stories posted 7/14/00

Copyright © 2000 The Associated Press

original here

 

Date: Tue, 28 Sep 1999 15:29:46 -1000


To: DrDriving@DrDriving.org
Did you ever ride with a trucker?

If not, you should for a week. There is no one on the the road that sees the rage and what causes it. We get crucified daily because there are few survivors when we have an accident. I've been driving a tracter trailer since 1971 and never had an accident, at fault or not at fault, and only one moving violation. That's not bad for a guy that drives 150,000 miles a year. I have seen road rage increase every year. You should see what people do around us, you won't believe your eyes. You've heard it all before, the point is all you "experts" need to see it not hear it. A trucker is nailed to the wall when involved in an accident. What you never hear about are the people that did'nt die because of actions we take to avoid a sure accident. I probably save 8-10 lives a year because I let other drivers have their way.

I won't bore you anymore, thanks for listening.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Truck Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP)

"In conjunction with a statewide Occupant Protection Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (OP-STEP) initiated in 1996, officials from Vermont's State Highway Safety Office (SHSO) conducted a series of motorist surveys on traffic safety issues associated with large trucks. Survey results indicated a problem with oversize and insecure truck loads, a low rate of safety belt use among truck drivers (44.4 percent) and cars operating unsafely around trucks. Many drivers were unaware of proper truck passing techniques and were not familiar with the No-Zone--that area directly around a truck where visibility is poor and crashes are more likely to occur. To address these concerns the Highway Safety Office integrated a Truck Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) component into its existing OP-STEP.

 

 

From zeffer1@webtv.net Sun Sep 13 08:31:08 1998


Date: Sun, 13 Sep 1998 04:32:53 -1000
From: z1@webtv.net
To: DrDriving@DrDriving.org
Subject: road rage

DrDriving:
My daughter and I were driving to my dad's on a sunny afternoon. As we pulled onto the main road (Ohio state route 30) from a back county road, I saw a semi truck in the distance. I pulled out anyway, knowing I would have more than enough time to get my speed built up and just drive. As I was gaining speed I looked in the rear view mirror and saw the truck closer than I thought it should have been, so I gave my car a little more gas. Finally, I made it to my desired speed (60-65) . I looked in the mirror again and the truck was still gaining on me but I thought for sure it would slow down.

A few seconds later I heard the sound of a horn. A loud, irradiated truck driver horn.. I looked in the mirror again and saw the grill of the truck staring back. It scared me so much I grabbed the wheel and gave it a hard jerk to the right. We were on the side of the road now, I was trying to slow down a little because there was gravel. Just then the truck flew by honking its horn in long, drawn out blasts. My car doesn't just get up and go, I know that but, I was driving at around sixty when this happened. I know I didn't pull out in front of him. I gave him plenty of time. My sister-in-law jotted down the 800 number that was on the back of the truck. When I called it to report one of their drivers, they told me they were just the company that sells the tarps to the trucks

++++++++++++++++++

From leon@hawaii.edu Sun Sep 13 08:31:57 1998
Date: Sun, 13 Sep 1998 08:30:58 -1000
From: Leon James leon@hawaii.edu
To: z1@webtv.net
Subject: Re: road rage

Thanks for telling me the story about the truck incident. I posted it so it can have an effect. Truck drivers, no less than other drivers, need to learn to be supportive road users, even though they are pressured by delivery schedules.
DrDriving
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: AFR@webtv.net
To: DrDriving@DrDriving.org
Date: Tue, 22 Sep 1998 05:07:56 -1000
Subject: Without trucks America stops!!!! Truck drivers get a bad rap

DrDriving:
The four wheeled population needs to be educated on the proper way to drive on the same highways with trucks. A big truck needs to race to approach a hill, and needs room going down a hill; that is why sometimes you will find a big truck going slower than you, trying to pass a slower vehicle in front of him/her, just to make the hill. They're not doing that to lane hog-- they're just trying to keep the truck moving.