Top 10 Most Common Unsafe Driving Violations

J.J. Keller’s List of Unsafe Driving Violations

Let’s talk about safety. J. J. Keller notes the Top 10 CSA unsafe driving violations. The FMCSA is an organization of authority in the industry. Paying attention to these scores is essential to operations.


No. 1: Speeding

Speeding violations range in severity from 1-10 dependent on speed and location. Speeding 1 encompasses speeding 1-5 mph above posted speed limit. Levels 2 and 3 are reserved for speeds 6-10 mph and 11-14 mph, respectively. Level 10 severity speeding violations include speeds 15 mph in excess of posted speed limit, and any speeding in construction zones. All of these speeding violations will affect your driver’s CSA score. Keep an eye out for excessive speed behaviors to protect your business!


No. 2: Failing to use a seat belt

This violation is an automatic level 7 for severity. Such a simple, life saving device, yet 2009 racked up over 70,000 of these violations. Failure to wear a seat belt not only affects your driver CSA score, but risks lives in the process.


No. 3: Failing to obey a traffic control device

We’re looking at a level 5 offense here. Failure to obey a traffic control device is a general category encompassing running stop signs, red lights, passing in a no-passing zone, and all other ignorance to road signage.

How can you avoid these violations? Simple. Make sure your drivers know the rules of the road and maintain awareness. This means limiting fatigued drivers, in addition to continuing education courses.


No. 4: Following too close

Categorized within “dangerous driving” this level 5 offense can be a deadly offense, and the CSA looks at it that way too. According to the FMCSA, “If you are driving below 40 mph, you should leave at least one second for every 10 feet of vehicle length… For speeds over 40 mph, you should leave one additional second”.

Watch: Dangers of Following too Closely


No. 5: Improper lane change

This is an automatic level 5 offense. An improper lane change is when a person changes or attempts to change lanes without an open and clear path. Essentially, it’s cutting someone off.

It’s very difficult to receive a citation for this because it requires one of two things. Either an officer has to witness to the improper lane change, or an accident resulting from the lane change with witnesses. Even with this being the case, there were still over 11,000 citations in 2009.


No. 6: Using/equipping a CMV with a radar detector

This level 5 offense is considered highly illegal. This is primarily because it endangers other drivers on the road. Not only is speeding dangerous overall, but speeding in a CMV can be especially dangerous because of the size of the vehicle, or the cargo. In particular, semi-truck tires are not rated for speeds above 75 mph, which means speed can lead to a dangerous blowout.

Using radar detectors is a practice that enables speeding in locations not currently under monitor.


No. 7: Failure to yield right of way

Failure to yield the right of way is a level 5 offense. It is considering a dangerous driving offense, and also negatively affects your driver’s CSA score. This includes intersections, multi-way stops, pedestrians, and other traffic signage. Violations can be a result of ignorance or confusion, but either way you can control violations to the law through driver education and coaching.

Unnecessarily yielding right of way can be just as dangerous, because it is often the cause of confusion.


No. 8: Improper turns

Improper turns are categorized under level 5 severity. This violation includes failing to make a complete stop before a right on red, improper distance from roadside when performing a turn, not utilizing turn signals, and improperly executed u-turns. Behaviors resulting in an improper turn violation also result in an impact on driver CSA score.


No. 9: Improper passing

Improper passing can be very unsafe. It includes endangering other vehicles while passing, blind passing at the tops of hills or around curves, and passing on the right. These behaviors result in high-speed, deadly accidents. As such, the severity level is 5, and it will absolutely impact driver CSA score.

This violation can also be issued when passing in a passing lane, or illegally crossing designated lane boundaries to pass another vehicle. In the case of most CMVs, size generally prohibits these behaviors.


No. 10: Reckless driving

Reckless driving is a major moving traffic violation. It ranks a level 10 on the severity index, and can result in the revocation of a license or jail time. It includes driving 25 mph over the speed limit, street racing, eluding a police officer, and even passing when visibility is limited.

Clearly, this would impact CSA score, but beyond that, it can severely damage your company’s reputation. When a potential customer sees your company vehicle weaving between lanes of traffic, they lose trust in your professional image.


