Operation Safe Driver has lessons for all motorists

In October West Virginia took part in a North American campaign, Operation Safe Driver. Originally designed to promote highway safety for commercial vehicles, the program aims to make roads in the United States, Canada and Mexico safer for all motorists.

Sponsors of the annual event are the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Focus of Operation Safe Driver

The CVSA stated that its focus in the 2012 Operation Safe Driver initiative was on three kinds of unsafe driver behavior that together cause almost 90 percent of traffic fatalities. Sponsors of Operation Safe Driver asked all drivers to reduce aggressive driving, speeding and distracted driving.

Public attention was brought to bear on these behaviors through a series of public service announcements broadcast in the areas where most truck and bus crashes take place. Major media events highlighted the dangers of distracted driving.

Noting the challenges of driving, a CVSA representative noted that drivers must "keep their hands on the wheel, their eyes on the road and their minds in the game."

An administrator with FMCSA stated that it was partnering with law enforcement agencies during Operation Safe Driver to remind commercial drivers and others to practice safe driving principles.

Along with thousands of law enforcement personnel across North America, West Virginia officers were conducting commercial vehicle checks. Inspections featured a review of truck and driver paperwork and enforcement of seat belt laws.

Educational component

Besides the roadside and media Operation Safe Driver activities, the program has developed a curriculum for educating teen drivers. This year's theme is "Teens and Trucks: Curbing Distracted Driving." This curriculum provides tools like those used by commercial drivers to reduce distractions on the road. Applying the knowledge and experience of professional drivers, this year's entry is the latest in a series of very successful educational programs adapted for specific audiences, to tackle the worst unsafe driving behaviors.

A previous curriculum for young people, the "Teens and Trucks Training Program," focused on safe driving behavior around large commercial vehicles.

Protecting motorists

If West Virginia drivers take to heart the lessons of Operation Safe Driver, it can be hoped that the state's roads will see a reduction in crashes caused by distracted driving, speeding and overly aggressive behavior. Both commercial drivers and other motorists have room to improve.

Accidents unfortunately continue to happen. When they do, and someone is injured due to another's negligence, it is important to contact an experienced attorney. A West Virginia personal injury attorney can help obtain compensation for injuries and bring peace of mind to those who have been harmed.