From:                              Idealease <>

Sent:                               Friday, December 05, 2014 4:57 PM


Subject:                          Idealease Safety Bulletin - Proactive vs. Reactive Safety Program - Which One Do You Have?



Idealease Safety Bulletin






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Proactive vs. Reactive Safety and Loss Control Program...Which One Do You Have?

At the end of the year you should be evaluating your safety and loss control program to determine your performance over the year. Where do you stand compared to last year and the year before?  Ongoing analysis programs are vital to a proactive and productive safety and loss control program. It always amazes me that companies cannot tell me what their accident frequency rate is and how it compares to years past. Accident frequency should be determined throughout the year no less than quarterly to determine trends and be proactive in controlling losses. Accident frequency rates can be calculated by multiplying the total number of accidents for a period of time by one million and then dividing by the total number miles for the same period. Accident frequency rate can be determined for DOT recordable, preventable recordable, non-preventable, by region, by fleet, driver supervisor, injury, etc. However, accident frequency rates are just one piece of the overall safety analysis program that is in place to provide you with a sense of direction of where your program is going.  Other areas of your internal analysis program should include, driver turnover frequency, DOT violation analysis (Hours of Service, Drug and Alcohol, driver file), Osha violations, workers compensation injuries, etc. Another analysis tool that you should review monthly is CSA and SMS provided to you by the FMCSA at or


A sound Proactive safety and Loss control program will adequately address the following areas:

  • Driver Selection
  • Driver recruiting
  • Carrier-based training
  • Management-driver communications
  • Driver safety-performance evaluation
  • Safety incentives, Behavior-based safety
  • On-board safety monitoring
  • Event-data recorder
  • Accident investigation
  • Improved driver scheduling and dispatching
  • Fatigue management
  • Carrier-based medical programs
  • Advanced safety technologies, Industry-based safety standards and certification
  • Preventive maintenance and vehicle inspections



Alcohol, Drivers and the Holidays!

Now is a good time to remind your drivers of the consequences of drinking during the Holiday season and what effect their actions can have on their CDL or operator's license and ultimately their employment with your company.  Advise your drivers to use caution when indulging in alcoholic beverages and have a designated driver to not only protect their license and job but the motoring public.


The FMCSA regulations are specific that a CDL driver while operating any type of motor vehicle is convicted of being under the influence of alcohol as described by state law will be disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for one year.  A second conviction would disqualify the driver from operating a commercial motor vehicle for life. 


The effects of alcohol on behavior (including driving behavior) vary with the individual and with the concentration of alcohol in the individual's blood. The level of alcohol achieved in the blood depends in large part (although not exclusively) upon the amount of alcohol consumed and the time period over which it was consumed. One rule of thumb says that in a 150-pound person, each drink adds 0.02% to blood alcohol concentration and each hour that passes removes 0.01percent from it. 


Generally speaking, alcohol is absorbed into the blood relatively quickly and metabolized more slowly. Therefore, the potential exists for alcohol concentrations to build steadily throughout a drinking session. 


As a Driver Supervisor you must be aware of the signs and symptoms of alcohol use:

  • Evidence of Presence of Alcohol: Bottles, cans, and other containers which alcohol-containing beverages may have been purchased and/or consumed in; bottle caps from alcohol containers; bottle or can openers; drivers drinking from paper bags; odor of alcohol on containers or on driver's breath.
  • Physical Symptoms: Reduction of reflexes, slurred speech, loss of coordination, unsteady gait.
  • Behavioral Symptoms: Increased talkativeness reduced emotional control, distorted judgment, impaired driving ability, gross effects on thinking and memory.

Remember if you as the supervisor of a CDL driver observe changes in behavior and physical affects of the driver do to what you witness is alcohol use a reasonable suspicion test is required if the driver is about to perform, performing or has just performed a safety sensitive activity such as driving.


The table below shows some general effects of varying levels of BAC:



Behavioral Effects

0.02 - 0.9%

Loss of muscular coordination, impaired senses, changes in mood and personality

0.10 - 0.19%

Marked mental impairment, further loss of coordination, prolonged reaction time

0.20 - 0.29%

Nausea, vomiting, double vision

0.30 - 0.39%

Hypothermia, blackouts, amnesia

0.40 - 0.70%

Coma, respiratory failure, death



December 5, 2014



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What Alcohol Use is Prohibited?


Alcohol is a legal substance; therefore, the rules define specific prohibited alcohol-related conduct. Performance of safety-sensitive functions is prohibited:

  • While using alcohol.
  • While having a breath alcohol concentration of 0.04% or greater as indicated by an alcohol breath test.
  • Within 4 hours after using alcohol.

In addition, refusing to submit to an alcohol test or using alcohol within 8 hours after an accident or until tested (for drivers required to be tested) are prohibited. 




What are the Consequences of Alcohol Misuse?


Drivers who engage in prohibited alcohol conduct must be immediately removed from safety-sensitive functions. Drivers who have tested .04 or greater during an alcohol test cannot return to safety-sensitive duties until they have been evaluated by a substance abuse professional and complied with any treatment recommendations to assist them with an alcohol problem. To further safeguard transportation safety, drivers who have any alcohol concentration (defined as 0.02 or greater and less than 0.04) when tested just before, during or just after performing safety-sensitive functions must also be removed from performing such duties for 24 hours. If a driver's behavior or appearance suggests alcohol misuse, a reasonable suspicion alcohol test must be conducted. If a breath test cannot be administered, the driver must be removed from performing safety-sensitive duties for at least 24 hours.





The Idealease Safety Bulletin is provided for Idealease affiliates and their customers and is not to be construed as a complete or exhaustive source of compliance or safety information. The Idealease Safety Bulletin is advisory in nature and does not warrant, guarantee, or otherwise certify compliance with laws, regulations, requirements, or guidelines of any local, state, or Federal agency and/or governing body, or industry standards.



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