Avoiding unsafe driving violations

The easiest way to avoid unsafe driving violations is to educate your drivers. Knowing the rules of the road can really make an impact on your driver CSA score. Abiding by the rules will eliminate the likelihood of receiving any violations at all.

Other ways to avoid violations:

  1. Stay alert
  2. Wear your seat belt
  3. Drive defensively
  4. Participate in NSC training
  5. Utilize driver coaching plug-ins

Read more about plug-ins and driver coaching here.

Fleet Tracking with Weather Radar

Weather Radar Improves Trucking Safety

Weather Radar HOS Trucking
Weather radar enables dispatchers to account for delayed delivery, slower travel times and HOS exceptions.

Weather Impacts Profitability

When Time Counts

When the weather turns bad, consider how frequently you check the weather radar. You recognize the importance of good weather radar and data in your personal life, but do you apply the same to your fleet management practices? Weather radar provides information on more than just rain and snow. There are weather services that can predict black ice, surface temperatures and even tornado several hours into the future. The impact of good weather radar for drivers and dispatchers cannot be overestimated.



Free Weather Radar with GPS Tracking Service – Learn More

National Dispatching

When a team of people in a New York call center are dispatching trucks across the country, they must understand the weather factors in areas they are unfamiliar with. When there is 5′ of snow on the ground it is foolish to attempt a delivery to some areas. When dispatchers are able to see areas of heavy snow or probable black ice, they can route vehicles around hazardous weather and produce more revenue than otherwise possible. Drivers arrive alive. Trucks are not stuck or involved in accidents and customers expectations are managed and met more consistently.


Predictive Logistics

Wouldn’t it be great to know what is going to be needed before you received the order so you can offer just in time delivery of inventory? Everyone is familiar with the challenge of having the right inventory on hand to meet spikes in demand. Understanding where short-term demand will take place and how to get the supplies to meet the demand, can result in significant revenue increases. Of course you have the option to continue to do business the old way and respond two weeks after the demand has passed.

With almost everything in this country moving by truck at some point, knowing how weather impacts supply on short-term demands is critical. In many industries weather impacts demand in addition to supply. If a cold snap means the corns gets picked early, having trucks available to transport the corn is vital. If more tires are needed when the temperature exceeds 110 degrees in Arizona, having a 2 day heads up to move inventory can mean a spike in revenue. Being HOS compliant means not getting stuck in a hotel for 12 hours.


Weather Radar Integrated with GPS Tracking

With over 17 years of experience working with fleets, Fleetistics recognizes the need for fleet operators to see the location of their vehicles on same map during major weather events. Fleetistics customers utilizing Geotab telematics devices can choose from a variety of weather map layers depending on their location and transportation needs. Companies providing roadside assistance, to truckers, can deploy their technicians in a safer manner or change the schedule based on weather conditions to keep employees safe and customers serviced.


30-Day Free Trial

All Fleetistics customers can try any service listed in the Services Admin section with a free 30 day trial. Try the various services and see which provide the right return on investment and cancel the ones you do not need.


Return on Investment Series: Fleet Savings Summary

What is the Fleet Savings Summary Report?

The Fleet Savings Summary Report is a snapshot of existing versus potential savings for your fleet. These savings were determined through the use of proprietary driver scoring algorithms.


Fleet Savings Summary

Report Overview


To calculate a fleets existing and potential telematics-related savings, a detailed breakdown of its operating costs are required. Geotab conducted a combination of primary and secondary North American market research to develop fleet-specific Cost-per-Mile (CpM) models, including sub-models for fixed vehicle related costs, variable vehicle related costs, and driver salary related costs. There are two major factors that impact the nature of fleet costs, vehicle class & vehicle mileage.

  • Fleet Savings ReportVehicle Class – The vehicle makeup of a fleet has a big impact on its operating costs. For example, Heavy-Duty (HD) trucks have a very different CpM breakdown than Medium-Duty (MD) and Light-Duty (LD) vehicles. The Fleet Savings Summary Report segregates CpM data into three classifications: HD, MD & LD.
  • Vehicle Mileage – Just as vehicle class impacts CpM, vehicle mileage can have a large impact as well. This is true for two reasons:
    • Fixed vehicle and driver costs will be spread over less total miles.
    • Vehicles that drive fewer miles will likely spend a larger portion of their driving time on city roads rather than highways or freeways, which can increase the vehicles variable CpM.


