Idealease Safety Bulletin
Brought to you by Idealsafe | 847-304-3190 |
Communicating With Other Drivers 
and Pedestrians While Driving

By appropriately using communication, you make it easier for other drivers to see you. You also make it easier for you to see other drivers. Ensuring that you can see other drivers and that they can see you will drastically reduce the chance of an accident. 

The following communication devices are part of your "execution arsenal":

*Turn signals can be used to let other drivers know that you are turning, changing lanes, pulling out of a parking space or pulling out from the curb. You should signal at least four seconds before you plan to take action.
*Emergency Signals should be used to warn other drivers that you are experiencing vehicle trouble or when you must park on the shoulder of the roadway for an emergency. This is a warning to other drivers to give you more space.
*The horn should be tapped lightly when trying to gain the attention of another driver or pedestrian. It should not be used to vent frustration at other drivers' actions.
*Headlights: Many new trucks have daytime running lights that turn on automatically. These help other drivers see you. You can flash your lights to oncoming traffic to warn them of dangers up ahead such as accidents or obst
ructions in the roadway.
*Turn Signals: Use turn signals first to indicate your intent to change lanes, next visually scan for adjacent traffic and road hazards, and then execute a safe lane change. By signaling your intentions well in advance, you will be in a safer position to communicate with the surrounding drivers and you will be able to safely execute the desired driving maneuver.

*A good safety practice is to signal at least 4 seconds prior to making a 
turning maneuver.
Did You Know? 
A recent study reported that there are approximately 630,000 lane-change crashes annually (including both large trucks and passenger vehicles). While you certainly wouldn't know it from watching the majority of drivers out there, using a turn signal to indicate a lane change is generally the law.
Emergency Signals (4 Ways)
FMCSA 392.22 Emergency signals; stopped commercial motor vehicles.

Whenever a commercial motor vehicle is stopped upon the traveled portion of a highway or the shoulder of a highway for any cause other than necessary traffic stops, the driver of the stopped commercial motor vehicle shall immediately activate the vehicular hazard warning signal flashers and continue the flashing until the driver has placed the warning devices required by CFR 395.22. The flashing signals shall be used during the time the warning devices are picked up for storage before movement of the commercial motor vehicle. The flashing lights may be used at other times while a commercial motor vehicle is stopped in addition to, but not in lieu of, the warning devices required by this section.

The Horn
The horn on a commercial motor vehicle is a safety device that can be the sole item that can prevent an accident by sounding an alarm and communicating your presence to another vehicle. However, we all know of drivers that have abused the use of a horn and may in fact cause an accident by startling another motorist. There have instances of Roadrage documented that all started with the misuse of a horn. The sounding of a horn is one of the few actions taken by a driver that can make an intrusion into the driving compartment of another vehicle. Horns on commercial vehicles vary in size from small electric (city horns) to large exterior mounted chrome trumpeted air horns. Novelty horns are also popular that play familiar tunes to college football fight songs.

So what does the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration say about a horn?

The Answer is found in CFR§393.81 :
Every bus, truck, truck-tractor, and every driven motor vehicle in drive-away/tow-away operations shall be equipped with a horn and actuating elements which shall be in such condition as to give an adequate and reliable warning signal.
§393.81 DOT Interpretations

*Question 1: Do the FMCSRs specify what type of horn is to be used on a CMV?
Guidance: No.
*Question 2:Are there established criteria in the FMCSRs to determine the minimum sound level of horns on CMVs? 
*Guidance: No. 
*Question 3: Can I drive my commercial motor vehicle if the horn is not operational
*Answer: NO
*Answer: CFR§392.7

Equipment, inspection & Use
No commercial motor vehicle shall be driven unless the driver is satisfied that the following parts and accessories are in good working order, nor shall any driver fail to use or make use of such parts and accessories when and as needed: 
Service brakes, including trailer brake control, Parking (hand) brake., Steering mechanism, Lighting devices and reflectors, Tires, Horn, Windshield wiper or wipers, Rear-vision mirror or mirrors and Coupling devices.

Many companies now have their trucks programmed to have the low beam headlights on anytime the engine is running. Many states have laws that now require headlights to be on any time that windshield wipers are in use. Both of these are good safety practices.
*Are your headlights on your truck "fogged" or dirty?
*Do you make sure your headlights, turn signals and brake lights are clean during your pre and post trip inspections?

Per the National Institute for Traffic and Highway Safety, the number one reason for severe night time accidents and reduced driving safety is dim or cloudy and improperly lit headlights. If a headlight has ineffective or diminished light output, your night time driving safety is greatly at risk. According to a study by the University of Iowa, a 20 to 50% reduction in headlight out put leads to a 90% increase in the possibility of an accident occurring. This is a very unnecessary risk as it is easy to either clean, replace or fix these headlights.Dim it!
Is flashing high beams at cars illegal?
Someone told me that flashing your headlights at a vehicle in front of you, particularly if it is going slow in the fast lane, is a citable offense. Is this true?

*Answer: Yes, in some states that is true. 

