THE UNEXPECTED and Following Too Close – A Video

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FMCSA Video Event Recording of Following Too Close

VIDEO DESCRIPTION: The CMV driver is traveling in the far right lane of a three-lane highway during the day. There is an exit-only lane on the right, adjacent to the driver’s lane. The driver is following a lead passenger vehicle closely. The passenger vehicle begins to slow in order to move to the left and into the middle lane. The CMV driver does not slow down appropriately and comes close to the rear of the passenger vehicle as it changes lanes.

TRAINING EXERCISE: After viewing the video, try to answer the following questions:

  • Does the driver appear to adjust his vehicle’s speed to maintain a safe following distance with the lead vehicle?
  • Why was the lead vehicle slowing down?
  • Why did the driver brake excessively?
  • What could the driver have done differently?

Here is an example of tailgating, being unable to safely respond to THE UNEXPECTED.

The tailgating vehicle  (following too close) had less than a second of space between them and the vehicle in front.  RESULT: UNABLE TO REACT TO THE UNEXPECTED SAFELY.

The camera vehicle maintained a 3 to 4 second cushion between them and the  vehicles in front.  RESULT:  A SAFE RESPONSE TO THE UNEXPECTED

Tailgating is another term for Following Too Close.  When you follow too close you do not have time to adjust your driving for the unexpected.  When driving at speeds greater than 49 mph in a CMV over 10,000 GVWR create the habit of keeping 3 to 4 seconds distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front.  The vehicle with the camera in this video maintained the correct distance. 


The vehicle in front pass a fix point, start counting the seconds . . .     Mississippi One     Mississippi  two     Mississippi three Missis  till you car crosses the same fixed point.  Some people use the white lines, some use bushes, some use sign posts. Whatever you use . . . MAKE IT YOUR HABIT to keep a safe cushion SO YOU CAN CONTROL THE UNEXPECTED..


DOT Drivers Medical Certificate

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This is an excellent program which help companies insure their drivers are fit to drive safely.

Do you have a DOT #?   Then read on.  If your answer is – no –  but  aren’t sure you need a DOT # or not.  Put — Do I need – in this site’s search box in the upper right.


Now, here is what I found from the FMCSA site.  Click on the image to go there.

All commercial drivers of vehicles in interstate commerce with a maximum gross vehicle weight rating of over 10,000 pounds (4,536 kilograms) are required to obtain and maintain a valid Medical Examiner’s Certificate

Florida Department of Transportation FDOT Contact Sheet

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Useful DOT contact information for carriers, drivers and citizen of Florida


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Going Faster Than 65 mph: What’s The Difference? I’ll Get There Faster.

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It is safer for the truck drives at the slower speed because they have more time to react to sudden changes up ahead. Yes? Not sure?  Try the calculator below.

Delivery trucks are designed to perform better at 60 to 65 mph speed range. Manufacturers set their controls to limit speed to 65 mph.  Doing so will enhance the likelihood of fewer breakdowns because of putting less stress on the drive train and fewer accidents becuse of the shorter stopping distance. This is a good example I found from the UK.



Education of our delivery associates is another significant strategy for saving energy. We have installed technology on all our trucks that limits their speed to 65 miles per hour. Limiting speed not only reduces fuel use but also improves Delivery Associate safety. Sysco’s delivery associates are trained to drive safely and efficiently, eliminating “jack rabbit” starts and maintaining proper following distances in all driving situations. We use on-board computers to monitor and improve individual vehicle and delivery associate fuel efficiency. When manual transmissions are used, delivery associates are trained in progressive shifting techniques which ensure maximum fuel efficiency. Automatic transmissions are calibrated for maximum fuel economy and engines are set to turn off automatically when unattended.



Good reasons for traveling at the model speed..