In order to determine a fleets average mileage, the Fleet Savings Summary Report automatically calculates an average monthly mileage for the entire fleet, and multiplies it by 12 to get the estimated annual value.

In the next series we will discuss how we identify key opportunities for cost-savings.

Click here to request more information.

Best GPS Tracking Device

Fleet Management from Geotab Reseller Fleetistics

Top GPS Tracking System

Best GPS Tracking & Telematics

If you are searching for the best GPS tracking and telematics system for enterprise level fleets you must have a detailed look at the GO System. Fleetistics has been a national reseller of the GO System for over 16 years and in that time there has never been a system more capable and feature rich for the investment. Enterprise class fleets choose the GO System because even the most basic plan is more robust than most competitor top of the line GPS trackers. One fleet has over 80,000 GO devices.


When searching for the Best GPS Tracking, contact Fleetistics

Best GPS Tracking App Features

This is a pretty bold statement but in 16+ years in the industry there has not been more engineering and development put into an overall fleet management ecosystem. Whether you are a small fleet looking for a basic vehicle tracking system or an enterprise class fleet operator, the GO System has a plan for you. The basic service includes features such as HD tracking (GPS logs ever few seconds), accident reconstruction data, custom and standard fleet reports, maintenance reminders, mobile app, fuel card, integration, user security, multi-vehicle route map, and more.


Best Flexibility for Small to Enterprise Fleets

Check Engine Light

The GO System system offers three service levels; Base, Pro and ProPlus. Base mode is generally for smaller fleets which need standard tracking features, although this includes a ton more with the GO System, and want an option to upgrade as their company grows. Base tracking mode excludes engine diagnostics and telematics. High definition tracking, custom reports, etc are still available. Fleet operators can upgrade the service on one GPS unit or the entire fleet based on the needs of individual vehicles or asset types.


Pro mode includes all the great features of Base mode but adds in the engine diagnostics and telematics for fleet safety. These features significantly increase the amount of data available for exceptions and analysis. Mid to enterprise fleets often start with Pro mode because of the engine diagnostics. Knowing when you have a problem on a heavy truck can significantly reduce unscheduled downtime and more expensive downstream maintenance. Telematics data provides input on seat belts and harsh driving behavior.


HD GPS Logging
Best GPS Tracking Map

Module Equipment Design

Wow says it all. There are so many equipment options that reviewing them online is really the best way to understand the why the GO System is considered the best GPS tracking platform available. The GO GPS device is the only device on the market today that works with OBD and J-bus engine protocols (small and large vehicles). By providing adapter harnesses, the same GPS unit can be used on these various engine protocols. Customers can also choose from a variety of IOX harness which can be connected together to provide custom equipment configurations at the individual level. Examples of IOX equipment includes driver ID tags using NFC and a driver coaching speaker.

Best GPS Vehicle Tracking
Drive ID Tracking

Best Fleet Management Ecosystem

One aspect of the Fleetistics GO System that makes it the best is the unique, industry first, ecosystem designed for ongoing program management. MyFleetistics, is designed for GPS program managers that have to run the GPS program for years to come. Having an efficient way to manage the program saves a lot of time and improves ROI. 

Best Fleet Management System

Best 3rd Party Integrations

The newest force multiplier for fleet operations is the integration of data and services from 3rd parties. These partners are independent companies that built unique and creative value added plug-ins for the GO System ecosystem. Fleetistics and any company cannot be all things to all customers but working with integration partners means customers have the power, resources and knowledge of many fleet industry providers. This enables customers to pick and choose from a wide variety of services today or to meet future needs which may not be identified.

To learn about the Best GPS Tracking Device call 855-300-0527 today.

