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Operations Safe Driver Training Program
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When: 8/28/2015
9:00 AM
Where: PMTA Headquarters
910 Linda Lane
Camp Hill, PA  17011
Contact: Taylor Pettis

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Did you know Pennsylvania is one of the top 10 states in the nation with the most fatal crashes involving commercial vehicles? The Commercial Vehicles Safety Alliance (CVSA) has developed a Train-the-Trainer (TTT) Couse focusing on the driving behaviors of commercial drivers. PMTA and CVSA have teamed up to provide this invaluable training to motor carrier personnel who are in positions to train and/or oversee driver training and performance. The sole purpose is improving professional commercial motor vehicle (CMV) driving behaviors. The kits have been designed to build on the drivers’ existing knowledge and training previously obtained, while covering many topics not normally outlined in other driver training materials. 

Date: August 28th, 2015

   Time: Course is 3 hours long (this includes 5 modules & will be offered in 2 sessions)

9:00 am-12:00pm

1:00 pm-4:00pm

   Location: PMTA Headquarters

   Cost: There is no cost for the training course.

   Class size: 25—30 Students (no more than 2 attendees per PMTA member)


All students attending the class will receive a thumb drive with all the training material so they can take them back and use them in their companies.

*Classes are filled on a first come first serve basis*

 Online Registration available or contact Taylor Pettis (, Kevin Stewart ( or Carol Smore (  




 5 modules

Defensive Driving Part I

The Defensive Driving Part I course will provide drivers with a better understanding of what defensive driving really is and how they can improve their driving capabilities as they encounter changing driving situations.  It provides further guidance relating to defensive driving techniques including: (1) Wearing their seatbelt at all times while operating a CMV and (2) Safety Culture and Practices.  It is important for each driver to understand that they are professionals and as such are held to higher level of driver safety responsibilities.  As professional drivers they may be called upon to compensate for poor decisions made by other drivers.  “There is no room in the trucking industry for drivers who do not respect laws, safe driving practices and/or the ability to respect other drivers sharing the roadways;” (3) Speeding. Risks are raised when driving too fast in inclement weather, drivers should reduce their speed by ½ or more when driving on snow packed roads; (4) Fatigue.  Drivers need to understand the devastating effects of fatigue while operating their CMVs.   Although there are short term solutions for fatigue, they do not provide the long term solution that is required, physical rest; (5) Driving Behaviors.  There are two types of driving behaviors covered in this section.  Planned behaviors include control of acceleration, deceleration and maintenance of speedUnplanned behaviors occur as a result of changing driving situations and the reactions to them; (6) Searching as you drive.  It is important for a driver to maintain a wide area of vision as they drive.  Anticipating fixed and potential hazards and planning ahead on how to deal with them.

Defensive Driving Part II

The Defensive Driving Part II course follows up with more defensive driving techniques for CMV drivers.  These techniques include: (7) Backing.  It is always important to remember our GOAL (Get Out And Look) when backing the CMV.  Ensure that the area behind the CMV remains clear through the entire backing procedure; (8) Maintaining Your Lane of Travel.  Know the limits of the vehicle you are operating, dimensions, size and weight.  Always signal your intentions prior to changing lanes.  Follow the 4 second following distance rule at all times; (9) The No-Zone.  Understand your own driving limitations and the areas around your CMV where you are unable to see other vehicles or objects.  These areas are commonly referred to as the No-Zone and create potential hazards for passenger cars as well as CMV drivers; (10) Curves in Roads.  It is important that CMV drivers slow down and obey posted speed limits when entering curves on the roadways.  (11) Plan your route before leaving.  Recent research has indicated that viewing and entering information on a GPS device is as dangerous, if not more so, than talking on a hand held cell phone; (11) Do Not Fixate on Non-Moving Objects.  Keep your eyes on the road and do not fixate on non-moving objects.  Keep glances away from the roadway to one second or less.  Focus on driving hazards that you may encounter; (12) Turn off your cell phone while driving.  Concentrate on the driving task at hand.  Leave your cell phone off while driving and only access your phone when your vehicle is parked and you are not driving; (13) Avoid Distractions while Driving.  The three main types of distractions encountered while driving are manual, visual and cognitive.  (14) Avoid Medications that may affect your Driving Ability.  Prescription and other types of medication may affect a driver’s ability to operate their CMV safely.  Read warning labels applied to medications and obey instructions contained thereon.  CMV drivers should never take controlled substances, unless prescribed by a physician who is knowledgeable of what the driver does for a living.