The main concern of flashing an oncoming motorist is that they may be temporarily blinded and may create blind spots for other motorists while operating their vehicles,thus creating and obviously hazardous situation.




The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is proposing enhancements to the display of information on the SMS Website. The proposed redesign is intended to advance FMCSA's safety mission by making important information easier to understand for motor carriers who want to improve their safety performance and for public users interested in FMCSA data. In keeping with its dedication to transparency and commitment to consistently improve the SMS, FMCSA is providing a preview of the SMS Website display. These proposed enhancements do not include changes to the SMS methodology.

These proposed changes aim to:

  • Provide easier, more intuitive navigation and user-friendly features
  • Provide a "one-stop-shop" for FMCSA safety information for the public, motor carriers, and industry
  • Retain and provide easy access to detailed information and new performance monitoring tools

During the preview, law enforcement, motor carriers, and the public are able to view the proposed new features.

The SMS provides motor carriers and other safety stakeholders, with regularly updated safety performance assessments. FMCSA first announced the implementation of the SMS in a Federal Register notice dated April 9, 2010 (75 FR 18256) (Docket No. FMCSA-2004-18898) and announced further improvements to the SMS in Federal Register notices dated March 27, 2012 (77 FR 18298) (Docket No. FMCSA-2012-0074) and August 28, 2012 (77 FR 52110) (Docket No. FMCSA-2004-18898).

Since the launch of the SMS, FMCSA expected to make enhancements as new data and additional analyses became available. As stated in its March 27, 2012 Federal Register notice, FMCSA plans to apply a systematic approach to making improvements to SMS, prioritizing and releasing packages of improvements as needed. Consistent with its prior announcements, the Agency proposes changes to the design of the SMS public Website that are the direct result of feedback from stakeholders regarding the information displayed. The Agency is not proposing changes to the SMS methodology at this time.

Learn more by attending a webinar: Motor carriers and other interested stakeholders are invited to attend a webinar that will explain the proposed SMS display changes and answer frequently asked questions. Webinars will take place on the following dates and times:

  • Monday, November 18, 2013, 12-1:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time
  • Thursday, November 21, 2013, 1:30-3 p.m. Eastern Standard Time
  • Friday, November 22, 2013, 11:30-1 p.m. Eastern Standard Time

Registration is required to attend one of these sessions and interested parties should register as soon as possible through FMCSA's National Training Center at


Share your input: The 60-day SMS Preview comment period begins on November 5, 2013. A posting of the Federal Register Notice ( outlining the changes is available for review. Written comments regarding the changes can be filed to the Federal Docket Management System (, Docket ID Number FMCSA-2013-26543. FMCSA will review comments and make any necessary changes prior to implementation.


Questions or concerns: The CSA Outreach Website has technical assistants who can answer motor carrier questions about the SMS Website display as well as the CSA program itself. Questions can be submitted by phone (877-254-5365). Comments to the proposed display changes should be submitted to the Federal Docket management System after the Federal Register Notice is published.


Stay connected: Subscribe to the CSA Website to keep abreast of current program information at


November 8th, 2013
Follow Idealease online for current industry news

Facebook   Twitter
Parking Lot Accident Exposure Increases during the Holidays!

As we are drawing near to the holiday season it is time to remind your drivers of the exposures that exist in parking lots as they make deliveries and pickups. Parking lots at this time of the year can be especially dangerous for drivers making deliveries or just stopping for lunch. The exposure exists for a vehicle accident as well as being involved in an accident as a pedestrian. This holiday season pay special attention when operating in a parking lot and observe the following advice:
*Wear your seatbelt - even low speed collisions can throw you around the cab of your truck.

*Obey all traffic signs such as Stop and Yield

*Drive slowly and use your turn signals and headlights - make sure your vehicle is seen and watch for distracted motorists who do not see you coming

*Obey traffic lanes and do NOT drive diagonally across lots (watch for cars cutting diagonally across lots)

*Slow down for speed bumps as not to injure yourself or damage your cargo.
*Use delivery driveway entrances for customers that auto traffic is not likely to use.

*Beware of motorist who are lost or distracted looking for specialty stores that are not frequented.

*Be extra careful at entrances and exits - motorists stop suddenly and for no apparent reason - tailgaters often end up in rear-end collisions, and rushing while turning into access road or side street traffic can also lead to collisions.

*Be especially careful in lots that contain Post Offices, package stores and other locations where people are prone to dart in and out hastily in a hurry to be on their way

*Be extra careful during peak times when reckless drivers may speed through lanes while trying to get a "better spot" closer to the shops.

*Some drivers are on the "hunt" for an ideal parking spot and may drive erratically - watching for open spots rather than watching where they are driving! These drivers often circle the lanes nearest to their store - parking away from stores may make a longer walk, but prove less dangerous from a vehicle collision standpoint

*Lock your truck at all times when not attended. Parking lots are very busy and are often targeted by thieves.

The first parking lot in the world was created in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  No doubt, just in time for holiday shopping.  


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.