Vehicle Tracking Deployment Failures

Many vehicle tracking system implementations fail because of an inadequate commitment by management to a process of preparation, planning, and training. The result of implementation failure is often very expensive and includes:

  • Low return on investment
  • Late or slow deployment
  • Being over budget
  • GPS system failure or bad data due to tampering or poor quality installation
  • System not used after evaluation period
  • Employee or lower management rebellion over being held accountable
  • Managements unwillingness to hold people accountable for behavior changes
  • Poorly written RFPs

You can learn from the mistakes of others and use that experience to avoid the pitfalls; instead reap the rewards of this technology and the Fleetistics SEP process.


Links: Vehicle Use Policy Accident Guide Fleet Policy

15 Reasons Fleet Management Implementations Fail

1. Lack of Top Management Commitment

To often senior managers decide to delegate the oversight of a GPS tracking implementation project to lower management or admin staff. This often results in being out of touch with critical events, or the lack of understanding of the size, scope, and technical aspects of the project. Subsequently, the lack of proper commitment of time and resources required for a successful implementation results in a lower than possible outcome.

Solution: High visibility among stakeholders, regular meetings, follow the process. Schedule internal meetings 2 times a month to review progress and tasks being accomplished. Review the data as soon as possible and train, train, train at all levels.


2. No Definition of Success

If X is achieved, the project is a success and the investment is justified. This simple statement overrides all other considerations. It si a statement everyone can read and understand. It is a mission statement for a project from which the project is built to determine if and how the mission can be accomplished.

Solution: Senior management should meet with the project team and focus group to define and agree on the mission. Something drove the idea of looking into a fleet management system so use this as the starting point to define the mission statement.


3. Poor Product Selection

Poor product selection occurs when a company does not really understand what it is trying to accomplish. This is made worse when the company does not really understand what a fleet management system can do. It also occurs when staff members assigned to the project do not take the time to learn and use the new system as they would after deployment to understand the if the solutions features are adequate for their needs.

Another reason is managers, familiar with vehicle tracking systems from a previous job, implement the same GPS system in their new company without defining requirements to reviewing the market. Companies have made major gaffes by selecting a package at the top levels of a company without knowing its characteristics in relation to all levels of the company because they know someone. What often results from this is the fleet management system does not fit the organizational needs, or the GPS solution takes more time to use than can be accomplished along with daily work tasks.

Solution: Ensure proper discover is conducted to understand customers operations beyond what they define as their top issues so you can customize a solution to improve ROI in multiple areas. Training and working with multiple levels of an organization to determine how the data can solve operational issues, improve customer service, increase efficiency and improve profitability.


4. Unclear Project Goals Define Success

Unclear goals for FMS implementation with no specific ROI expectations cause difficulties. Without clear goals, project leadership becomes confused and employees resistance becomes troublesome.

Solution: Agree to the definition of success before the evaluation and share this with your potential partners. Partners appreciate a clear vision and can reduce wasted time if a win-win relationship is not possible based on the mission. This process leads to the natural conclusion of placing an order with confidence.


5. Inadequate Resources

FMS implementations fail due to inadequate resources. Many companies will attempt to save dollars by doing everything themselves on an overtime basis, whether or not there are adequate skills and time within the company.  People burn out after having put in extensive hours over time. Instead the implementation should be treated as an upgrade to the company infrastructure that is necessary to maintain or gain a strategic and competitive advantage.

Solution: Fleetistics highly recommends a salaried program manager for every 500-750 vehicles depending on the skills, corporate culture and technology utilized by the customer. Fleetistics managed services can also assist.


6. Resistance to Change/Lack of Buy-in

Lack of a change management approach as part of the program can prevent the fleet program from succeeding. Resistance to change is quite often caused by (1) A failure to explain why, (2) Lack of involvement by those responsible for working with the drivers (3) Inadequate communication (4) Lack of visible top management support and commitment, and (5) Arrogance. A lack of buy-in often results from not getting end-users involved in the project from the very start, thereby negating their authorship and ownership of the new system and processes. Drivers and field managers can become so anxious that they sabotage the system.

Solution: Consult with internal customers to ensure they take the proper steps to implement change management. Fleetistics does not do the change management as it is important for employees to see their management in a leadership role. Second, lead by example and apply the same rules to employees and management. In it together and leading by example approaches.


