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Vol. 31, No. 4 February 15-28, 2018 Insurance company initiates educational campaign to make distracted driving as frowned upon as driving while drunk ©2018 FOTOSEARCH Detaining drivers Excessive detention time is expensive and unsafe. That’s according to a recent report by the U.S. Transportation Department’s Office of the Inspector General. OIG said it estimated that detention is associated with reductions in annual earnings of $1.1 billion to $1.3 billion. Page 4 Navigating the news Exemption request.................3 A call for larger trucks.............6 ATA anti-trafficking efforts ......7 TMAF ‘Meet the Truckers’....10 ELD advocates.....................13 Truck Stop............................16 Women to Watch..................18 Tonnage up in 2017..............21 Fleet Focus...........................23 Turnpike safety feature.........29 Millionth Peterbilt..................31 Around the Bend..................33 Klint Lowry Image-wise, the insurance industry doesn’t usually inspire warm fuzzies. To most of us, an insurer’s interest in human pain and suffering looks to be strictly a matter of business, expressed in cumbersome, nearly undecipherable paperwork, jacked-up premiums and dispassionate number-crunching. But insurance people are people, too, and they took notice when statistics indicated U.S. traffic fatalities had increased by an unusually high rate of 6.7 percent in 2015 and then by another 6.5 percent in 2016. It was the largest two-year percentage jump in 50 years, and it brought the 2016 total to over 40,000 road fatalities. “That got our attention,” said Joan Woodward, executive vice president of public policy for Travelers Companies Inc. and president of the Travelers Institute, the company’s public policy division. “We thought it was our responsibility to call attention to the matter. It’s really, honestly looking at ourselves and saying, ‘we can do something about this crisis in America.’” On November 6, Travelers launched the Every Second Matters national initiative to call attention to the growing problem of distracted driving. The campaign opened with three live presentations and will continue throughout 2018 with forums at universities across the country. They’ve also produced: “Every Second Matters: A Conversation Starter on Reducing Distracted Driving Risk,” a 10-page report on the dangers of distracted driving that can be found at https://www. conversation-starter.aspx The campaign uses statistical information to show that while most Americans believe distracted driving is dangerous, far too many of them are guilty of it. “This nationwide campaign is to raise awareness and really change social norms about how we think about distracted driving,” Woodward said. “We want ©2018 FOTOSEARCH The Travelers Institute’s Every Second Matters campaign aims to bridge the gap between drivers’ awareness of the dangers of distracted driving and their actual behavior behind the wheel. to equate this distracted driving crisis in this country to the similar thing that happened with drunk driving.” It may be hard to believe for someone not old enough to remember it firsthand, but only a few decades ago there was a winking acceptance of the idea of hoisting a few and getting behind the wheel. While stiffer laws and enforcement of those laws played a part, it was a pervasive cultural campaign over several years that changed public opinion on drunken driving. Similar campaigns were successful in getting people to wear seatbelts and to use child car seats. The aim of the Every Second Matters campaign is to do the same with distracted driving According to information by the National Safety Council, traffic fatalities haven’t varied too much from year to year since 2000, with two exceptions: the increase in 2015-2016 and a sharp drop in 2008 and 2009. Woodward said that decrease was because of a combination of the recession and the high price of gas at the time, both of which kept people off the roads. Even as those two factors subsided, road fatalities remained fairly steady from year to year. But another significant change in recent years is that smartphones were not yet ubiquitous and had not become a compulsive habit for so many people back in 2009. Distracted driving is nothing new. It’s anything that takes your eyes off the task of driving. “We’re See Distracted on p8 m Courtesy: ATA More than a driver Ralph Garcia, left, poses with Vice President Mike Pence last summer when members of America’s Road Team were invited to the White House by President Donald Trump. Garcia’s D.C. visit was all part of this trucker’s lifestyle of giving back to his community and his industry. Page 33 If you a trucker BOUGHT IT Show a little love on the road. BROUGHT IT Come by our MATS booth for your FREE copy of The Trucker Newspaper. Stick around for your FREE Bumper Sticker. BOOTH #66072 In the WEST WING