Following the Rules of the Road

The Following the Rules of the Road training material will provide CMV drivers with a better understanding for safe driving practices as they obey the rules of the road.  Various traffic control devices are provided to improve traffic movement while establishing procedures to ensure that all vehicles are being driven in a safe and efficient manner on our roadways.  In a recent report issued by the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) it was determined that CMV drivers are much safer drivers than drivers of other passenger vehicles.  Statistics indicate that when crashes involving CMV and passenger vehicle drivers occur, the passenger vehicle driver is issued a citation at more than double the rate of the CMV drivers.  It is important to continue to provide educational and outreach activities regarding the No-Zone to non-professional drivers sharing the roadways.  The Large Truck Causation Case Study (LTCCS) was released in 2005 and provided some good insight to the facts involved in large truck crashes.  The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) released its own study in 2005 which provided a list of moving violations that can lead to future crash and near-crash incidents.  ATRI updated this study in 2011 and provides a new list and percentage increases for future crash involvement.  It also provides opportunities to battle these top five areas that can lead to an increase in near-crash or crash incidents.


Defeating Distracted Driving

The Defeating Distracted Driving training materials will provide CMV drivers with a better understanding of what distracted driving really is and how they can battle the causes and deadly effects that result.  Distracted driving includes anything that requires you to take one or both hands off the steering wheel while driving.  Distractions also include anything that takes your mind off the driving task at hand.  Distracted driving is the single largest contributing factor to traffic crashes today.  The Center for Disease Control (CDC) released a report in 2012 that indicates staggering injury and fatal crash statistics relating to driving while distracted.  The CDC report continues by stating that texting while driving takes a drivers attention away from the road more frequently and for much longer periods of time than any other distraction. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) have recently added regulations which prohibit the use of hand held cell phones and prohibit a driver from texting while operating a CMV.  Further information is provided in this training regarding the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) report related to distracted driving while operating a CMV.  A better understanding of the three types of distractions, visual, manual and cognitive are also achieved through this training module.  Ways to battle distractions while driving are provided as part of the course curriculum. 

Beyond Distracted Driving (Work Zones and Rural Roads)

The Beyond Distracted Driving (Work Zones and Rural Roads) driver training module is designed to provide CMV drivers with valuable information to improve safe driving practices.  This training provides a short review of the VTTI study on distracted driving and the CMV driver.  It also provides a friendly reminder for CMV drivers to always wear their seatbelts.  The training provides information on the vehicle manufacturers design to protect drivers restrained properly while seated behind the control features of a CMV.  It provides driver training opportunities not contained in other training materials currently available.  Operating a CMV safely within a work zone is covered specifically.  Driving techniques are provided, in addition to statistics on where, when and how most CMV crashes occur in work zones.  These techniques can provide methods to prevent future crash and near-crash incidents from occurring.  Information on operating a CMV on rural roads is also provided.  Rural roads present unique driving situations that differ from those encountered on urban highways.  Solutions for operating CMVs on rural roads are also provided with guidance on how to react to changing road and driving situations as they arise.         

Training Requirements and Materials:

1.     A computer installed with Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007 or newer, or for the Enhanced versions of the training material Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2010  or newer;

2.     Speakers or sound system;

3.     Computer Projector;

4.     Screen or wall to project the training PowerPoint’s onto; and

5.     Not required, but useful, a white board or flip chart to facilitate attendee input and feedback. 


The materials included with this training course include:

·        A jump drive which contains Microsoft Word Documents for each training module provided

·        In addition the same jump drive contains two separate Microsoft PowerPoint Presentations.  One version is a Microsoft Office 2007 or earlier PowerPoint presentation and is limited only to the PowerPoint itself

·        The other presentation is designed for use with a Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2010 or newer edition and contains embedded video clips that better illustrate training information provided

·        The training material is also available via a direct download from the CVSA website at

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