7. Misfit with Business Processes

The misfit with the company business processes and existing software applications can also cause difficulties. This failure to examine underlying business process flaws, and integrate the FMS application with the business processes, causes loss of productivity and time, and ultimate benefits. What fleet maintenance, logistics, or dispatching applications are in use and can these be integrated with the fleet management solution?

Solution: Understand a wide variety of functional areas of the customers operation. The Solution Survey can assist with uncovering potential issues that reduce the impact of the investment.


8. Unrealistic Expectation of Benefits and ROI

Unrealistic expectation of benefits and return on investment cause issues. Vendors are notorious for overstating the benefits in terms of ROI, while the total costs of the project is too often understated. When this happens, a company does not stand a chance of achieving the ROI it anticipated.

Solution: Integrity at all times. Lies of commission and omission. Know your product and service. Never guess and avoid absolute terms that offer no alternatives such as always and never. Few things in life are absolute and being honest is key.


9. Inadequate Training and Ongoing Education

Inadequate training and ongoing education is a reason for long term failure. FMS-related training is crucial as many employees must learn new interfaces and business processes which affect the operation of the entire fleet operation. The corporate culture is impacted by changes in the companies business processes, and shortchanging this part of the FMS implementation leads to much pain and suffering downstream.

Solution: Educate customer on resources available. Hold them accountable to use the resources during project planning and future account reviews. Show a limit to the ROI due to a lack of use or compliance from not knowing how to achieve the company objectives.


10. Poor Project Design and Management

A major mistake is to short-cut critical events in the project plan, such as time for documentation, redefining and integrating processes, or testing before going live. Skipping meetings and steps gets the project off track and things quickly fall apart.

Solution: A timeline and milestones shared by all and agreed upon before starting mitigates this risk. Complete a step or acknowledge it even if the customer does not do it.

Another common mistake is made when a company leaves out the self-examination of business processes and uses FMS to cover-up weaknesses. It is easier to buy something than to perform the more difficult task of identifying weaknesses and opportunities for improvement.

Solution: The process documents should include statement on identified weaknesses. As part of the discovery process ask questions such as What processes slow your workflow? What are some of the major expenses on your P&L?


11. Poor Communications

Another cause of failure is poor project communications, beginning with a failure to announce the reason for the effort, and continuing to advise the organization of the progress and importance of the vehicle tracking technology. Poor communication prevents different parts of the organization from assessing how they will be impacted by changes in processes, policies, and procedures. A heads up gives everyone time to absorb the idea of increased accountability and prepare for change. Communication is vital part of managing change in a corporate environment.

Solution: Save the project plan your MyFleetistics fleet management portal and view together during project meetings. Train customers to view it from this location and to follow the process. If you do not follow the process or keep the document up to date, the customer will learn to ignore it quickly. Insert public notes so all stakeholders are accountable. Create a web page announcing the project and solicit input from the field in the form surveys, blog or chat.


12. Inadequate Policies and Procedures

Many organizations do not develop Policies and Procedures that relate to the the vehicle tracking system Tracking creates anxiety and frustration with employees. As a part of the company vehicle use policy, employees should be clearly told that they are being tracked.  Consequences for violations of policy including tampering with FMS equipment must be clearly spelled out. Organizations should also consider positive rewards for driving behavior improvement.

Solution: Provide a sample of an introductory letter. Recommend distribution to employees with paycheck stubs or other important documentation. Ensure human resources works with operations, fleet and legal to update employee manuals and disciplinary policies. Agreement on behavior and corresponding consequences prior to deployment is critical. Orkin Pest Control Case Study.


13. Poor Installation

Poor installation of FMS products in the vehicles is the single most typical source of frustration with FMS Tracking implementations. Hire a high quality installer or make certain your staff is well trained in the installation idiosyncrasies of the system that you have chosen.  Also make sure the software installation and configuration (even with web based solutions) match your requirements.

Solution: Insist on customer paying for professional installation during evaluation. It gets them vested and ensures good data.