  1. Shorter stopping distance
  2. Less distance traveled during reaction time
  3. Fewer Accidents
  4. Equipment ware and tare more tolerable
  5. Less stress to drive safely
  6. Better employee and fellow road traveler well-being

Quote Source:  Sysco Sustainability Report 2013

Drivers Take Note: Left Lane is for Passing: Now Florida Law


Hat TIp: Wesley Chapel Community.Com

I got a call from a person driving behind one of our trucks today.  They told me our driver was driving along as he pleased in the ‘passing lane’  without consideration for those who wanted to pass behind him.  He called us as a courtesy to inform that this is now against the law to simply drive to your destination in the left most lane.  He was calling from the FL Turnpike.   I searched and this is what I found . . .  the caller was correct. Drivers who stay in the passing lane too long may be trolling for a traffic ticket.  

Driving below the speed of traffic in the left hand lane of any multi-lane road in Florida is not only annoying, it is now illegal thanks to 2014 revisions to Florida’s Laws.

According to the newly revised Florida State Statute 316.081, “a driver may not continue to operate a motor vehicle in the furthermost left-hand lane if the driver knows or reasonably should know that he or she is being overtaken in that lane from the rear by a motor vehicle traveling at a higher rate of speed.”

What is the cost for such a violation?  In Pasco County it will cost violators $164 and three points on their driver license if ticketed. To be reasonable the law has two common sense exemptions where one may continue to drive in the left lane for a short period of time.

  1. You are not required to move over to be passed if you are passing someone yourself.
  2. You are not required to move over to be passed if you are about to make a left hand turn at a nearby intersection.

Short of those exemptions, it is now illegal to continually drive in the left lane when others are behind you.  If approached from behind (regardless of speed) you must move over and allow other’s to pass you.

Experts in traffic and transportation say that if followed, this law will significantly reduce road rage issues, and allow for more efficient travel for all. Public awareness is the key to success

Caller Angry about Your Driver? Carpe Diem

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Try printing out this form.  If you use this form, it will collect in an online spreadsheet.  Put your email next to your name in the form and it will be sent to you.   It may be useful. When that angry person is making that call, 9 times out of 10 they are driving near your truck, distracted because they on on their cell phone concentrating on telling you what they just experienced.  Get a grip on safety.  Make a win win out of the call by making the experience, short, guided and polite.  Leave some information in the comment section.  I’m interested in your experiences with angry driver call-ins.


Click Here to notify me that you want your report.

Click Here for the kind of Form you would use to share this with your driver.


      Driver Safety Incident Call-In Form


Description of Information Received:

Who, What , Where, When

Map giving proof of incident and driver involved.


Map picture

A PrntScr of your  online map showing the location works pasted (ctrl-V) does well here.

Fault Statement :

This is not a statement of fault.  It is a document to inform you of how people felt about their safety when they are on the road with True World Foods Miami Truck, while you were driving.


We are creating this document to let you be aware of this incident.  If there is any way to improve the safety of your driving we are confident you will do so.

Previous Incidents:

12/19/12 Road rage incident as result of maneuvering (lane changes) in heavy traffic

2/21/13 Reckless lane change accusation

Corrective Action Criteria:

In our effort to be a responsible company, we require our drivers, who receive such call-ins,  to attend a 20 min refresher session for Driver Road Safety.  Arrangements will be made together with your supervisor to set the time and date for this refresher course.


Driver Name                                                         Date


Available for Refresher Safety Course Date and Time, if applicable.


Supervisor                                                           Date


How Do I Know If I Am An Interstate Carrier?

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Map of Florida highlighting Nassau County

Map of Florida highlighting Nassau County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


I f you are a transporter (Motor Carrier) of product, which was manifested outside of the state, and your are shipping straight-through from Airport or Depot you are an interstate carrier and are required to comply with DOT Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) . 

Therefore, you are advised to apply for Your DOT Motor Identification Number (MCS-150) and comply with  DOT  Interstate Hours On-Duty and Off-Duty and Maximum Hours Driving [click here](a downloadable pdf sheet)  apply to  any transporter of product that came from out of their state. 



If your operation is solely within the State of Florida, and the commerce you engage in is solely within the State of Florida, e.g. no straight-through shipments, you are an intrastate carrier


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