14. Lack of training

Companies believe in the ROI but do not commit to the investment in the training required at the corporate and branch levels. Deploying FMS technology without the support personnel in place leads to frustration, a lack of focus on the ROI variables, and eventually a system that is not used.

Solution: Training is part of the timeline and project plan. Those expected to interact with the system should be taught exactly what to do to accomplish the project goals. Limit acces to other areas, features and data to keep a laser focus on the defined evaluation objectives.


15. Lack of follow on data usage

Deploying a FMS system is too often viewed as a short term project when in fact it is a long term management tool like a computer network, ERP system, or fleet maintenance program. To continue to receive benefits, management must integrate FMS data into routine management practices. This includes regular review of the data, setting expectations and determining consequences for non-compliance.

Solution: Setting company objectives and focusing employees on these objectives drives ongoing ROI. As consultants, Fleetistics needs to document, review and recommend future actions to continue the ROI. Sell it and forget it is a major reason for lack of use which leads to cancellations. Remind the customer “You saved $x the first 90 days, that means you have saved $Y after a year. Congratulations!”


Real World Considerations

Real World Considerations 

Life is not a test tube, there are operational and human variables that have to be considered and dealt with. This is true in every business and for every project. The level of persistence to follow through and work with the challenges presented will determine the level of success or speed of failure.

  • The first rule of a successful implementation is:
    • Fleet management is part of the company infrastructure, and therefore is strategic to the company’s survival and success. If a company does not consider a fleet management system as one of its critical programs, chances are, the competition does and they will pass you in the marketplace.
  • The second rule of system implementation is:
    • A fleet management system is there to support business functions and increase productivity, not the reverse.
    • The reason for FMS implementation should be to increase a company’s competitiveness, not spying on drivers or distorting how a company conducts its business. The data collected impacts many areas of an organization not just fleet. All managers need to know and understand what is available and be able to utilize it to make improvements. This is the reason Fleetistics created the Fleetistics Academy for training and certifying managers.
  • The third rule of implementation is:
    • Learn from the successes and failures of others and don’t attempt to reinvent the wheel. You are not the first company to do this and Fleetistics has the experience of trial and error to help you succeed. Do not be stuck in your way of looking at things. Be open to exploring the SEP process and partner over the the long-term to drive the ROI. There are time-proven approaches that can enhance the success of the FMS implementation.

Employee Involvement

Get as many employees, including drivers, to participate as much as practical in producing the project definitions; create a focus group. The drivers and their managers know the work and what they need to become more efficient. Sometimes guidance from a skilled outsider may be needed to facilitate the process. Use a knowledgeable team to review and select a product and a partner. Have this team also involved in the implementation phase. This will foster ownership and buy-in. Define “must have” features and “like to have” features. Match a vendor/partner and the fleet management system to these and your selection becomes clear.

A Comprehensive and Systematic Approach

Use a comprehensive and systematic plan that addresses all parts of an implementation: impact on drivers, impact on managers, IT consideration, requirements definition, HR policies, vehicle use policies, review/selection of software, hardware, communications, unit testing, systems testing, integration with fleet maintenance or logistic software, resources, education/training, resistance to change, etc. A enterprise fleet level project involving a single location might be used to prove the assumptions and clear the way for a full implementation.

Adequate Resources

Provide adequate technical and administrative resources to allow employees breathing room. Perform cost/benefit analyses so that you know how much the entire implementation is going to cost and identify the results that you intend to achieve. Assign a project manager to assist in defining requirements, selecting products, leading the implementation, and providing a focused point of contact with the FMS vendor.


Why Fleetistics?

  • 16+ years of experience with a wide range of fleet management technology and a vast knowledge of the telematics industry.
  • Experience with a wide range of companies with successful implementations. We believe in creating a solution for you, not merely selling you a product. We are so committed to getting you the right solution that we guide you to other companies if we cannot meet your needs.
  • We have outstanding references that can assure you of our skill. Our industry relationships are unparalleled, and we can draw on our partnerships for their knowledge and assistance.
  • We have a national reach and technical expertise to truly provide you the advice you need in selecting a Vehicle Tracking Solution partner.

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